Google+ is definitely getting plenty of attention in the social networking world these days. The platform is open for users to register, use and report issues. Businesses and brands have however been asked to wait (by Google itself), before they establish their camps in this all-imbibing social network. The search engine giant apparently wants to make things ready for businesses and brands, before they venture into it for their social media marketing. In a post by Christian Oestlien, Product Manager, Google+, it has been mentioned that this new social network is being created for an optimal experience for both users and brands. Google had started tests with certain brands, (one of them being, Ford) to study how things work out and how customers interact with brands on Google+. Therefore, right now, businesses and brands have some time to go, before they can start socializing with their customers on Google+.
There are however, some interesting aspects that brands can make a note of, regarding Google+ and search results. Google+ incorporates its own Search utility. This Search will work in a slightly different way, than the regular Google search. According to Google, when a user searches for something using the Google+ Search, (some suspect that when a user is simply logged into Google+, but performs a search on the regular Google page), the results will be obtained from within Google+ (posts, people) as well as from the entire web. Therefore if a user has included a particular brand in his/her Circles in Google+, and if the user searches for something related to the brand, then the search results will include the brand’s page/s. Therefore, for the same query, a different user might see different search results, depending on that user’s Circles. Even the +1s from the user will be taken into account while producing the search results. On the other hand, if a user is not logged in, the search results for his query will be totally different. In this case, it would be a normal organic listing or a normal Google search. Danny Sullivan in one his article, thus mentions how being in the Circles of users helps in better ranking for businesses and brands. Todd Defren, who created PR-Squared.com, conducted a quick experiment on this, and has noticed the same.
Thus, Google is much better equipped to decide about what people favor when they are searching for something online. Brands will have to engage their customers in a way that they can get included in their Circles and get more +1s, in-order to rank better.
The next question that pops up is – Google+ vs. other social networks. According to experts, established networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and others will not immediately feel the pinch of the launch of Google+. These other networks still have plenty of users and brands using them comfortably. So a sudden depletion of users might not happen soon. But eventually, businesses (especially small and medium sized ones) will want the most cost effective way of marketing and handling other business activities. And Google+, which integrates several tools for these purposes would seem like the best choice. Here’s what Ray Grainger, founder of Mavenlink, a one-stop shop for consultants/freelancers for delivering client services, had to say to TheNextWeb about how small and medium sized businesses will react when Google+ becomes ready for brands – how SMBs will react when Google+ launches for brands.
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