The old joke among SEO and Social Media agencies, that Google is socially awkward (much like its competitor and Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg) has been revived as of late, with mixed reaction toGoogle+ (aka Google Plus). Whether people will actually use the new social network remains to be seen, but the #1 name in search continues to plow away at its new model, hoping that users won’t compare Google+ to Facebook or recognize it as Google’s attempt to compete with it.
Tech bloggers fall on every possible point of the opinion spectrum. Responses to Google Plus range from The Business Insider calling it a “long-awaited Facebook clone” to MG Siegler of TechCrunch writing, “It’s social, it’s bold, it’s fun, and it looks good.”
Of course, Google+ is still largely in a trial stage; but right now, the negative seems to outweigh the positive. “Google has fallen on its face repeatedly as it tries to build social networks,” The Business Insider blog says. “Google+ might have a better design than the rest, but we haven’t read a compelling reason to use “+” over Facebook or Twitter.”
Despite the mixed reviews. Google+ has already hit a total of 18 million users (66% male to 33% female), making it the social networking site in history, but growth is already starting to slow. While some social media experts are already calling this the beginning of the end, others are simply chalking it up to a decline in “soft grand opening” hype and expect to see growth take off again once the service is open to all Google account holders.
But for business owners, who may stand to benefit from consumer use of Google Plus and its +1 button (much like the Facebook “Like” button, it can help boost a company’s online visibility), it may not be wise to listen to the tech Google Plus.
We recommend trying it for social media optimization purposes, and certainly encouraging your current social media audience to do so as well – because they are the users who will click your site’s +1 button. If users are faithful in clicking your +1 button, this may very quickly lead to a boost to your search engine rankings. Our social media agency will continue to experiment with Google+, and keep you updated on what we find.