We have all wondered how Google+ benefits anyone. Inbound marketers have had a love-hate relationship with the social platform since its inception in 2011. Finally, the inevitable happened yesterday.Google has announced plans to shut down Google+in the next 10 months.
What Does the Google+ Shutdown Mean For Inbound Marketers? In the statement, the issue at hand is data privacy and security. In a world where consumers, the public, companies, and governments aresensitive about cyber security, Google had to takedecisive action to avoid appearing in front of the senatelike what happened to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.
The Rise …And Plateau of Google+
Digital marketersinitially saw Google+ as a game changer. That was when there was lots of speculation on how SEOs,Bloggers, and companies can benefit from Authorship, AuthorRank, and other Google products. Now, views have changed. Most inbound marketers are lackluster about Google+, even those who religiously use it for post syndication.
To regular internet users, there has been a feeling of overwhelm. What do we need another social media platform for? Why should I post on Google Plus when I’m already on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and many other platforms?
To assess what this shutdown means foronline marketers, let’s first look at the promised benefits.
Google+ Benefits For Marketers
Google is the leader in digital search solutions. For this reason alone, digital marketers will always be quick to adopt any Google products. Nonetheless, inbound marketers had a lot of hope when joining Google+. Here are 4 major benefits marketers stood to gain from using Google+.
1. Google+ Has a High Potential Market Reach
Almost everyone I know has a Google account. And many businesses have Google My Business. Webmasters have Google Analytics accounts. Website contributors have Google Suite connecting their custom email addresses and offering a variety of other services. It only makes sense that Google+ can potentially connect you to these people faster than any other social network.
Google+ reportedly has over 2.2 billion profiles with at least 375 billion monthly users. That’s a huge potential market to target. It’s not a platform digital marketers orsocial media influencersare likely to ignore.
2. Google+ Offers Better Controlled Messaging
When you post of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms, your posts are set to public view by default. Of course, there are settings where you can segment your audience. However, they take time and some advanced know-how to set up.
With Google+, you can segment your contacts easily and at any point of interaction. This makes it easier for digital marketers to control their messaging and target specific audiences with specific messages. This is easily done through circles. Circles allow you to create specificsocial media marketing strategiesfor segmented audiences.
3. Google+ Has Instant SEO Benefits
More than any other social network, Google+ profiles and Google+ Business Pages can be easily optimized for search around particular keywords. They can even rank for non-brand keywords.
Additionally, by encouraging your friends, employees, and clients to +1 or share your posts, your posts and website gain social signals. This is a key SEO ranking factor.
Google+ content gets indexed faster by Google, therefore showing up in search results earlier. This is great for time sensitive information, financial trading content, and news articles.
4. Google+ Enhances Your Local Listing
Speaking of SEO, Google+ was seen by inbound marketers as one way to enhance your presence on local listings. This is because Google Plus ties your personal profile and business page to Google Places (formerly known as Google+ Local). Inbound marketers saw the opportunity of using Google+ Local to establish brands as leaders in their niche and within their geographical locations.
Will Inbound Marketing Efforts Suffer From Google+ Downfall?
Let me start with the good news. If Google+ has been working for your site and your brand, then you still have 10 months to enjoy those benefits. You also have that time to find viable alternatives.
Secondly, when Google made their announcement, they specified that they would shut down consumer accounts. It is still unclear what that means for businesses and brands. Google+ business pages may possibly continue to reap the benefits long after consumer accounts are taken down.
While it’s expected that most marketers will re-strategize how they use Google+ and other Google products, it is unlikely that the shutdown will have any adverse effects. SEO-wise, your site and landing pages will still retain any link juice from Google+ signals. Forblog syndication, marketers have many different alternatives that probably work better than Google+. Even Google’s Feedburner gives better results by driving RSS feeds to your target audience.
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