From the start anything Google touched would turn to gold. It was the bad boy of search engine (I remember in grade school all the teachers would yell at us for using Google and make us use Ask Jeeves). But somewhere along the line Google Plus was made in order to counteract the growing interests surrounding Facebook and Twitter. They needed a way to have people stay on Google, using it for more than just a simple query search. The official public launch of Google + was on September 20th 2011, a time when Facebook was the apple of the public’s eye. From there we have seen a dismal start to what should have been, in Google’s mind, the next revolution in social media.
Due to the low switch rate and depressing amount of time that people spent on Google +, they decided to make it so every person with a Gmail account has a Google + account as well. Recently they also made it so anyone who wants to comment on YouTube videos needed to have an account. Sure Google wants people to join Plus but should they be allowed to force people into signing up for one service just to use another. It’s not like a have to agree to view NBC if I want to see a movie produced by Focus Features (General Electric). Seeing as this is something that I nor even a petition by the public can get rid of we might as well make the best of it.
First off, get a Google + account if you don’t already have one. Google will rank pages supported by Google + users more than pages supported by Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Why you ask? Because Google wants Google Plus to matter. Next you should understand what a circle, extended circle, communities, tags and shares are.
Circle – This is a makeup of both your followers as well as the people who follow you. Your posts can be directed at certain circles or even the public.
Extended Circle – This is a population of people you may not directly know but are known through a friend.
Communities – Are used to discuss a certain topic, brand, or anything that people find interesting.
Tags – By using the @ symbol you can choose people or businesses to be tagged in posts.
Shares – Allows you to share your content.
Remember to build relationships with other users as well as to provide relevant content to viewers. Although Google + may look empty now, in a few years it will be filled with people much as Facebook is now. Remember Tila Tequila from Myspace (What’s Myspace?), she became famous for being one of the early users, and while you may not be one of the first you definitely will be noticed. I linked this blog to my Google + just a few days ago and have actually increased search engine traffic, mostly for things I wasn’t even sure related to it. It just goes to show how Google + can improve your ranking, because after all don’t you want to be #1.