I will be the first to admit that I think Google Plus is a game changer. I will also admit that one of the main reasons I feel this way is organic search. There is no argument to be made that Google owns organic search. Unfortunately, there have been several “issues” with both Twitter and Facebook when it comes to indexing social updates in organic search. These issues were so painful that Google created Google Plus as it’s own social product. I think most Google employees will admit that Google Plus got off to a rocky start but the tides have turned quickly.
How Does the Media Feel About Google Plus?
When doing a quick Google search for “is Google plus a success?” these are a few of the article titles that show up on the front page:
- A Eulogy for Google Plus
- Six Months Later, Google Plus Still Doesn’t Add Up
- Is Google Plus a dud? Users visit for just three minutes a MONTH compared to seven hours on Facebook
- Why Google+ Won’t Succeed
- Google Plus a successful road to failure?
It seems quite obvious that the American media thinks Google Plus is an utter failure. After reading through almost every Google Plus “Ghost Town” article it is apparent that most agree Google Plus is not a success because “all of my friends are not there.” I have worked with several college students and business owners to promote events and the common theme has been, “I don’t get any interaction on Google Plus so there is no reason to be there.” I am not going to deny that certain topics and subjects are prone to get very little engagement on Google Plus. This is especially true if you are not willing to reach out to individuals of similar interests who you may not already know. There is huge engagement on Google Plus and I can prove it. I have had three posts in the last month receive over 300 +1s and over 50 reshares. Yes, in the last month!
Google Plus is Not Facebook
Google Plus is not a place to look up old high school and college friends. It is a place to meet new people with similar interests. The reason that Facebook remains successful is there is a common thread with the your “Facebook Friends,” they are part of your past. Facebook suggests people in which you attended elementary school, middle school, high school or college. That is fine but I want to create friendships with those who will be part of my future! This is why I think Google Plus is successful. Google is looking forward instead of backward.
The United States media wants to know what have you done for me lately. Lately, Facebook has broken one billion users and Facebook fan pages easily break tens of millions of fans. What the media must understand is that Facebook has had it’s time to shine and Facebook fatigue is inevitable. Facebook has been out for almost a full decade. Some of those early .edu accounts have had to deal with ten years of Facebook ups and downs. Most of us have heard of the seven year itch. That seven year itch is getting a little bit long in the tooth.
I know Facebook continues to adjust and advance but I hear repeatedly that people are on Facebook because the have to be. I can honestly say I have not heard one person say the are on Google Plus because they have to be. In fact, most of those I know say they are on “the Plus” because they want to be. This is just another way Google Plus is planting their seeds to success.
Google Plus is Already a Success
The numbers are growing for Google+; much faster than the social networks Facebook and Twitter. Google Plus was the fastest social network to 100 million users and it will be the fastest social network to 500 million users. Not only are the numbers growing but Google has strategically made Google+ the place to post content if you have any web presence. In all honesty, one of the main reasons I started to increase activity on Google Plus was to see my face beside my blog posts and my Google Plus individual posts. Yes, I see that now and it has helped me build a following of over 8000 people; not that size matters. Well, maybe a little bit.
Almost all content writers on the Internet have a Google Plus profile. If they don’t they are doing 2009 SEO. Now, Google Plus has incorporated Zagat reviews into the Google Plus local that is shown on Google Maps. What does this mean? This means that every small business in the world should take notice that Google Plus local reviews could strongly influence how they show up in search. If Google search matters to these companies they will, at the very least, create a Google plus business page.
Lastly, Google Plus has offered privacy in a way that no other social network can. Just last year Google received the award for the most respected tech company. Do you think Facebook or Twitter were even on the list? When you mention the name Google to almost anyone the first thought that pops up is “respect” or “awesome.” This is exactly what I think when I think Google Plus. Google did not try to get every single Facebook user from day one. They strategically started offering great resources that makes social even better. The Google Plus Hangouts on Air that stream to YouTube through a live feed are revolutionizing news and the way stars reach out to their fans. Google Plus communities allow individuals to send their outgoing content to eyes that want to see it. This is not possible on most social networks. Well, not without tons of work arounds.
All that being said, I truly believe that Google would consider Google Plus a huge success. So much so that they are already integrating it into all their other products such as Maps, Android, YouTube, GMail and Docs. As Vic Gundotra likes to say, “It is just the beginning for Google+.“