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Monday, November 25 2013
Why You Need To Get Your Plus On

Google Plus LogoIf you don't know what Google Plus is yet you need to get familiar with it real quick.  Plus is Google's attempt at taking on Facebook in the social networking game.  Whether it's better than Facebook or not really doesn't make any difference.  That's because Google is on a mission to make Plus almost a universal requirement if you want to use any of their other services or want your website to rank well on their search engine and they don't care whether you like it or not.

Learn From History

Google is not afraid to make drastic changes in how they do things.  There have been several actions they have taken over the last 3 - 4 years that have proven to be disruptive and unpopular by many of their users and by site owners.  For example, the Panda and Penguin updates, ads in Gmail based your email contents, the numerous services Google has suddenly terminated, the "bad links" notices in Webmaster Tools, and the recently forced integration of YouTube with Google Plus.

What you need to learn from those examples is that Google does what Google wants to do, regardless of how anyone really feels about it.  They get away with it because of their overwhelming dominance in search, email, online advertising, and now in mobile.  The Google machine is now unstoppable.  It is almost impossible to do business online without using at least some of their services and many default functions on every Android phone require the use of Google services.  That means everybody will likely need to have a Plus account at some point sooner or later, whether they want one or not.

This latest move of requiring a G+ account to interact at YouTube is an orchestrated effort to both rapidly boost usage of Google Plus and force more people deeper into the world of Google services.  But this is only the beginning.

Why It Matters To You

Google has been tracking social signals for at least 2 years.  They starting including social data in their Analytics service some time around June 2012.  The growth of social media will outpace all other forms of online activity for the foreseeable future and Google has seen that trend coming.  Because of that, they have been shifting everything they do towards more social integration in an effort to maintain their online dominance.

Below is a video produced by Rand Fishkin from that excellently demonstrates how search results are already starting to be influenced based on a person's activity using all of Google's services.

It's not difficult to see the possibility of search results someday being totally dominated by active participants in Google's master plan.  Google Plus is the hub of that plan.  If you don't have a Plus profile and aren't active with it then you could soon find your site excluded from search results presented to people who are logged into the Google system when they search.

Get With The Program

Yes, it is somewhat creepy that this huge company is basically data mining all of our online activities and then presenting things to us that it "thinks" we want to see whenever we use their services.  Like it or not, this is the world we live in now.  If your business doesn't need to be found in search to survive then consider yourself lucky and avoid using any Google services like the plague.  However, if you need search traffic to your website to survive then you better get with the program pronto and get setup with a G+ profile and a page linked to your website.

As a service and as a marketing tool, G+ isn't really all that bad.  It's surprisingly easy to use and there are abundant communities of users already organized into groups that you can instantly interact with at any time.  That doesn't mean you can hop around constantly asking people directly to visit your site and buy your stuff.  But you can easily find groups of people who might be interested in what you offer and if you interact with them in a helpful, pleasant and honest way then you'll gradually  build up a positive reputation that will naturally lead to more visitors.  That positive reputation is also what will influence your site's rank in search.

If you want assistance getting setup with Google Plus and geting your site linked with your Google Plus account, then please contact us and we'll be happy to help.

Posted by: Carol S. AT 09:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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