Google's new social network could be a powerful Internet marketing tool
Google recently launched its own social network, Google+, and it’s quickly grown to over 25 million users in its first month. Some people think it will be a ‘Facebook killer’, others predict it will be a ‘Twitter killer’, and I’ve even seen one pundit suggest it will be a “LinkedIn killer”. Personally, I don’t think it will “kill” any of these established platforms. But I do think it’s more than just another social network.
Why? Because it’s Google!
One of the biggest problems for business owners doing Internet marketing is that there are two camps: search and social:
- Search marketing means getting your Web site to the top when somebody searches Google.
- Social marketing - or what I call “Authority Marketing” - means getting known within your network.
Both of these are important, but they sometimes conflict with each other. For example, I was recently running a webinar about how to write articles and get them published in different places on-line, and almost immediately a participant asked me whether this would hurt her Google ranking. It’s a fair question, and is a perfect example of the conflict between search marketing and social marketing.
That’s where Google+ comes in ...
Google knows that people don’t always use search engines to find stuff anymore. Instead, they ask their Facebook friends, subscribe to blogs and newsletters, tweet their Twitter followers, and so on. Google wants to improve its search formula to take this into account, but it’s been frustrated by companies like Facebook and Apple, who like to keep all their social data hidden from the outside world.
But, with Google+, Google finally has its own social network. Provided enough people sign up (and 25 million in the first month is a good start!), it no longer needs to rely on other social networks for its data. And that means it can start using this information in its search results.
Nobody knows exactly how this will work, and Google won’t say, but here’s a possible example: If you’re following me on Google+, and you do a normal Google search for something, there’s a chance that one of my Web pages will appear higher than somebody else’s page (assuming it’s relevant, of course). Not only that, perhaps your followers - who don’t even know me - will see the same thing.
This is important! It’s a huge benefit for me, because my Authority Marketing is automatically helping my search marketing as well. I don’t have to worry about Google diluting my search marketing because I’m becoming an authority, In fact, it’s the opposite: this is helping me.
That’s why I think Google+ is important.
It’s very early days for Google+, of course, so a lot of this is speculation. But I hope it makes enough sense to you that you’re at least willing to give it a try.
Don’t think of it as a Facebook or Twitter replacement (although some people have done this, and abandoned their Facebook and Twitter accounts). Think of it as a social network that could leverage your on-line marketing efforts - especially your Authority Marketing.
Here’s a recording from a webinar I did last week about Google+: