Is Google Plus Still Worth the Effort?

By on May 27, 2014
g+

Google has overtaken Apple as the top brand according to global market research agency Millward Brown.

Google saw its value shoot up to 40% this year while Apple’s value fell by 20%.

This may not come as too much of a surprise to avid tech watchers:

Google has been busy innovating and investing in technologies like Google Glass and driver-less cars whereas, at least according to running jokes, Apple has been busy making their iPhone screens larger.

However, that success has not spilled over to Google’s social media initiative – Google+.

If TechCrunch is to be believed, following Vic Gundotra’s exit from Google, Google+ is really more like The Walking Dead right now – an image that contrasts sharply to its initial ambition of being the Facebook killer.

Pessimistic portrayal aside, I would think that it would be unwise to ignore Google Plus at this point. Unlike other Google products, like Google Buzz and the much-missed Google Reader, Google Plus is not simply a stand-alone product; it is a product that is critical to Google’s integration efforts across its many platforms.

Given that, I’m fairly optimistic that Google+ will be around for quite some time.

If you’re still in doubt about whether Google+ is worth the effort for your business or brand to be on, consider these top 3 reasons on why it makes sense to have a presence on Google Plus:

#1: Greater Search Visibility

There is a reason why “google” is not only a brand but also a dictionary entry.

Google - Verb Google+

Google has made it easier for great content to rank high in Google search results when you have a Google+ page. When people who follow your brand on Google+ search for information that can be found on any of your content, that content gets pushed to the top of search results. SEO made simple.

There is also Google+ Authorship. If you’re a professional and are keen on building a brand that carries with it industry expertise, then I’d strongly suggest getting Google+ Authorship. When you do that and the content you have written ranks, your headshot and Google+ profile stats show up in the search engine results page.

#2: Google Hangouts and Google Helpouts

There’s a lot of things that a brand can do with Google Hangouts: You can have a video chat, host interviews or talk shows, conduct virtual meetings, broadcast live concerts or any kind of show, launch a product, and so much more.

The limit is dependent on what your team can creatively think of.  For professionals or anyone who is keen on helping people out vis-a-vis a version of hangout, there is  Google Helpouts.

Google Helpouts is a great place to find and provide help or services to anyone – whether for a fee or at no cost to the consumer.

Need language lessons? You can find providers on Google Helpouts. Want to provide photography tips? Get on Google Helpouts.

Helpouts could potentially become a preferred service platform of companies in the future.

…and, one of the many things I like about Google Helpouts is that it allows for the rating and review of services rendered. This not only builds credibility for service providers but also gives users the ability to make more informed decisions on which provider to choose for any given service.

#3: Local Pages for Business

Want to put your local business on Google Maps? Then, creating a Local Page for your business on Google+ is a really good way of achieving that. Make it easy for customers to find you by setting your business page to appear on neighborhood search results.

Just like Google Helpouts, Google Local Pages also allows for customer rating and review. This can be great for spreading the word about positive experiences with your store as well as a great way to secure feedback about your brand. It also allows you to respond to negative comments, if there are any.

Now, that you’ve read through the 3 reasons why I think it still makes good business sense to have a Google+ presence, what do you think?

Is it worth the time and effort? Let me know know by leaving a comment below!

 

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
  • http://www.thesocialmediaexpert.in/ Thesocialmediaexpert.in

    This is great post. this is my blog social media expert

  • standrean

    I think Google authorship has been a contributing factor to Google+ becoming more popular. The author’s G+ profile shows up under search results of their articles, increasing its visibility. And considering Google is the most used search engine, you can definitely understand why it’s had such an impact.

    • http://wwww.socialmediaimpact.com/ Social Media Impact

      Thank you, we definitely think that is a factor.

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