Why Google+ is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy

Why Google+ is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy

Reader Comments (120)

  1. I accept that I’ll have to use Google+ more often now, but that doesn’t mean I need to like it.

    In the past week, I decided to try and use the site a bit more. I’ve got a few hundred folks in circles, and it’s dead. It’s nothing like the vibrant communities I find on Twitter or Facebook – it’s just a place full of people that are only there because Google wants them to be there.

    It’s just so dull…

    • Hi Andy. Strange, I don’t get that vibe at all. I find Google+ active and interesting, with thoughtful commentary and conversation. Maybe I need to do a recommended follow list. 🙂

      • Funnily enough Brian, you’re one of the few people in my circles who actually posts!

        By the way – I had a piece of spam on my blog this morning from someone pretending to be “brian clarke seo copy wrriter expert” – are you hawking Ugg Boots on the side? 😉

          • I’m really not sure. They’re super expensive. Skechers makes the same style shoes and they’re insanely warm and comfortable… for a fraction of the price.

            Oh. Is my frugalista showing?


            Thanks for breaking this whole Google debacle down for me. I think part of the reason Google did what they did was to further keep content farms out of search results. Soon it’ll be impossible to get any juice from Google… unless you’re actually publishing useful, interesting content on your website. They just took social searching to a whole new level, and frankly, I can’t wait to see where this goes!

            …And now my nerd is showing. 😉

    • I second Andy’s opinion. Maybe it’s the small amount of people in my circle, or because I’m brand new there. I see other people having a few conversations, but not many people jump in there to be part of someone else’s circle like Twitter and Facebook.

      And it’s funny that this post arrived today, which is the day I just started my own Google+ page. It’s great!!

    • You can see if a user is worth following by checking when was the last time they’ve posted anything. There are many big names out there, who are very active on Twitter but don’t use G+, while others have embraced it fully. I know it’s a commonplace, but G+ is what you make it to be :).

      • I don’t agree with this really, many people are extremely active on Google Plus but set their posts to circles or extended circles rather than public, only a fraction of my posts are ever public. However, if the person is followed by a lot of people then chances are (though not always) they are pretty active.

  2. I’ve actually enjoyed Google+ so much thus far because it wasn’t attractive to the “lolz that awkward moment when…” crowd and people who were only there to get backlinks and sales. We all knew it would start trying to attract the latter group however, so it’s not exactly a shock.

    As long as it stays easy to keep the social content and the backlink spammers separate, it’s all good.

  3. I have an account in Google+ and it sucks that I have to add it in my todo list. But you’re right, it’s not like we have a choice on the matter. If I’m not in Google+, a competitor will surely find a way to get there and eventually force me to catch up. Might as well be the one dictating the pace.

    Thanks for the heads up, Agent Smith.

    • Ronald, you hit the nail on the head. People can stomp their feet and make a stand against adding Google+ to their online marketing to-do list, but while they’re “making a stand,” their competitors will be showing up in search and building relationships with their clients. Like you said, you might as well be the one dictating the pace.

      • Gwen, I see this as a situation where we can become market leaders instead of followers. Wouldn’t you have liked to have this insight when Facebook and Twitter first started? I need to remind myself to spend more time on Google+, but I don’t begrudge the time I spend there.

        • I agree Denise. I’ve been using Google+ since it first launched — and more recently for the business. There’s always going to be something new — that’s the nature of web. Early adopters get the worm?

  4. “You’ll only see the Your World aspects when logged into Google”
    Brian, that’s technically true, but there’s another aspect to it. Danny Sullivan showed that even if you are logged out you will still see “related Google+ people and pages” on the right side of results…above the ads!

    Log out and try the search “music” or “seo”

    Google has a link underneath that says: “Learn how you could appear here too”. And the 3 steps they lay out are the new rules of SEo. Here it is, from that page:

    1. Fill out your profile
    Make it easier for people to find you by completing your Google profile. Make sure to have a high quality photo and update your interests.

    2. Post about your favorite topics
    Share and comment on the topics you care about and Google will share your posts and comments with people in your Google+ circles when they’re searching.

