Since this is a relatively young blog I thought I’d share my Google+ insights with you, as it is regarded as the up and coming social network. As part of Linkdex’s marketing team I have already had the pleasure to work with the search giant’s take on social media.
In this post I will briefly give you an introduction to G+ and Authorship, a quick guide on how to get started with G+ as well as a brief features overview and the various benefits of having a G+ profile.
Over the last few years we have seen an enormous social web adoption. It’s human nature that we want to share what we do and believe in with our peers and loved ones.
Social media enables us to do just that – staying connected with each other 24/7 around the globe. The list of currently available social networks is endless: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest – anyone? I am sure you yourself are busy on one or more of these, right?
Google themselves were not particularly fast to jump on the social media bandwagon but eventually the search giant spotted the human need to be connected with each other. As a result Google +, was launched in summer 2011.
Interestingly though, it’s described as ‘a multilingual social networking and identity service’ rather than just a social network. So why is that?
Authorship – what’s it all about?
In order to improve the searchers’ overall user experience Google further introduced Authorship – referring to a set of methods to verify connections between published content anywhere on the web and G+ profiles – ensuring that search results are of the highest quality.
To learn more, watch this video of Google’s Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson discuss how to connect authors with their content using the Authorship markup.
So what have we learnt so far?
Due to the combination of G+ and Authorship (encouraging bloggers and content creators to link their content to their G+ profiles) the search giant is en route to empower people (hence the need for a social network in place)!
We must not forget that Google’s main product is its search engine but in order to improve its search results it needed to connect individuals with online content – literally the birth of G+.
Above you can see my Google Authorship profile within Google’s results page, if you were to click on the ‘More by Clarissa Sajbl’ link you’ll see a search result page listing all the posts I have published and connected to my G+ account – see the other screenshot below. This clearly shows that my online visibility has been ‘amplified’.
Setting up your authorship mark-up
In case you’re now curious, simply follow the 3 steps below and get started with Google+.
- Create a Google+ profile
- Continue to create high-quality content & make sure that your content is linked to your G+ profile with the rel=author parameter
- Start using your G+ profile and get interactive with your circles and communities!
Google+ features overview
Google+ has various great features, below I have provided a brief outline of the most significant ones.
Circles: Your G+ ‘friends’ are called ‘Circles’ – allowing you to organise individuals into groups for sharing. In other words, it replaces the usual friends’ list function.
Communities: This feature allows you to join, create or search for G+ communities that share similar interests.
Hangouts: The group video chat feature allows up to 10 G+ users to video chat with each other. Additionally, broadcasts can be recorded for later retrieval. To invite another G+ user to a hangout you simply have to share the hangout’s unique URL with them.
Search: In G+: Whatever you are searching for, simply type it in the search box and G+ will in return give you relevant posts, people and content from the web.
Events: This feature allows users to include events, invite people and share real- time live content such as media and photos.
The rise of G+ & its benefits
Since its launch in 2011 G+ has become the world’s second largest social network, overtaking the likes of Twitter and now accounting for around 500 million registered users. Theoretically speaking this accounts for 25% of the world’s internet population.
At SMX (the SearchMarketingExpo SEO conference) London 2013, several speakers shared some exclusive G+ insights which I would like to share with you.
Just from looking at the statistics it becomes clear that individuals & brands that use G+ actively in their SEO strategies are making significant strides ahead of their competition.
Google+ is now the second largest social network in terms of active users and is set to continue to grow.
The reason why you want to be spending time on this social network now is to take advantage of its benefits to become a leading authority.