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Posts tagged Google Plus

Google Plus, all the changes and new features you need to know about

Google Plus Now that Google IO conference has finished and things have settled down, we can now look at what’s new on Google Plus. Instead of me rattling on what I think, Peg Fitzpatrick has posted on Leaders West a great piece summarising everything we need to know.

From Google Plus: Everything you need to know about the new changes

Google+ got a fancy new update with 46 new features which looks very much like a Pinteresty Facebook but in a very good, user friendly way. Let’s look at some of the new Google+ features. From Google+:

  • A multi-column layout. You’ll see one, two, or three columns of content depending on your screen size and orientation.
  • Awesome-sized media. Photos and videos can fill the entire width of the stream, making it easier to scan, and nicer to look at.
  • Delightful animations. The sharebox bounces, the menus slide, and the cards flip and fade — just to name a few.

 

 

Google+ comments hit blogger

blogger-google-plus

I nearly missed this, not sure if it’s because of my own lack of attention or due to the quietness of arrival. However, it seems blogger will be offering Google+ as a commenting system. This seems to be similar feature as per Facebook comments but so far only on blogger.

Engadget picks up on the privacy issue, from Google+ extends its reach into Blogger comments,

Blogger users can enable that feature in their dashboard, which will let them see both comments left directly on their blog and those made about their blog on Google+. Notably, it will also let users chose to either comment publicly or privately to only those in their Google+ circles — and, conversely, choose to only view comments from their circles instead of the teeming masses.

The Next Web discusses the advantage that Google has, it owns Blogger so it already has a huge audience ready to use the new system. From Google+ comments arrive on Blogger, shows drive to link the social network to all Google services,

Publishers that enable the new commenting system will see people’s activity from those directly on the site and those who are talking about the content right from Google+. Additionally, readers can leave comments specifically for those in their circle or in public depending on how comfortable they feel. In a way, the specific visibility option given by Google+, which does not appear to be on other commenting platforms. So if you’re particularly fascinated by a certain story, being able to comment but leave it to your close friends or those that you know would be fascinated by the dialogue, you can.

The comments platform also allows for tagging and threaded conversations so that particular discussions don’t get lost in the rambling.

As ever, Google will see this a trial. Depending on it’s success, we may see it rolled out to other services like Youtube.

Google+ now features communities, why small business should be interested

google-plus-communities The latest update to Google+ allows the creation of online communities. While not a staggering advance, it’s timing is interesting. Even if Google has been planning the update for a while, the new features come hot on the heals of the problems Facebook was having with fan page reach.

Facebook’s last bit of controversy hung around for quite some time. The main problem was that not everyone who clicked ‘like’ on a fan page would see every update from that page. Unlike Facebook, Google+ gives the controls over to those posting and reading. Don’t forget that every +1 clicked is counted along with  200 or so other items in their search algorithms.

If a business created a community around a brand or individual products on Google+, clicks on the +1 button will be worth more than clicking ‘like’. Also, reaching out to members of the community should be easier and more meaningful.

Will large brands move away from Facebook? Not for sometime. Samsung recently spent $10 million on Facebook advertising and sold  $129 million worth of Galaxy S III smartphones.

So if the big guys are going to stay away, it’s a great time for the small to medium sized business’s to get started on G+ communities.

The HubSpot blog has a post about creating and joining communities, Google+ Now Lets Users Create and Join ‘Communities’.

More research on social networks and SEO

Following the research the showed Twitter has a big effect on SEO, another has shown something rather different. A post on Open Forum, New Study Reveals Best Social Media for Search Ranking, discusses how a company called TastyPlacement put the networks to a not-totally-scientific but still revealing test, pitting Google+, Facebook and Twitter against each other.

The Austin-based company created six websites based in six similarly-sized U.S. cities and let them sit for 10 months. Then the researchers spent a month promoting five of the websites in one of five ways: Twitter followers, tweets and retweets, Facebook shares and likes, followers to the site’s Google+ business page and Google+1 votes to the homepage. The sixth site received no promotion to act as a control.

At the end of the month, the company measured how each site’s search engine ranking changed for a set of keywords. The changes over the month ranged from dropping 1.22 results to a rise of 14.63 rank positions—suggesting that social media does have an influence on search results.

The results showed that, “Google+ had the greatest effect. The website linked to a Google+ business page with 100 followers, yielding a 14.63 rise in search position. The website that had 300 Google+ votes rose 9.44.

Facebook also had an effect, “Facebook promotion had a small but demonstrable effect on the rankings. After 70 Facebook shares plus 50 “likes,” the test site here rose 6.9 in the rankings.

It seems Twitter was the worst performer, “…made a poor showing, at least in this study. After 50 tweets (and some retweets)—some original and some from the company—the linked site rose just 2.88 in the rankings. The truly bad news for fans of Twitter promotion is that the Twitter-promoted site actually did worse than the site with no promotion at all, falling 1.22 in the rankings, versus the no-promotion site dropping only 0.11.

Google+ complete cheat sheet

If you are still using Google+ then you might find this infographic from Techno Streak rather handy. It shows the keyboard shortcuts for navigating without a mouse and a heck of a lot more. It’s a large image but worth looking through and picking up tips and tricks you didn’t already know.

Google Plus Cheat Sheet Techo Streak

Google+ vs. Facebook: Facebook Strikes Back

Google Versus Facebook

This is the third part in a series of guests post by James Williams who is the Community Manager for TM International, a Paris-based recruitment agency. You may want to read the first and second part first.

More than 800 million active users.

More than 50% log in every single day.

The place where information finds us.

It’s the reigning champion of the social web, you didn’t think Facebook was just gonna lie down and let Google+ take over did you? Zuckerberg is fighting back against Page’s so called “little Facebook,” and the war of the web is just beginning.

Continue reading Google+ vs. Facebook: Facebook Strikes Back

Google+ vs. Facebook: Google’s battle plan

Google Versus Facebook

This is the second part in a series of  guest posts by James Williams who is the Community Manager for TM International, a Paris-based recruitment agency. You may want to read part one first, part three is here.

In Part 1 I focused on the explosion of Google+ onto the social business scene. I talked about the ever-increasing rivalry between the two tech giants, briefly mentioning some benefits and ultimately recognized Google+ as a force to be reckoned with. What I didn’t do was go into too much detail or discuss the future implications. Now unfortunately I cannot predict the future, but what I can do is explain what is happening right now and offer some suggestions on what I think is likely to happen in the next few months and the New Year.

Already, since Part 1, things have changed. Google+ was getting a lot of negative attention, and had been since its launch. Many people had written it off before even giving it a chance. But, in the last week or so, opinions and attitudes seem to have gradually changed. People are recognizing that Google+ is not a fad and it will not just disappear; it is something that has to be taken seriously. I mentioned a few of its benefits in Part 1 but the key focus was its potential, and its potential is huge.

Everyone wants to know who will win the battle for social dominance. Marketers are dying to find out so they can plan their strategy and know how they need to think. So, will Google+ overtake Facebook? And ultimately can Google beat Facebook?

As you are probably aware by now, this is not a question with a simple, or definitive, answer. The reason it isn’t as simple a question as: who will win the battle? is because the competitors are fighting for different things. Google and Facebook work in completely different ways and they have very different ideas when it comes to what makes the best social site. However, despite these differences, the rivalry between the two will continue to escalate and will without doubt impact you as a business.

So, in this part I am going to focus on what Google are doing (and planning to do) to “beat” Facebook.

Firstly, we have the +1 button. This is the fastest growing social recommendation widget in history, with over 5 billion impressions a day. Not bad. These +1’s are going to be connected to your Google+ brand page. This will allow Google to extend your brand on a global scale; and by analyzing who is recommending you and where you are being recommended, Google can put your brand where people are.