    3. Appear in search results
    Once you’ve created a Google profile and engaged with an audience on topics you’re interested in, you’ll be eligible to appear on the right hand side of search results. The more quality content you create and the more people that engage with you, the more prominent your profile will become.

    Read more here: http://www.google.com/insidesearch/relatedpeople.html

    Content is king, once again.

  5. I’d surely love to see more interactions on Google+ and I’ll keep an eye on what they might come up with. My assumption is that people are either too busy to engage there, or they’re just waiting for something much better.. A little competition is normal, so long as it’s healthy, and I think that they should all work together in addressing issues people are having today… and what about SOPA and other issues shaking the very foundation of the Social Web?

  6. I agree with Andy above in a certain way, other than the tech/blogging niches on Google+, the rest is pretty dead when you compare it to Twitter and Facebook, but with time I assume that will change, more and more people will be turning to Google as slowly all their services get integrated to Google +.

    Also, from an SEO perspective, Google + is a must for success down the road.

  7. For our company, Marketing Press, G+ is a different type of engagement. It’s much easier to push out relevant content using wisely crafted circles. Ultimatey, if that assists with search — great, but for us it’s still about pushing out the right message/information to the right audience to gain market position.

  8. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for Google+ a couple of weeks ago. Surprised to say, so far I like it more than Facebook or Twitter. (Not that I actually like either of those services that much.) Yes, it’s quieter, but I don’t mind that. I particularly like that you can put a link in context much more effectively than you can on Twitter. Plus, reading Twitter streams makes me feel like I stuck my head in a blender.

  9. I find the Google + in my search results and Facebook integration into everything else extremely creepy. I miss the days where I was just another anonymous statistic on the internet.

  10. Great article Brian about G+ and how it has impacted SEO.
    Google understands that the web is becoming more and more social each day and for their search engine to survive and be relevant they had to include social signals into their algorithm. We as professionals in this industry also need to be mindful of this and that the old school method of SEO or should I say SEO Spamming by just slapping up an article and buying or swapping a few links here and there just don’t work anymore. Google and your audience have become wise to this and why it’s important to embrace the social web in your business.

  11. Your World is the thing that made me switch back to Google from DDG. The results are just too good with circles factored in to pass it up. My experience is that my blog went from getting no search traffic to getting tons, and 99% is from G+ search.

    I hope I’m right and it doesn’t shift everyone to Google’s own web, because I like a distributed Internet where no one player holds all the content. That would be bad. Just make sure you’re building your mailing list and profiles on other social media outposts, otherwise you risk coming to depend on Google. 🙂

  12. This is somewhat good and bad in a sense because as Danny Sullivan pointed out this is why we use the search engines in the first place to find reasonable information outside of our normal circles of searches. But, this is a great feature for online marketers and bloggers because your now going to be able to place your content in front of people that actually want to learn from you.

    One of the first thoughts that came to my mind are the people that create niche sites that rely 100% of their traffic on Google. This is going to be interesting for them because it might not just rely on how many backlinks you can now get to your site anymore. So over the course of this year this should be very interesting to see what happens and how this could shake up the entire marketing world.

  13. As sad as it may seem, an old adage applies here:
    “He who has the gold makes the rules.”
    Right now, Google has the gold if you’re using outside websites (Twitter, Facebook, G+, etc…) to interact with people. So, Google Plus should be one of the tools you’re using for content marketing, yes (for now).

  14. I kinda got the vibe from Google+ that it is a waste of time. When looking at my metrics, I found I have a higher interaction rate from Digg, Twitter and Facebook than Google+. Like upwards of 10 to 20 times the engagement than on Google+. That’s just what I personally noticed on my sites.

  15. Yeah, I know I’ve been avoiding the inevitable. I, personally, don’t want to spend time on another social networking site. But here’s to sucking it up… *raises glass*

  16. I’d like to see Google + come up with a comment system to compete with Facebooks — that would make it easier to get a community to check out the + page.

  17. Thank You Brian.
    I am just new in this content marketing game and I have already opened accounts on other social network platforms, except Google+. This is a very eye opening post and I will immediately ask for an invitation from my friends on there. Being a beginner in the blogosphere, getting targeted traffic from google is something I am really looking forward to.

