There's no doubt about it, Google is the reigning Internet behemoth. As a company, they constantly innovate to meet the changing nature of the web, and offer a myriad of tools that are priceless to businesses. From AdWords to search results, Google has forever changed the nature of online marketing.
The team at Google soft-launched their latest social networking platform, Google+, earlier this year and within a month, Google+ had ‘invited' and retained 25 million users. Still in its limited field trial stage and for individual users only, Google continues to Beta test their latest venture into the world of social media. The focus presently is on individual users and though Google has confirmed it will be molding the new tool to suit businesses of both small and large scale, there's no set date for the hard launch of the tool or any indication of when the business community will be welcomed to the fold. Because of this, Google+ may seem a long way off for businesses eager to increase their online and social networking presence.
Right now Google + has a toolkit of impressive capabilities that have social media mavens taking notes. From "Circles" (a friend management tool), "Huddle" (a group texting service), "Stream" (their news feed), "Hangouts" (a video chat tool), "Sparks" (their recommendation engine), to "+1" what's the play for businesses? We have some thoughts and will try to tackle "+1" in today's blog (stay posted for more in future blog posts).
So what's the plus that Google's offering businesses? While there are a myriad of familiar tools available thanks to Google's new social media foray, it seems the biggest or most impactful to businesses is the introduction of the ‘+1'.
While granular details of the +1 feature (essentially a button that displays similarly to the Facebook ‘Like') haven't been released, it seems this addition could significantly impact SEO for businesses and may be the key differentiator for Google+, against its prime competitors. Google has created a verb of the +1 and you are able to, with your Google log in, click on the button displaying beside search listings, web pages and ads, thereby ‘+1-ing' and announcing to the world what you think is top-notch. Google will then display your +1 demonstration to users within your network, providing an unsolicited endorsement.
The bigger picture has not been confirmed, but there are rumblings that the +1 may ultimately affect page rank and could be used by Google to help inform its overall page ranking algorithm. Your Google searches may soon be displayed to you, skewed by your social media network's personal tastes. This could potentially spell trouble for SEO management if search results start to vary substantially between users, however the details are yet to be confirmed and we will refrain from judging until we have all the facts.
All in all, it seems this time Google is serious about social media (so long Google Buzz!) and quite literally has the world (wide web) at its fingertips. We wait with bated breath for our official invite to Google Plus.
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