You may be wondering what all the fuss is about Google+ and whether or not you should get on the bandwagon. Although I have not yet jumped in with both feet, I am definitely on Google + and I’ll tell you why. The short answer is that it will impact our ability to survive in the marketplace.
The days are gone when you could put up a static website, pay someone to stuff it full of key words and come up in a search. In fact meta-key words are basically dead. Google’s search algorithms have changed. The recent Google “Panda” algorithm updates caused a dramatic drop in traffic in sites which write on varied topics like the Answers types of sites and many large company sites with a lot of static pages across content areas got caught in this change and saw their traffic drop dramatically.
These days, it’s all about having great, fresh content. Fresh content means regularly updating your website, which then means you really need a blog. How do search engines know that your content rocks? they notice if you have good steady traffic to your site and that people link to your content. Google (and all the search engines) are assuming that the more people go to your site and link to your articles, the more authority you have.
They have also started factoring in your social media links. Yes, late adopters, you have to get on Twitter and Facebook and actually use them if you want to grow your readership since the number of Facebook “Likes” or Twitter Retweets your content gets the better your posts will do coming up in search results.
Now we know, in order to come up for specific keywords in your niche, you had better be writing blog posts on those topics that someone actually wants to read, like and share!
Knowing social was of increasing importance, Google jumped into the mix with their new social site, Google+. And hey, being one of the largest search engines, they have a strong advantages over Facebook and people with Google+ accounts will start to see some interesting things in their search results. Take a look:
I know this is a small image, so you will have to take my word for it, but the three little boxes under this search result for my blog post about my upcoming Sarah Robinson event are actually people in my Google+ circles. In this case it happens to be me, Callahan McDonough and Sarah herself. It also tells me that several more people have also given this post a +1.
If you do a search on this post, those boxes will not show up unless you have a Google+ account and people in your circles have given it a +1. At this point in time this is new, but you can imagine that, as more people use this, it will become a game changer, since people will be much more likely to click on a search result that their friends have endorsed.
At this time Google + is still in Beta. They started by inviting techy geeks and social media types to give it a whirl first knowing we would find the flaws and the gems and spread the word to the minions. It has worked and the numbers of people who have already signed up for Google + is massive in such a short time. If you haven’t joined yet, not to worry. You can have someone who is using it send you an invite.