Posts Tagged 'google'

Google’s Search Plus your World: Why bother with SEO when all you need is Google+?

By Madeline Willman (@MadelineWillman)

A few months back, Google came out with its Google+ brand pages and SHIFTer, Kristi Eells, wrote a post about why healthcare companies should care. Kristi explained that at the time, “creating a Google+ page will not carry weight over companies without a profile…” However, on Jan. 10, this all changed when Google released its biggest change with “Search Plus your World,” a feature that integrates Google+ pages into users’ search results.

Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land wrote an extensive article explaining how Google’s Search Plus your World works. Here’s what you need to know:

Search Plus your World allows users with Google accounts to search ‘globally’ or ‘personally.’ When you are logged into your Google+ account you will see posts and pictures from your Google+ profile and from those in your circle. For example, when I search for SHIFT Communications, five personal results within my Google+ page and circles show up that mention “SHIFT Communications.”

When logged into Google+, Search Plus your World will automatically be turned on, but you can opt-out by clicking a toggle:

However, even when opted out of Search Plus your World and not logged into Google+, Google still shows Google+ pages before Twitter and Facebook pages when searching a particular topic. For example when searching for “music” Google provides Britney Spears and Mariah Carey’s Google+ pages on the left hand side. One may question why some of the biggest pop stars in the world like Katy Perry and Justin Bieber don’t show up: They don’t have Google+ pages.

This proves that if you want to have a better chance of showing up in Google’s results, a Google+ page is in order.

The change has shocked the tech community with backlash from influencers like MG Siegler who noted, “Google is using Search to propel their social network. They might say it’s not a social network since it’s a part of Google, but no one is going to buy that. They were late to the game in social and this is the best ca
tch up strategy ever.”

There are also multiple anti-trust and privacy discussions, but even though there has been ongoing controversy over Search Plus your World; it doesn’t seem to be disappearing any time soon. Google is the king of search with 64 percent of the market share (according to comScore’s December findings) and if Google is making it a priority, brands probably should too.

Regardless if Google is doing the right thing or not, the fact is: Google+ pages show up in search results before Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin results – if you want your company to have a better chance at staying at the top of search results you should think about getting on board and building out a Google+ profile.

Read Search Engine Watch’s Jason Cormier’s take on the issue in his article, Why Your Business Needs to Be on Google+ Now and check out how to build a Google+ page below:

Battle of the Brand Pages: Can Google+ Pages Knockout Facebook?

By Marlesse (@marlesse)

Last week, Google announced that it will offer Google+ Pages to brands, businesses and celebrities. Heading up to and following the announcement, speculation surfaced from tech and social media buffs alike as to whether Google+ pages could be the game-changer for the budding social network.

Despite largely positive reviews from users and reviewers alike, Google+ has yet to regain its early momentum (the site went from 0 to 20 million unique visitors in three weeks!) and instead, has seen slumped engagement numbers – the most recent report from Chikita, a data analytics company, shows that since the launch of the network, traffic has fallen 60%. Google+ received even more heat after Michael DeGusta from UnderStatement.com posted the infographic below showing that the majority of Google’s management either don’t have a Google+ account, or have never even posted.


Instead of jumping into the fray, let me lay out an overview of all that Google+ Pages can do for brands and other commercial names. That way, you can decide for yourself whether Google+ will take over the world with a bang, or go out with a whimper.

How to launch a Google+ Page:

Google created an online guide that shows brands how to:

  • Launch the page
  • Share updates
  • Promote the page
  • Measure analytics such as traffic and interactions to determine how they affect the brand

My favorite thing about Google+ is the ease with which corporations can engage their followers. I’ve listed a few tools below:

Tailor Messaging through circles:

Because Google recognized that different people are interested in different parts of a business, it incorporated Circles into its social network. This way, brands and friends alike can tailor messages to specific people. Facebook also saw the merits to tailoring messages and quickly launched Friends Lists.

Chevrolet is already making use of Circles on its Google+ test page. The brand sent out an update to its followers asking about their interests so they make sure to keep them looped into their favorite topics. Chevrolet gave its fans the following options to choose from: Outdoors & Recreation, Events & Entertainment, Racing & Performance and Innovations.

