In a world that can sometimes seem like it runs on Google, it makes sense that Google+ (Google’s own version of Facebook or Twitter) will one day become one of, if not the top social media platform, right? In our studio not a day goes by without us relying on Gmail, G Drive, Google Docs, Google Analytics or Google Maps to help us get our jobs done with maximum efficiency. Google dominance is now such that search engine optimisation in the UK can realistically be described as primarily the art of understanding Google and their latest algorism.
So are we to believe recent rumblings that Google+ might be winding down?
Speculation on the health of the Google+ seems to have been sparked by the recent and sudden departure of Vic Gundotra, head of Google+ social efforts, in April 2014. This was then followed by unconfirmed reports of shift of focus for employees in the Google+ team.
Some seem to believe that this may spell the beginning of the end for the social media platform, although others think that even if reports are true it would be unlikely for any internal changes to affect the SEO benefits of a company Google+ Page.
The ‘do we/don’t we’ Google+ argument has been going for a few years now. Some consider Google+ as simply another social media site alongside Twitter, Facebook and the many others – each with its own set of problems and types of user. Others perceive Google+ as a virtual ghost town that doesn’t warrant their attention. If you believe Google’s own figures on usage, they are actually pretty strong. As of October 2013 Google+ claimed approximately 540 million monthly active users out of 1.1 billion registered users. Some have treated those figures with skepticism though, due to Google’s policy of forcing users to create a Google+ account in order to access certain other Google services.
But does any of it really matter in the medium term, as long as your company’s Google+ page scores you some happy points with the search giant that is Google?
One thing we know for sure is that, right now, Google’s search algorithm favours Google+ content. Google search looks for relevance, engagement and response which means investing time in your Google+ page can improve your website’s search visibility. Your Google+ content could then rank in search results in instances where your website may struggle.
Another huge Google+ bonus is the integration with the long list of other Google products such as Gmail, Youtube, Analytics, Google images, Gdrive, Googledocs, Google search, need we go on?
Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO, once warned that “If you ignore Google+, Google Search will ignore you.” So, whilst Google+ certainly hasn’t delivered what we thought it might at this point, for now at least, we are certainly keeping our minds and our client’s Google+ pages well and truly open. We recommend that you do the same!