With the Financial Times announcing that it has reached more than 1m Google+ followers, the social media network from Google has regained some much needed positive coverage. The FT has laid claim to the title of the network’s ‘fastest growing newspaper brand’ and is a strong Google+ advocate. This is all good news for Google, as media reports to date have often criticised the perceived lack of popularity of its newest social media invention, particularly as other social media channels (including Pininterest) have raced ahead, stealing the limelight. Some have wondered – just when will Google+ start to make an impact?
Google+ has now reached 100m users since its launch in 2011 – an eighth of the 800m users claimed by Facebook – and businesses are keen to understand what this means to their search rankings. Essentially, if Google+ users run a search (when they’re logged in), the findings will also include personal social results, pushing public listings further down the page. Crucially though, the search only incorporates information from their Google+ social graph and doesn’t currently factor in Facebook and Twitter results. It remains to be seen how search patterns will shift as users’ social information begins to feature more heavily.
Companies can fight to maintain their rankings by creating a Google+ page, linking it with their website and applying the same rigorous SEO tactics to their page, while ensuring that any guest blogs also link to it. The FT for instance has highlighted the value in being able to personalise content for specific audiences based on their interests, and has maximised the visual nature of the platform to include image-led content such as videos and infographics.
As the Google+ platform continues to evolve, the company has also announced a new ‘recommendations’ feature to its ‘+1’ function. The new feature will allow users to see suggestions for relevant content when hovering over the ‘+1’ button of a particular website, including recommendations from friends. The ‘+1’ function itself was originally introduced to enable users to tell Google whether a piece of content or search result was useful or interesting.
We’ll keep you posted on Google+ developments as we work with our clients to help them conquer Google’s latest social media offering!