Receive Direct Follower Feedback with Hangouts:

With Hangouts, brands can host video chats with up to ten participants. While it seems that this is something that only smaller companies could really take advantage of, the X Games Google+ Page has already held a Winter X Games Hangout with athletes Louie Vito, Mat Hoffman, Sarah Burke, Brian Deegan, Ryan Nyquist and host Brandon Graham. In addition to the athletes, X Games hosted a contest to select a few fans to join the Hangout and ask some of their favorite athletes a few questions. If you want to checkout a video of the hangout, you can go directly to the X Games Google+ page or go view the video on YouTube here.  So while this function may seem limited, it doesn’t mean it’s entirely irrelevant to big companies!

Immediate Access to Google+ Brand Pages through Google Search:

Google’s newest feature, Direct Connect, makes it dead simple for users to find and follow brands on Google+ through a normal Google Search. If a user wants to find a brand on Google+, all they have to do is type ‘+’ in Google search, followed by the brand or business they want to follow. So if a user wants to follow Macy’s, they would simply type ‘+Macy’s’ in the Google Search box and it will bring up a direct link to the Macy’s Google+ Page.

And these are just some of the high-level features! Now that Google+ Pages has been launched, do you think more people will engage on Google+, or do you think Facebook is just too big to compete with? Include your thoughts below!

Why Social Media Will Save Us From Information Overload

By Amanda Guisbond (@agbond)

There’s no dearth of news these days.  Let’s take the most recent earthquake (ahem, aftershock to Boston and NYC) on the East Coast as an example of a “news event” that was sliced, diced and spun 100+ ways in a matter of 24 hours, including:

And my favorite:

The point here is, there have been many different perspectives on the news, whether brief or in-depth, and much, much more beyond what I’m sharing via links.  I’ve curated the news based on what leapt out to me from a simple Google News search, and now you get a more digestible sample of some of the “kookier” takes.

Really, to me, the earthquake was a small experience that I felt for a matter of seconds while at my desk at work, and my Facebook commentary was something along the lines of… “Now I have no excuse not to move to California.” (Engagement: 5 likes, 8 comments)

There I did it again, “curating” the news for my Facebook friends, who by the by, are sometimes my GO-TO source for a major event.  After the “shaking,” I jumped on Facebook, only to discover status updates from several friends from all over the East Coast assuring me that either a) they were being evacuated OR b) it was just aftershocks, and they were at a food truck stand when it happened.

The reason I went immediately to Facebook and not to Google News is because lately, Google News terrifies me with its overwhelming choices of publications, blogs and “in-depth” repurposed sub-pieces about major news events.  I just don’t know where to click and so I revert to my friends, who I know and trust.

There continues to be a major opportunity for brands to curate world news and events that are relevant to their industry, community and customers, via platforms like Twitter, Facebook and now… Google+!  So, as brands look to build out their own platforms – corporate blogs, branded communities – they should continue to identify opportunities like the “earthquake” to engage their audience and have a relevant, real-time conversation with them.

My favorite recent example?  Cape Cod’s Wellfleet Beachcomber (a beach bar with live music) took to Facebook with the following update this week – regarding the next weather disaster – honest, humble and totally upfront.  It’s not good news but… you can’t help but love ‘em.

Wellfleet Beachcomber:  Sucky News Alert Number One: Gene Ween and Dave Dreiwitz has been cancelled. There is no way we could talk Gene into driving 8 hours in a hurricane, even for the ‘Comber. Tickets (300 of ’em sold) will be refunded over the next 48 hours. Cold blows the wind…………

Sweet Tom, Tweet On

Post by Jany Xu

Sweet Tom

Tom Foremski stopped by for a quick lunch at SHIFT’s San Francisco office yesterday.  I’d never really met him, only seen him from afar.  He has the most soothing voice and a deep understanding/insight into the valley (which makes his blog, Silicon Valley Watcher, such an appropriate name).

The discussion centered around the evolving roles of PR and media in the tech industry, more specifically, where are we going and how to we pitch you.  Here are some of his pearls:

  • What happens if old media dies before new media learns how to walk?
  • You can’t fake interest online (referring to bloggers and their topics).
  • Google isn’t a tech company.  Google is a tech enabled media company.

.

Tweet On

As if Tom isn’t enough, our own Todd Defren had a tweet up last night @ Elephant & Castle.  Of course, I had to make an appearance, and I’m so glad I did.  Why?

  • Hef- its the end of a long work day; my body keeps telling me I haven’t slept and need to get on that.
  • Great company- I swear, at one point, we were discussing the merits of choosing the right traditional & new media strategies for each company, and then, we started talking about Folsom Street Fair (I am SO going this year!).
  • Elephant & Castle- we had the whole downstairs.  It wasn’t too loud.  Our server was amazing.

Shout outs to @bitemarks bunch, @dale, & @julie.