5 Reasons Your Practice Should Use Google+
Google+ is the newest social network that really matters (because it’s owned by Google), and every business in the world that cares about getting search traffic from Google had better take notice.
This is no small effort, and no half-hearted attempt at creating a social network to battle Facebook (remember Google Buzz?). The intelligent folks at Google have finally created a social network that has the potential to be a game-changer.
For the savvy Internet Marketer, Google+ has (or will soon) become THE place to be. The integration with other Google services makes it an essential tool for businesses, and the cultivation of the social aspects offers loads of potential for interacting with your patients and promoting your practice in multiple channels.
Facebook and Twitter will have their piece of the social marketing pie for the foreseeable future, but their relevance will likely be a inverse relationship with the popularity of Google+.
Based on the minor rant above, we obviously feel that Google+ is going to be important, but what are the specific reasons that we think it’s going to be essential?
5 Reasons Why Your Practice MUST rapidly adopt Google+
- Google+ Local will completely replace Google Places:
- On May 30th, 80 million Google Place pages worldwide were automatically converted into 80 million Google+ Local pages. This is probably the biggest development for the fledging social network, as it automatically makes it relevant because business owners are running full speed ahead to make sure that they don’t get left behind. There are many new features of Google+ Local, but I believe the most important is the fact that Google+ Local pages will be indexed, which was not possible with the former Google Places. This should be reason enough to get you moving.
- Google Verified Authors receive special treatment in the SERP’s:
- Google+ offers you the chance to become a verified author using the rel=”author” tag, which essentially links all of the content from your website / blog to your Google+ personal profile. Once you have become a verified author, the image from your Google+ personal profile will appear in the search results next to any content you have published (Example). This is huge for increasing your click-through-rate. Images that appear in search results have been shown to get more clicks than regular text appearing on the page. See this article by SEOMOZ showing the results of several eye-tracking studies that include images.
- Google+1’s could very well become the only links that matter for SEO:
- For years now, Google has been attempting to battle webspam, and their recent Penguin Update was designed specifically to devalue sites that had achieved rankings through paid links. Over 1 million website owners have received “Unnatural Links Notices” in their Google Webmaster Tools accounts, and have subsequently seen their rankings drop. I’m speculating here, but with Google’s recent aggressive tactics to battle webspam in the form of paid links, I have to assume that +1’s will become the primary link currency that Google considers when ranking sites. It’s been shown time and time again that Google gives preference to their own properties, so why would Google+ / +1’s be any different?
- Google+ results are displayed in Google SERP’s in a way that Facebook and Twitter aren’t:
- Everything that goes on our blog is automatically posted to our Facebook page, and has been since the beginning. While it’s a public page with a lot of content, it doesn’t rank as well as our Google+ Page. In fact, any posts added to our Google+ page rank almost immediately, yet posts added only to our Facebook page take days to be indexed and rank. All the SEO rules say that shouldn’t be the case, but Google is clearly giving Google+ profiles a little extra bump, so I would recommend you take advantage of that in order to get better rankings.
- Google+ helps you to combat duplicate content:
- When Google sees the same content on two web pages, they’ll only rank one of them. So if you’re the owner of a website, or if you want credit for the fresh content that you just added to your website, you need to notify Google that you’re the original author. To ensure that your content gets credited to you, and not some spammy site that has scraped your content, you need to post it on Google+ immediately after publishing. Google crawls their own Google+ feed religiously and will then have a record of your content in their index at an earlier date than anyone who may scrape and steal your content later. In other words, if you write it, plus it to protect it.
- Google gives preference to fresh content, and Google+ helps facilitate the recognition of fresh content: When we published this article, we ranked nowhere for the term “5 Reasons Your Practice Should Use Google+”.
- Within 14 minutes, we ranked #1 on Google for that term. Evidence that Google+ is extremely important to your Internet Marketing efforts? I think so…