I had a more-in-depth-than-normal conversation this past weekend on Facebook with a few friends and local business owners. I threw a question out to my community, “Are any of my friends on Google+? There are tons of companies there, but not many people. Do you use Google+?”
I was sparked with a little intrigue after looking through the new Google+ interface. I have to say–Google has done a fabulous job with ease-of-use and appeal. Google+ may be the nicest of the large social communities. But that’s really here nor there if no one with any relevance to our lives uses it.
With a fear that I may lose you due to length of this conversation, I’m going to paste the conversation transcript below. Hang in there. It’s good stuff that you’re going to want to read. I’ll chime back in at the bottom of this article with more explanation.
Me: Are any of my friends on Google+? There are tons of companies there, but not many people. Do you use Google+?
Friend #1: Google+ is still a thing?
Me: I know, right? But, yes, it is. As long as Google owns and guides SEO, Google+ will be a thing, especially for businesses. And now, after a few upgrades, the interface is much easier to use than Facebook or LinkedIn.
Friend #1: LinkedIn is still a thing?
Me: LinkedIn, Twitter and MySpace are all still a thing, and huge.
Friend #2: No I hardly use it anymore. I use it for sharing posts from my clubs website and that’s about it.
Friend #3: I use Google+ solely for the purpose of archiving the information posts I make for the fantasy football leagues that I run. I make the team owners in each league use Google Hangouts as our primary platform to talk smack to each other, and Google+ integrates nicely with Hangouts. I figured not everyone uses Facebook, but almost everyone has a Google account either through Gmail or YouTube. No sense trying to make people join Facebook (or Band or Crew or GroupMe) so group communication is in one place.
Me: Interesting concept and reasoning, friend #3.
Friend #3: Thanks! It literally is the only use I have for Google+.
Friend #4: Only use it for SEO purposes. I haven’t found any other benefit.
Friend #3: May I ask how you use G+ for SEO?
Me: Google has hinted on their blog over the years that credit is being given to those businesses (linked through with their URL) who build and use their Google+ account. Just as we see a bump in organic traffic when Google AdWords are active against a domain, it only makes sense that Google give credit for using this Google+ property also.
Friend #4: Yes. What Keith said.
Friend #3: Wow. That’s good to know. Do you utilize it in this way, Keith?
Me: Yes, we certainly do, friend #3, for us and for our clients. Everything we post on any social community, goes to our Google+ Business Page (https://plus.google.com/115808737861799315671). Also, I just took a look and Google+ does not use the “nofollow” attribute in their anchor tags, unlike Facebook (no SEO credit any longer) and Twitter (same deal). That doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t restrict the links behind the scenes, but even if they do, it seems the use of the business pages brings other added benefits regardless.
Friend #3: Well, I’m certainly glad I offered insight to your OP. Thanks for this great info, Keith!
Friend #5: I used to love Google+ but have to admit I drifted away from it. Only so much time for social. But I liked the platform.
Friend #6: I think I need to make an appointment with you Keith to learn more about all of this! I gave a big LIKE to this comment. :)
Friend #3: Keith, do you mind explaining the parenthetical in your response “linked through with their URL”? I’m going to take your advice when I relaunch my website and I want to make sure I’m taking advantage of this free advice you’ve given me. Truly appreciate it, good sir.
Okay, I’m back to answer Friend #3.
Because it’s almost impossible to nail down a business’ identity by just a street address (businesses move around), Google and Bing use domains as unique identifiers for a property. For example, our Google+ Business Page at https://plus.google.com/115808737861799315671 uses the unique URL of jasegroup.com. It’s used to identify our company in every registration we have with Google (Analytics, Business Page, AdWords, SEO, website URL, etc.). So that tie is there. Always.
In addition to that inherent tie, we publish all website/blog content to our Google+ Business Page with links back to the specific landing page or blog article URL on our website, which also uses the same jasegroup.com unique identifier.
See where I’m getting with this? Everything to do with SEO, content marketing, digital marketing, online advertising, etc. uses jasegroup.com. So, there is absolutely no confusion on the legitimacy of the information and who owns the property (website/company). Consistency pays off on many levels.
I hope that answers your questions. But if you have any others, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Snapchat or Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn, or Google+ in this case. And if you need further assistance for your business, our amazing team is waiting for your call.