Google+ August 30, 2011What is it?Google+ is a social network launched by Google on June 28, with a private beta. In a little more than one month,the some 25 million members. It is a compilation of varied socialSparks (recommendation engine), Hangouts (video chat service), Huddle (group texting service), and Photos. Withthis growth, Google+ has established itself as a major participant within the social networking realm among majorplayers like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.How does it work? Account: An account can be set-up through invitation only in the current version; however, invitation codes can be found on Facebook, Yahoo! Answers, and other blogs and forums. Profile: Once a Google+ account has been set up, users are able to complete a profile and adjust privacy settings. If a Google Profile or a Gmail account has already been created, that data will automatically be populated to the Google+ Profile. People will be able to email users from a link on the profile, and this can be set to be public, private or somewhere in between using Google+ Circles. Circles: This is a hybrid of friending and following . Each person is placed within a certain group that they belong to. For example, a user could create Circles for coworkers, college friends, acquaintances, etc. Regardless of whether someone who is added to Circles adds the user back, the user will be able to see their public updates. Contacts can be imported from Yahoo and Hotmail, but not Facebook. Stream: This feature is likened to Facebook news feed; simply explained, it pulls information from posts made by people in circles. The user, or anyone following the user, can also give a personal endorsement, the +1 , to any post or comment. hide a post in the stream as well. Streams can also be sorted by Circles to see posts only relevant to work or to catch up on the latest news from friends.
Nurun: Google+ Overview Photos: Integrated with Picasa, the service currently lets users . Users have the option to approve or reject photo tags, and Google informs users when they have been identified in a photo. The interface makes it easy for people to upload photos from their mobile devices. The Instant Upload automatically uploads the images to their profile, where they are saved in a private album. The user then decides whether to make the images public. Sparks: Sparks is a content recommendation engine that finds the most relevant and interesting articles and videos on any subject. The Sparks feature sends new articles and video clips, which users can search for or save to their navigation to access any time. 2
Nurun: Google+ Overview Hangouts: YouTube is integrated into Hangouts to let up to 10 users watch a video together. It offers a push-to-talk feature when watching a video, to avoid speaker feedback. Video or audio can be muted as well. The video switches from person to person based on who is speaking into the microphone, similar to a video conference. Mobile App: The mobile application allows stream access, taking and uploading photos, viewing and updating profiles, and managing circles. o Huddle: Feature on Google+ app which lets members send texts to multiple users and generate real-time conversations. o Instant Upload: The Instant Upload feature automatically syncs pictures with desktop.How about Advertising+? While there are currently no advertising opportunities available with the initial release, Google has indicatedbusiness advertising as a goal to quickly incorporate. Drawing the majority of its revenue model from Ad Words,Google+ could do what Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social channels have not: marry search and social ineffective functionality. Some anticipated opportunities include being able to leverage advanced targeting of text anddisplay ads using the behaviors and actions across all Google platforms. With the ownership of DoubleClick and 3
Nurun: Google+ Overview Google Analytics, there are hopes of easier tracking. Remarketing opportunities could use this to follow searchesfrom the engines, to a website, and then to Google+ allowing marketers a greater depth of how they message andinteract. With Circles, hangouts, Huddles, Photos, Video, the Mobile App, etc., there are many ways Google will look toinnovate social ads. Digital marketing is ramped to take paid search marketing with Ad Words and turn it into paidsocial marketing with Ad Words+. This exciting opportunity will close the loop marketers have struggled with: closedloop marketing.A searcher currently visits a site, leaves, and visits a social platform such as Facebook and in essence becomesinvisible. Due to privacy settings and personal profiles, marketers cannot see the conversation and link buildinghappening on personal pages. Ad Words, Ad Sense and Google Analytics will allow greater reach, and opportunityto target online users through qualified search inquires and social media behaviors. There are features currently available to any marketer including Publish icons for Google+. This new icon appearingon Google search results, blogs, articles,Currently, the best practice is to use this publish feature to share news, content of interest, and articles ofinformation. Many publishers have events and newsworthy articles that could use this publish feature prior tobusiness profiles going live by Google+.Do I need to create a presence