Why Google Plus is a MUST for 2014

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why-google-plus-is-a-must-for-2014-piSometimes it feels like Google Plus is the wallflower amongst the social networks. Many marketers still are not taking it seriously, and are using it more as an ‘add on’, instead of as an integral part of their social media marketing strategy.

But with many marketers and social media experts declaring this the ‘Year of Google Plus’, it’s imperative to understand why you need to be using the platform, and what you stand to lose if you don’t heed the Google+ call.

Following are four reasons that just may convince you it is time to take the plunge and incorporate Google Plus into your daily social media efforts!

1. The SEO Benefits

Although Google has stated that +1’s aren’t directly used in their search algorithm, some research suggests there may be other, indirect benefits to sharing posts on Google Plus.

For instance, if someone who follows you on Google Plus performs a search while logged in to their Google account, they will be more likely to see your Google Plus post in the search results. So, while your post may only rank as #10 in the general search results, it may show up as #3 when your Google Plus followers run a search. This means the more followers you have, the better visibility your Google Plus posts have in personalized search results. Anyone seeing a positive here?

Furthermore, while Google may not give special preference to +1’s, links shared on Google Plus do still count as links…and some types of links are even ‘followed’. That means these links pass on PageRank, thereby acting as valuable external link backs to your site (and thereby increasing your search engine rankings). Ding, ding, ding!

2. Google Authorship.

To take advantage of Google Authorship, you first need to have a Google Plus account. Through linking your Google Plus profile to your content across the web, both web searchers and Google are able to easily attribute the content you write to YOU.

So, what’s the big deal, you ask? Well, for starters, authorship means any content you’ve written (that has the authorship markup) will have your photo beside it in the search results. And with research showing time and again that this increases click through rates significantly, not using it is a huge opportunity loss.

Google has even said that content from verified authors will – if not now, then in the future – rank more highly in search results than content that is not linked to an online profile.

For more information, see my post on How to Set up Google Authorship for SEO.

3. The Stats Do Not Lie.

With approximately 540 million users as of October 2013, Google Plus is quietly sneaking up on Facebook in this regard. Granted, Google counts those logged into their Google account as ‘users’…so the numbers are clearly skewed.

But even with this in mind, take a look at these stats from 2013:

  • The +1 button is used over 5 billion times per day (yes, BILLION)
  • 40% of marketers use Google Plus, and 67% plan to increase their usage. This means marketers who do not use the platform will not even be considered competition for those who do!
  • The Google Plus user base is approximately 67% male. This means if your business targets men, one of the best places you can find them is on Google Plus!

4. Hangouts are Unique to Google Plus.

Even if you’re a diehard and loyal fan of Facebook and/or Twitter, you have to admit that no one offers anything comparable to Google Hangouts.

For smaller video chats, you have the option of using straight Hangouts. However the real beauty comes when you use Hangouts on Air for your business. These allow you to record your videos, have a number of people participate in the chats, and then allow the general public to view them as a livesteam or afterward (they’re automatically saved to YouTube).

While there are obviously reams of other video chat/conferencing platforms available, the ability to seamlessly integrate your videos with your social media efforts is beyond compare.

It will be interesting to see what’s in store for Google Plus in 2014. The growth of the platform in the past year was quite phenomenal, so I’m curious to see if this rate of growth continues or plateaus.

Are you active on Google Plus? If not, what’s holding you back? Share below!

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks Kim! I started using Google+ a lot in 2013, but have slacked off lately. I also seemed to have lost my photo appearing in organic search results for pages where it previously had been showing. If I do a test, it says my authorship is still verified, so not sure why my picture has disappeared for so many pages. I will try to make a bigger effort to be consistent with my google+ posts.
    Look what Heather Llanes just posted..Scentsy Customer Loyalty ProgramMy Profile

  2. says

    Yeah.Its quite obvious that Google Plus is renovating itself day by day.But the number of engage users feels the difference.Google has made Google+ more commercial than focus to the interactions between friends as the Facebook do.Most of people on G+ are there for only promote their business
    Look what Muhammad Tehseen just posted..Games of 2014 – Release DatesMy Profile

  3. says

    Hi Kim

    I’m a user of Google Plus since it was not official launched. I’ve seen it grow from the zero. I can say it is a platform every internet marketer should use. Despite all the benefits you mentioned above there is one more benefit of using Google plus is that you can take advantage of faster indexing of your new post in Google search. I’ve observed that posts those are shared on Google plus index faster.
    Look what Tauseef Alam just posted..Cost to Purchase a Domain NameMy Profile

  4. says

    For me, Google+ has done wonders.

    I was one of the early users of Google+ but I got lukewarm response from community, so i stopped paying any attention to it.

    But, since last few months I have been using it quite a lot and I started liking it more and more. Benefits, as you mentioned in the post are there but one more thing that’s impressive about Google+ is its communities, they have serious discussions and a lot to learn about. Also, for networking with liked minded people, Google+ is the best place to be.

    Thanks for the post.
    Look what kapil just posted..14 Awesome Valentine’s Day Cards For GeeksMy Profile

  5. says

    I read so many post in which everyone is predicting G+ as the top social media network in 2014 but I don’t know the detail and sense behind this. You explain comprehensively the importance of G+ for blogging and small business. I start using G+ last year and find it a best tool from blogging, SEO as well as SMM point of view. As Google is introducing new updates for improving its search results so its time to follow Google policies for successful internet marketing campaigns. By the way, good to read the facts about the need of G+ in 2014.

  6. says

    Though everyone seem to agree that all the social networks including Google+ have potentials of helping the visibility of brands in search results, but no one knows exactly how these networks impact the visibility of brands. We wait to see if these networks will not be considered as one of the ways people use to “game” the system

  7. says

    KIM GARST ,I loved this post. When I first interacted with the Google plus I know at the first moment it is must have tool for marketer this year.after reading your post I am lot more convinced and happy that I already start working on it.
    Its very friendly and as you said stats don’t lie at all.Ripple and hangouts are unique features.
    Cheers
    Rubaz Web

  8. says

    Thank you so much for this great article. I’ve just stumbled ont Google+ and look forward to using it more deliberately to make my blog content more visible and to connect with other food bloggers.

  9. says

    I haven’t been using Google Plus because I have a conflict in my Google accounts and I haven’t found a way to fix it. I keep getting articles from Google (that don’t address the problem) but no way to get in touch with a person who can help me. Honestly, it’s been such a hassle and I’m stuck at Google’s mercy until I get the account issue resolved. So I’m not a big fan of Google right now.

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