Ever since Google launched their social media platform, Google+, there has been little doubt that it has failed to match the current market leaders in social platforms, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
However, Google+ has one major advantage over all the competitors – the influence it has over the Google rankings.
Since Google+ is a Google product, there is no denying that they want the social platform to be featured in their own search results, makes sense right? But Google+ is rarely there by itself – it can be linked to your YouTube account and your Blogspot as well as Webmaster Tools. Linking all your assets together greatly increases the relevancy of your particular brand or persona online. It gives Google valuable information on relevant search queries and allows the results to be displayed with more information that is relevant to your brand.
Take Google Page 1 for example, if you don’t have a Google+ account or Webmaster Tools set up, you will see a basic result for your website(s) or social profiles. Now compare this to a website that is linked to a Google+ profile and/or Page, is listed in Google Places and has a supporting Blogspot. What you will see on Page 1 of Google (given enough authority to the search term) is an overview of your Brand, with an info panel containing your business or personal bio, recent posts you submitted on your website or blog and even sitelinks to your main website.
If done correctly, you will see a highly relevant Google Page 1 for your brand or identity. The choice is very simple: when people are searching for your brand or your identity, would you prefer Google to display content which you have control over or for Google to find results where it contains a mention of your brand or identity, which can include negative results? I think for most of us the choice is very clear.
So do not hesitate with implementing Google+ in your websites and social profiles, don’t discount it as a “ghost platform” which nobody really uses. It has a lot more power and influence in SERPs and it can all be controlled by you. If you haven’t already done so, start using Google+ badges in your blog posts and regularly updating your Google+ timeline, it pays off greatly for your online reputation.