  18. Great post Brian – thanks for sharing it. I’ve been trying to get the hang of Google + for a while now so this is nicely timed.
    I understand the “big picture” benefit of being there but I agree with Danny Sullivan’s comment about being trapped in a sticky web. I first figured that out when I start appearing as number 1 for certain keywords… YAH! oh… hang on a tick. I guess that’s just a matter of tweaking your search options for the kind of reach you want your search to have right?
    Just like any other platform I play on, the more time I spend the more benefit I get. So I need to keep posting, searching, and engaging with other people and then, well then I’ll be as plus’d up on Google as I can be.

    I do wish I could integrate Google profiles though. I didn’t realise the potential when I dipped my toe in and now I’m left with different logins. BOO.

  19. Brian,
    I agree with you about the inevitability of Google Plus as a content marketing vehicle. The funny thing is business and marketers don’t seem to really care yet. I think there will be a tipping point in the near future though when it becomes to big to ignore. Do a search on “Google Plus for business” or “Marketing on Google Plus” and no one’s advertising (and those searches have amazingly low search volume). I just posted the data on my site yesterday. I was frankly surprised by the lack of interest.

  20. It’s funny how second nature building out your presence on Twitter and Facebook has become and many people have no idea how to effectively utilize Google Plus. It”s built so well for consuming and sharing content it’s scary! Plus you don’t have all of the distractions that come with Facebook and Twitter. We cannot wait to see how useful Google Plus becomes with content marketing.

  21. “immerse yourself in the Google+ social ecosystem while continuing to create great content.”

    This is just creepy. It feels cultish.

    I know, I know “Shut up and drink the damn Koolaid already.”

  22. In as much as I would love to use Google +, I can’t because my page is in my native tongue, which is in Pilipino. How can I change it into American English, the language I am more comfortable with?

  23. Noe that you have told us about the importance of google plus. I would really appreciate a blog article that discusses how to effectively use it to drive traffic and increase SEO?

    Any thoughts?

  24. So Brian, what’s the strategy for taking advantage of the rise of Google+? Is it to write content on G+ that is too short for a blog, too long for Twitter, and too meaningful for Facebook?

    • The strategy I think is much like Twitter … curate relevant content alongside sharing your own content. Some people do post content directly to Google+, which I’ve only done occasionally. But since I don’t have (or want) a personal blog, perhaps I’ll throw out some short content that is Google+ only. The other key is to be present for comments and conversation — that’s where Google+ really shines over Twitter.

      • I’m with you on not wanting or having the time for a personal blog, but it just dawned on me that Google+ can be an outlet for content that I’d like to write about but doesn’t fit for my audience.

  25. I had set up a Google+ account as soon as I could (and since I couldn’t get an invite to save my life, that took a little while) and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m finding more and more of the freelancers that I already know on the site and that’s leading me to new networks of people. You’re very right when you say that Google+ is a platform for sharing.

  26. When G+ first came out I saw the writing on the wall that it is a must use platform. It is all about who you follow though. I started following the best photographers I could find and that actually improved my photography skills. I am now doing the same thing with writers.

    I find the quality of conversation 10 times better than facebook and 140 characters just isn’t enough for anything.

  27. Finding a targeted audience using social media is an expensive proposition. There are many social media businesses providing services to help you get there but you better have the budget. I approached a Facebook friend to explore social media assistance (i.e. help me build a targeted audience) and the first question was “what is your budget”. This is from a trusted acquaintance giving me an honest answer. He builds tools which he sells to social media consulting companies who cater to clients needing to build a social media presence.

    • David, the key is to create great content, which is what people in social networks want to spread. This requires a budget if you don’t do it yourself, but beware “social media experts” who tell you that a network can be built without content.

      • Thanks Brian. As I was writing my comments and after, I kept thinking about “content marketing” and what that means. Your comments completed my thoughts. It is the content (or the substance) that needs to be created and shared. I see lots of content, far from being unique, being passed around – I conclude that is not effective because after a while, I begin to ignore the repeated stuff from various people. And I take your caution very seriously, sometimes all the activity is around building the connections with tools and “stock” content to push around.