The +1 button is revolutionizing the world of recommendation. You should never forget the fact that people trust people. A recommendation could become more important than your advertising strategy, a reality that becomes a lot more real with the growth in influence of +1’s.

Now, I mentioned Google Direct Search in Part 1 but what does this mean for the future?

“in ‘+YouTube’ goes straight to the Google+ YouTube Page< and automatically adds YouTube to your circles on Google+ for easy following. An on-going relationship gets established through one Google Search. This isn’t about Google — it’s about Plus and your brand, putting you at the center of everything on Google.”

So, Google is giving you the ability to connect with customers in the easiest possible way. You will be able to develop much deeper relationships and this will prove invaluable because relationships are the most important thing in business. Google+ aims to transform your relationship with Google; they want to give you the power.

Another benefit I underlined in Part 1 was the importance of Google+ for SEO, but how will that become influential in the future? This is quite simple. Google+ will become more and more important for businesses because it is your Google+ page that will appear when customers search for you. Google’s updated search engine will ensure that all features of Google+ are inter-connected with all things Google, something which is quite simply going to become crucial to your company’s SEO.

If your business isn’t on Google+, it quite simply should be. But will Google+ beat Facebook? Well, Google+ is going to win but that doesn’t mean that Facebook is going to lose. As I mentioned, they are fighting for different things. Google+ will transform marketing and search branding. They are going to have an influence on you; that much is certain.

For now Facebook remain in the lead, and in Part 3 I’ll look at what Facebook are doing, and what they have to do in the future, to make sure that there remains more than one social superpower.

Which social network to use? Better to ask, which ones are my customers using?

Where will you spend your time, Facebook or perhaps Google Plus? Or even the less discussed Linked In? Are you on Twitter and invest your time Twittering? Services are competing against each other. They keep adding new features to attract new users. James Williams wrote a guest post last week discussing how Facebook and Google are competing for your time.

So where will you be? Choosing just one or plan to use them all?

Actually I think we are asking the wrong question…

Where is the conversation?

Are people already discussing your products and services? It could be they are doing it on your blog by leaving comments. I trust you are responding to them.

They could be talking about you on Facebook. Are you there answering questions and being helpful?

Are you aware they might be writing about you on Google Plus? Isn’t it time for you to find out?

Just what are they saying about you, your products and services on Twitter?

Join in the conversation

If people are talking about you then you need to be there and be part of the conversation. It really doesn’t matter where that is. Like any good business, you go where you see the market – go where the customers are.

Answer the critics, stop a crisis happening in it’s tracks. Encourage those who love what you do to talk about it, share the positive experiences.

No conversations going on? Create a place for it to happen

If there really is no chatter going on then it’s time to create a place and situation for it to happen. Create a Facebook page and invite people in. Ask questions, ask for opinions and keep on asking. Put out a few questions or ask for comments on Twitter. Good response? Keep at it.

Create the opportunities and follow where they go.

Google+ vs. Facebook: And the winner is…

 

Google Versus Facebook

This is the first part in a series of guest posts by James Williams who is the Community Manager for TM International, a Paris-based recruitment agency. Parts two and three are no available.

Last week, Google+ opened for business.

You can now create a brand page for your company and, over the last few days, many have rushed to do so. The buzz surrounding the event is nothing short of astonishing. It is being considered by some as a revolution in social business, and the battle of the tech titans has now become a war.

Continue reading Google+ vs. Facebook: And the winner is…

Google+ for business goes live

Google+ is now available for business (as reported on The Verge and Engadget), something a lot of companies have been waiting for. It’s taken 6 months to get here and apparently there is little difference to normal pages. Good news though that it is world wide.

From Google Blog, Google+ Pages: connect with all the things you care about

For businesses and brands, Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you. Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face. All you need to do is start sharing, and you’ll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello.

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I tried this out by creating a Google+ business page for this blog, it was really no different than a normal page.

How these business pages will compare against Facebook versions is any ones guess at the moment. But it does seem that Google is forging ahead so we are in for interesting times.