When I first wrote about Google+ at Freelance Folder, I said “don't feel you're missing out if you decide not to join yet.”
Well, guess what? It's five weeks later and I've changed my mind.
I think you and I want to be on Google+. And the reason is simple: It's Google!
Google is still the leader of search engines, and the features of Google+ make it clear Google is going to leverage this leadership to make Google+ the most attractive social networking platform — especially for online marketers.
Take this, for example. You can link your blog's authorship to your Google+ profile so that, when one of your posts appear on a search result, your profile picture also shows up. And your profile picture is hyperlinked to your profile. This is what it looks like:
Even if you're not the number result, having that author profile is significant:
Take note, these author profiles are visible even to non-Google+ users.
And, by the way, take note of the guy in my example above, Joost de Valk. He wrote the guide on how to get your profile to show up on Google's SERPs.
Google+ gives you several ways to show how popular your posts are. The +1 button is an example. It works like a Facebook “like” button or Twitter retweet button for your blog posts. It shows your readers how well other people liked your posts.
But Google+ takes it farther by linking +1 again to its search results. Google displays which Google+ users have either given a post a +1 or linked to it in their Google+ stream. It looks like this:
Notice, the first result shows me that Laura Spencer has +1'd that particular web page. Four results down, it shows that I have linked to this particular page on my Google+ stream.
So imagine you're the one looking at this search engine results page and you notice that people you know have +1'd or shared some posts but not others, then which posts are you most likely to click on? Yup, the ones with your friends' pictures underneath them!
It's social proof: My friends like this enough to +1 it, therefore, it's probably good.
By the way, this feature only shows the people in your Google+ circles.
Google+ is still new. It's not yet crowded and, in all likelihood, not yet very noisy. As with multi-level networking arrangements, the early adopters tend to get the best results. Provided you use it properly, that is.
Right now, you could probably still get the attention of Google+ heavyweights like Guy Kawasaki and Mari Smith, simply by commenting on their streams. Your chances get slimmer, however, when they have a gazillion people adding them in circles.
I couldn't finish this post without pointing out when Google+ isn't right for certain people. For all its cool features, Google+ is not perfect. It isn't the panacea to getting traffic and having influence. And, when misused, it can harm your business rather than help it.
Think twice, three times, really hard about getting started with Google+ if:
Did I leave out any reasons to use or not use Google+? If so, do share your two cents in the comments below.
Also, if you liked this post, do +1 it. I've added the button below 😀
PS: Click here to add me to your Google+ circle. See you there!
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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