7 Reasons You Need to Be on Google+

Social Media & Google Plus

Google+ is a marketing game-changer. If you think that Facebook is enough, then you need to take a second look. Google+ is not a wannabe social network; it has over approximately 318 million users and has taken over Twitter’s reign in 2nd place (GlobalWebIndex, 2013).

And if Facebook doesn’t watch out, Google+, the underdog of social networking may just beat them out for the number one spot.

Here are 7 more reasons why you should be on Google+ today.

1. Your Google+ Posts Are Crawled Immediately

Crawling your site might take some time if you are blogging on your own domain. But if you are posting to Google+, you’re merging right onto the SEO highway. These posts are indexed faster because they are part of the same network. Best of all, any linked URLs will likely catch their attention too.

Double the action by placing the complete article on your regular website, and then writing a short teaser article on Google+. It needs to be a full article, highlighting your main points, and leading in to your URL link. Entice your reader with a good hook to convince them to leave their socializing to see your site. It needs to be worth their while. If it’s good enough, they’ll come back, and they might share the article, too.

2. Your Google+ Posts Show Up in SERP

This platform is about search engine optimization. Posting on Facebook and Twitter is fine, but they aren’t really sharing the love with Google. But it’s all in the family over here. Once you post your tips over here, it’s automatically in Google’s line of sight because everything’s connected. And that may increase your page rank.

So the title of your post just might show up when a potential client is just doing a normal, everyday search. And voila! There’s the first part of your post… right next to your picture.

Google+ Helps Establish Authority

3. You Are Now an Authority

In the old days (meaning August 2013), being an authority meant you had to be a university or a government facility. Otherwise, forget about it.

Okay, well, mostly that’s still true. But the internet is always evolving and there is a new type of authority in town. Though the jury is still out, some people, including myself, believe that your Google+ profile can give you authority. Because they already know who you are.

How? Because you’ve shared authorship, of course. (See #4 & 5.) You have established rel=author and rel=publisher. You are probably registered or even host a channel on YouTube. And you are actively participating on Google+. Now, if your videos, posts, and other activities have been shared or voted up, then you have established your authority and the SERP may reflect this activity. Note: Not all sources agree that the +1’s have this effect, so take this advice at your own risk.

Google+ Authorship and rel equals author

4. Authorship

Authorship has taken the lead with the release of the Hummingbird algorithm. By adding the rel=author tag to your articles, your picture will now appear in the search results. Even if you aren’t in the number one spot, you still have an advantage: your picture draws viewers and gives you an opportunity to increase your CTR.

Even better, it helps in dealing with a problem that I have had for years: article theft. I’ve stumbled upon my articles across the internet numerous times over the years. Most webmasters have been helpful along the way, removing the articles that had been falsely passed off under different names. But Google’s rel=author tag instantly recognizes me as the author, and there is less concern for the duplicate content issue. Note: It does not remove the issue of stolen content, so still check!

5. Rel=Publisher

The rel=publisher tag has been misunderstood for a while now. But now that people are beginning to understand the rel=author tag, the publisher tag is getting a little more notice.

It’s actually pretty cool. The interesting thing is that it works in a similar fashion to the author tag. However, where the author tag shows a picture to the left of your entry, the rel=publisher tag can show a large block on the right side of the page.

This is a tricky tag though. It does not always appear, and while you can try to make it show up, it won’t always work. Here are some things to try:

  • If your company is well known, it will be easier to make this work. If it’s not a well known brand, it might not work correctly.
  • The publisher tag must be registered and verified to a Google+ Page (business page).
  • Add the rel=publisher tag to your web site as instructed by Google.
  • If you would like the rel=publisher tag to appear on any specific pages on your website, make sure that the rel=author does not appear on those pages.

6. Google+ Is the #2 Social Media Site

As if that weren’t enough, GlobalWebIndex’s research shows that in Q2 of 2013, Google+ is still “the second most popular social platform”. Social Media Marketers should take note: things are turning around on this site. It is worth your time and effort.

Google+ is Cool Like a Carnival Ride

7. Google+ is Really a Cool Site

Not for nothing, but if you’re going to spend time on social media, Google Plus is the place to be. Sure, Facebook is fun for friends and family, Twitter’s great for non-stop action, and everybody’s updating their resume on LinkedIn. But if you really want to sit down and make some connections, this is where you need to be.

There are a ton of great features, which I will cover in another article, but some certainly stand apart. Here are some special reasons that this site stands out:

  • Circles: It’s really easy to separate people into different groups. This is extremely convenient, since you don’t always want to share the same information with everyone. Consider groups such as coworkers, clients, potential clients, past clients, etc.
  • Hashtags. I’m a little late to the hashtag game, but I love them.
  • You get to use “Hangouts”, which are videochats that can be shared with one or more people.
  • Ripples: Coolest. Thing. Ever. This nifty little tool lets you see how your post has been shared.