        BTW, during yesterday’s blackout, I got many notifications about your pages but I could not see them. And I deleted all my notifications! There may be other answers to my comments that I don’t know about.

  28. I’m part of a team that manages social media for a well-known brand. We have over 100k likes on FB and 10k followers on Twitter. I’ve been tasked with growing our brand visibility on Google+, and created a brand page in November, but still have fewer than 500 people in our circles. Any thoughts on ways to grow that following, despite the lack of any G+ promotional tools? Any idea when G+ might roll out some tools for promoting pages?

      • Other than posting content daily and commenting on other pages, is there anything else I can do to grow our following? We had considered doing a giveaway on our Google+ page, but that appears to be against Google policy. It seems there is no way for us to reward people for adding us to their circles, which makes it pretty hard to grow our following in the same way we can on other social media platforms.

        • Are the personal accounts for your company doing the same? They don’t have the same restrictions, and people are more likely to follow through to their profiles. Brand pages just aren’t very inviting unless you know the people behind it.

  29. A G+ page is not necessary.
    A working, appealing way to generate leads is. For you, it’s G+, Twitter.
    For me it’s tech blogs.
    We sell different things, and such, but I instigate my relationships and seek the ones I want.

  30. Yes, yes, a million times yes! Lots of ink has been spilled about this development since “Search Plus” was announced, but this is one of the best analyses I’ve read, particularly from the content marketing perspective. My agency has been following G+ since its launch and we also saw the SPYW integration as the tipping point from interesting new network to inevitability. (Our take is here: http://blog.cdginteractive.com/my_weblog/2012/01/ignore-google-at-your-peril.html)

    And yet you have to wonder, is “inevitability for search results” really the best way to encourage a vibrant online community? Right now it feels like people will be on Twitter and Facebook because they want to be, but Google+ because they have to be. It ain’t over yet, that’s for sure.

  31. I would say Google has a stranglehold on me and that is true even before Google+. I use so many Google services that a big void were be apparent if they were to suddenly disappear. I have been on Google+ for a couple of months and I am using it to learn how it works as well as to find new content and people. I have not invited my Facebook friends to move over to Google+ as I reason why bother – we are doing fine on Facebook.

    • I agree with you David, on two points you make. 1) Google has a stranglehold on people – a lot of people. And 2) most online marketers are still doing just fine with Facebook and haven’t see the real reason to get everyone over to Google+ yet.

      I’m pretty sure that it’s time to give in to Google and allow them to tighten that stranglehold by getting everyone you can over to Google+ though. You and YOUR people should be on Google+ before your competition and THEIR people are on Google+.

      • Krysha, I concur with your points. Whereas Facebook may be a social media platform that business interests choose to use, Google+ may become the platform that business interests must use.

        I use my Facebook profile as a mix between personal and business while I have Facebook fan pages set up specifically for my web properties. For my personal Facebook friends, they are not likely to move over to Google+.

  32. I’ve been telling my friends, “It’s Google!! Duh!” and they keep giving me critiques of Google + and comparing it to their other social media favorites. And I keep repeating, “It’s Google!” Thanks for spelling it out so well. I’m sharing this article with everyone I know.

  33. I love Google and I love Google+. I think you are dead-on and regardless of how you feel about g+ you need to utilize it. Great article and advice. Thank you for the insightful post!

  34. I agree with you Brian, there is no point throwing a hissy fit about yet another site. If it is going to be there, it is like having a stoplight installed in your neighborhood. Get used to it. You need to abide. But more than that, I have really enjoyed exploring it, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is going to be an empire for marketers and businesses in the future. In fact, just today I made one one teeny weeny remark about being a journalist, and there was a tidal wave–no, more like the white-crested tsunami waves in the woodblock prints of that famous Japanese artist (name escapes, darn middle-aged deteriorating brain cells)–of folks tickling my inbox, coming at me through Google+ mobile messenger, and being downright clownish in their outreach. I am collecting stories of successful business development, and will open the kimono at the right time. Along with an solid understanding of search, manicured writing skills, and a brand that is distinguishable from every other, today’s online strategist NEEDS to be at the Google+ house party.

