With over 500 million users, Google Plus is one of the world’s biggest social networks. That makes sense, given that Google has thrown everything it has into making the network a success.
A survey last year found the 30% of smartphone users log into Google Plus at least once per month.
Yet not everything is rosy. Stats show the network has yet to capture the popular imagination. Just 3% of social sharing takes place on Google Plus. That compares to 41% for Facebook, 30% for Twitter, and 20% for Pinterest.
As one blogger put it:
No real people in the real world are using Google+.
But is this overstating the case against Google? Is Google Plus really a social graveyard?
To us, it’s clear that Google Plus ain’t no graveyard. If your business isn’t yet using Google Plus, we recommend you sign up today.
Here are seven reasons why.
1. Google Owns the Playing Field
The main reason Google Plus isn’t a graveyard is because for most people, Google is the Internet. Whenever you want to find something online, you head to Google.
Google is also the world’s largest email provider with Gmail.
Google has used its clout to sign up half-a-billion users.
As Guy Kawasaki explains:
Google can do more than merely tilt the playing field, because it owns the playing field. For example, Google integrated Google+ into search results, and Samsung phones and tablets come with the Google+ application pre-installed… Gmail account holders automatically have a Google+ account… Google owns one of the biggest rivers of Internet traffic (search), and it can divert people to Google+ anytime it wants. For example, when Google put an arrow on its search page pointing to the button to click to join Google+, hundreds of thousands of people joined.
2. Google Plus Is an Essential SEO Tool
Google uses information from Google Plus to influence search results. So if your content is getting shared and +1′d on Google Plus, it gets a ranking boost in search.
The impact of this is huge. A study by SEO specialists Moz.com found that:
After Page Authority, a URL’s number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor. In fact, the correlation of Google +1s beat out other well -known metrics, including linking root domains, Facebook shares, and even keyword usage.
This fact alone is reason enough to start using Google Plus right away.
(Want more proof? Design blogger Lynne Knowlton saw a 40% jump in her blog traffic after using Google Plus for just one month).
3. Google Hangouts
With Google Hangouts, high quality video conferencing is available to anyone for free.
You can us Hangouts to:
- Meet with clients, suppliers, or business partners.
- Create videos tutorials.
- Spend time with your customers.
- Create a video podcast.
- Interview experts in your field.
And pretty much anything else you can think of using video for.
Another nice feature of Hangouts is that they live up to their name. You can use them just to simply hangout. Martin Shervington explains:
Hangouts are like a party on the porch front. You are walking by and see people are chatting away on the porch and decide to pop in and say ‘hi’.
4. Meet New Folks in Communities
While sharing on the main network of Google Plus is a little slow, Communities are thriving hubs of activity and discussion. They’re fantastic for networking and meeting new people in your niche.
Google Plus power user Andrij Harasewych writes that:
Google+ Communities are perhaps one of the best components of Google+. Yes, they may get some flak for lacking features that have been around since the first message boards, but considering the benefit, the education, the entertainment, the inspiration, and the all around satisfaction I get from my daily Google+ Community activity, I wouldn’t trade it for any other platform.
Or as Lynne Knowlton puts it:
The peeps at the G+ party are super cool. They talk about things that you love. They have similar interests. They listen. They tell their friends about you.
5. Find Influencers Fast with Ripples
Ripples are a super simple way of finding influencers in your niche. To see what I mean, it’s best to check them out for yourself. They look like this:
We’ve got our very own guide to finding influencers using Ripples here.
Ripples are also great for analyzing the types of content that gets shared the most. When you know what generates buzz, you can create it for yourself.
6. Shine a Spotlight on Your Local Business
If you run a local business, then Google Plus can give a massive boost to your search rankings.
Did you know that nearly a quarter of searches are local?
You’ve probably done a local search yourself on Google and seen the results show up on a map. If you want your business to show up on that map, you need a Google Plus page.
7. It’s the Dream Social Network
If the world’s greatest minds got together to design a social network, they’d probably end up with Google Plus.
Google has put a ton of thought and resources into making Plus the best network around – even if you exclude the Hangouts feature.
Professional blogger Elaina Newton explains what’s so special about Google’s network:
It’s an amalgamation of both Facebook and Twitter’s best qualities, plus new features exclusive to Google. Imagine a new social network that favors visual media, but also encourages lengthy posts that inform readers and facilitate conversations. A stream that updates constantly, is searchable by keyword, shows you trending topics and has no character limits. A network with a strong sense of community and high level of interactivity. A place where content creators, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts, ranging from professionals to amateurs, can connect, share information and build communities based on common interests.
What’s Your Take?
That’s why we love Google Plus in a nutshell.
What’s your take? Do you love Google Plus? Will it overtake Facebook one day? Or is it doomed to failure?