Google Plus has arrived in a big way. You might have noticed the little +1 buttons in your Google search results for the last few weeks but nobody really had much of an idea what it was about until now. In a nutshell Google Plus is another attempt by Google at launching a usable social network. You might be asking how this is different than Orkut or Google Buzz and you would be right to see similarities but there is a distinct difference and its that difference that also makes it greatly appealing to businesses when in comparison with Facebook & Twitter.
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What Makes Google Plus Different
That difference is that simply put they have combined the social networking with their own core competency… search. Facebook & Twitter don’t have the option to put “like” buttons and “retweet” buttons on Google’s search results pages. Since Google controls over 60% of the online search volume this gives Google Plus a huge audience and relevancy right out of the gate. This is also the single greatest reason why businesses will care about Google Plus.
While search engines like Google have been trying for a long time to factor in social popularity into search algorithms, only Google Plus is perfectly positioned to directly affect SEM. Consider that it would easy and sensible for Google to give higher rankings to websites and pages that have high social popularity via Google Plus. That can’t be done in the same way or with as much ease with Facebook likes.
Google Plus for Business and Marketing
If you are a business owner or webmaster the biggest thing you can do right now is to integrate a Google Plus button into your website and blogs. This can be done quickest with the Digg Digg plugin for WordPress. For now you will have to settle for this since Google Plus as a social network is currently for consumers only.
In a post from Christian Olsten, Product Manager on the Google Plus project, he remarks:
“We have been watching Google+ take shape over the last week and we’ve seen some really great companies get involved. But frankly we know our product as it stands is not optimally suited to their needs. In fact, it was kind of an awkward moment for us when we asked Ford for his (or was it her?) gender!”
They are working on it. They have big plans to make Google Plus an easy place for non-person entities and businesses to interact with current and potential customers. For now, go here if you would like to be considered in their beta program.
If you haven’t already downloaded the app from the Android Market click here. It won’t be any good to you unless you already have a Google Plus account. The App has three exclusive features. The first of those is “instant upload.” You can upload pictures and videos into the service and then share them with any of your “circles.”
You can also view your “stream” (Google Plus for news feed) and post directly to any of your circles. Adding your location when posting is made very simple.
Next you will fall in love with Huddles. Huddles are groups of individuals with whom you can chat within the Android App. This is one of the greatest innovations right out of the box with Google Plus.
How to Get an Invite and Get Started
If you don’t haven’t been invited yet visit this page and request an invite. You might be faster to just send out a few messages on Facebook and ask one of your friends to send you an invite. People aren’t super stingy with their invites because most users have 500 Google Plus invites to send… and that is a lot.