Understanding Google+

by Garreth Dickson on March 17, 2014

Woot Marketing had the joy of attending PubCon Las Vegas this year. The conference was jam packed full of useful and informative information that we’ve been implementing since we left. This conference is a premier search and social media event that we’ve attended several times now, and benefited every single time.

There was one session that stuck out that we knew we had to attend, and when Google reps walked up to us and told us that it was actual Google employees doing the session, we weren’t missing this. We all know Google is the god of the Internet. They run the online world, and they are the ones you want loving you.

This session was based on the fancy, yet very misunderstood, Google Plus. Yes, we’ve all heard of it. Yes, we’ve all played with it. No, not many of us have given it the chance it really needs. We ignored it, and are now questioning our ignorance and looking at things a little more deeply.

What You Can Do with Google+

Google+ seems to be a very misunderstood Google development since its initial release. It received a lot of hype, but not the traction many expected it to receive. It seemed like it was just another social media network where we’d all connect with our friends, colleagues and maybe your neighbours cat, that we are guaranteed connected with on Facebook, Twitter, and all the life sucking SM networks out there.

Since release of Google+ though, the developers behind this “new” social media network is really trying to differ themselves from the other guys. Congratulations Google, you have.

Google+ is, as they put it…

The Google+ project makes sharing online more like sharing in real life.

Features of Google+ 

  • Simple, clean navigation
  • Easy setup of accounts
  • Organization of followers/following (Google Circles)
  • Play Games, Chat, and Hangout (Google Profiles only)
  • Photos
  • Pages (more details below on Google+ Pages)
  • My Profile and +1’s
  • Search

Sure, these features sound similar to other social media networks, but Google has not only set the bar high with their own expectations of what Google+ will be, but they’ve also continued to out do themselves.

At the beginning of November, Google launched their latest Google+ addition, Pages. For every single Google+ account, you will have the ability to develop up to 20 pages. You can have specific circles for each specific page, allowing you to target the people you want with each specific Google+ page.

During the Google+ PubCon session, we sat and setup our Google+ Page in minutes. Would of been faster if we weren’t doing things by a smartphone. *note to self, take iPad to conferences ALWAYS!* The overall setup was a breeze.

The Google+ pages are always a great option for those looking to do more local traffic. Unlike Facebook & Twitter where you are spamming each individual person that “Like”/”Follow” you, Google+ gives you the ability to have local specific pages. Yes, this will open a lot of doors into the realms of localized search & localized marketing.

Differences Between Google+ Pages and Google+ Profiles

Google+ Pages are extremely similar to the Google profiles we’ve all been playing with the past few months, but they have some key differences that we feel you need to know:

  • Pages can’t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned.
  • Pages can be made for a variety of different entities whereas profiles can only be made for people.
  • The default privacy setting for elements on your page profile is public.
  • Pages have the +1 button.
  • Pages can’t +1 other pages, nor can they +1 stuff on the Web.
  • Pages can’t play games.
  • Pages don’t have the option to share to ‘Extended circles’.
  • Pages don’t receive notifications via email, text, or in the Google bar.
  • Pages can’t hangout on a mobile device.
  • Local pages have special fields that help people find the business’ physical location.

As you can see, Google+ Pages was the big topic of this session. When it came to Q&A at this session, one attendee asked why would they setup a Google+ Page for their business. In reality, it is a personal preference. Nothing works if you aren’t willing to work with it, just like Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts. Everything needs attention to make them worth while. Our personal thought, why wouldn’t you?

Google+ is a system that is going to be updating regularly over the next few months, as it is still fairly new. This Google+ session definitely shed some light on the confusion we were experiencing and are pleased with the information provided by the Google+ reps.

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