  35. You had me at “That is the sound of inevitability”.
    But the rest of the article was good too. 🙂
    Then, I got to the “Circle me up on Google+ and we’ll observe, adapt, and conquer together”. Done.
    Thanks for everything. Your RSS is first on top of my Reader.

  36. Google+ is only inevitable if you believe that Google’s dominance in search is inevitable, and its hardly that — at least in my opinion. Google is on very tenuous ground, which is why they resorted to Google+ in the first place. Their search dominance is being chipped away at (not by a search competitor, per say) every day by Facebook, Twitter and Apps (Apple leading the way here).

    Search has gotten clogged up with spammy SEO links and ads. I think people’s reliance on Google for search is going to be on the wane in the next few years – as they use apps or rely on recos from their friends on Facebook.

    Because of this, it is far too premature to say that Google+ is something that content producers HAVE to use.

  37. If you’re into social media, internet marketing, SEO etc, you’ll probably find Google+ very useful, and be able to link up with lots of like-minded people.

    However, if you have a website about cookery, tennis, travel or whatever, you’ll probably find Google+ is quite dead (unlike Twitter).

    As Alte pointed out, Google+ is not simple to use, so people in the latter group probably won’t bother making the effort.

  38. Brian, thanks for weighing in on the topic with your post. Google really are committed to Google+ but so far here in Australia its a ‘ghost town.’ Very very few of the big banks and brands have a decent presence on it. My company is on Google+ but so far its just so we can tick that box. Its a good alternative for people who don’t want Facebook. On the other hand, I love what Bing are doing integrating Facebook data onto their SERPs (see the vdeo on seomoz.org/blog/phoenix-rising-bings-new-webmaster-tools-whiteboard-friday at the 9:00 mark)

  39. G+ changed few things but it is a dead portal (at least I think so). So google’s trying to make people create new accounts- for example changing google places to g+ places. I wouldn’t create my g+ account if this haven’t changed.
    If all the changes are going in this direction we will (marketers, seo’s etc.) have to make and use ours accounts. And I personally don’t like mine, it’s not as clear as fb profile.

  40. Never knew that Google+ was this powerful. The initial feedback was that G+ won’t survive the social media tide along with FB and Twitter. But this is indeed a great news for me and for thousands of other Content Marketers in this world. I am going straight away to G+ create my page. Thanks for this great post.

  41. Wondering how many people will make the effort on Google+ considering it’s ease of use (or lack thereof). We’ve set up Google+ on our site but have yet to set up a Google+ page.

  42. I think Google has done an excellent job of scaring the pants out of everyone with the Pandas, Penguins, Google+, You Tube… It all goes back to them. So we know who is the CEO of SEO… need I say more. Nevertheless, it is clear that in order to increase the revenue stream, you have to know what Google is up to. Still not completely sold on G+ though. I think you can do more with You Tube and a combination of other methods.

    Take care guys.

  43. Hey, should I link my niche website with google+ personal account, or is it ok to create a special google+ for that website, and put the name as in “Website name” ?

  44. The only reason why most people are using Google + is because they need it not like it. I bet, at least 50% of the users are webmasters trying to get a link back (google + is dofollow). Not to mention that in the internet rat race most webmasters own several google + accounts, for the same reason.
    So, I really doubt that these 90 million users are there for the love of Google + .

  45. G+ doesn’t have a buzz yet, as in, Hey, did you see that pic of president shared on twitter? or Someone liked that status update on Fb so many times? Nobody talks like that for G+. Most people seem to use it just to get the SEO points out of it. Remove the name Google from G+, and then see how many people still use it. It doesn’t seem effortless and fun, like many other social media networks.

  46. Google is desperately trying to force people to use it. Now you have to have an account to leave a review for a local business. They might have a lot of users but the fact is that those users are there because Google is forcing them to be there not because it’s great or awesome. Facebook never forced anyone to sign up for an account. Users came to Facebook because they wanted to.

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