now for my brand?At the moment, Google+ is not designed for business use, and the Google+ team has asked users not to createbusiness presences using regular profiles. Shortly after Google+ launched, organizations began to create profileson the network, but Google+ aggressively removed these accounts. In early-July, Google+ announced a testprogram for business profiles and invited business and organizations to apply. However, the test program wasdiscontinued due to overwhelming demand from businesses and the need to focus on optimizing the consumerexperience. In response to user feedback, Google+ has announced plans to accelerate the road map to launchbusiness profiles sooner than expected, with a tentative launch slated for late-2011. The business experience onGoogle+ is expected to include rich analytics and the ability to connect business profiles with other Googleproducts, like AdWords.Google+ is running a small test with a limited number of organizations. Ford is the first major brand that has beenallowed to maintain test a as Google continues to test anoptimize user engagement, interaction, and functionality before rolling out business pages on a larger scale. 4
Nurun: Google+ Overview In the meantime, Google recommends that brands fias brand ambassadors or community managers using personal profiles. Pete Cashmore, CEO and Founder ofMashable, is the most prominent example of a Google+ user leveraging a personal profile to represent his brand.Brands can prepare for the launch of Google+ business pages by refining and optimizing presences on other -chance that other Google products will be integrated into Google+ as the network evolves. Brands can begin toprepare for future presences on Google+ by updating and optimizing content on Google Places and YouTube andby integrating the +1 button into owned online platforms when appropriate. Brands should also continue tooptimize content for search as Google+ will bring the worlds of search and social media even closer together.How does +1 affect SEM/SEO results?+1 helps people discover relevant content from the people they already know and trust. Adding the (+1) button toyour pages lets users recommend your content, even though business listings are not yet live. This is an easy wayfor Google users to recommend your content right from the search results pages (and, soon, from your site). The+1 button itself will appear next to your headline on search ads. Personalized annotations will appear beneath yourDisplay URL (for example, ). When a search ad with thatsame URL appears, a person in her circle might see the ad with the note "Amy and 28 other people +1d this." 5
Nurun: Google+ Overview Is there a benefit for me if +1 buttons appear on sites across the Web?Users will be more likely to recommend a site in the moment, while actually visiting the site. The +1 button on sitesgives users more chances to +1 your content as they encounter it across the web. The more +1s you have, themore likely it is for personal annotations to appear for your webpage listings when they appear in Google searchresults. +1s and personal annotations raise your visibility across the Web for Google users.Brand-focused advertisersThis feature creates the opportunity for Web users to +1 content about your business, service, or productswherever that content appears across the Web. Each time your content or a reference to your site appears with the+1 button, users are more likely to recognize your offering over time. When users +1 content within your pages,these interactions will appear under your link within Googles organic search results, increasing users interest inand awareness of your brand.Direct-response advertisersWith greater awareness of your brand, users are more likely to click through to your site to learn more about yourbusiness or service. Since these pre-qualified leads mean users are more likely to have an affinity for your productsand brand, these clicks will have more value, and will likely lead to better direct-response conversions.What will be included in the future?Google frequently refers to Google+ as a project, as it is only in the initial stages and it is anticipated to have manymore features rolling out in the short and long term. Included in speculative features includes: Polling: similar to Quora or Facebook Questions. Games: Google+ Games, a product rumored to be in development ever since Google invested $100+ million in Zynga, the creators of FarmVille and other social games Business Social Network: Once Google+ approves for companies to start using their network later this year, companies and brands will be able to target their audience on a much more devoted and granular level. Traffic: It has the potential to widely spread content and be a major driver of traffic to other websites. Googles search engine already serves that role, and Google+ undoubtedly will enhance it. Google+ has become one of the top 10 referrers of traffic to TechCrunch, a top technology blog, in a matter of days. Google Products Integration: Google wants users to know in the future there will be integration of all Google products rather than creating a stand-alone social application like Facebook has done. This could include: search, mobile search, reviews, Gmail, YouTube, news, images, places, latitude, maps, earth, wallet, offers, translate, voice, docs, calendar, and reader. 6