What is Google+?

By Brad Social Media

1.) First of all, what is Google+?

Google+ or Google Plus is the social network launched by Google on June 28, 2011. Google+ integrates all Google social services while also adding services like Circles, Hangouts, Huddles and Sparks.

2.) How is it different than other social networks?

Google+ influences how you will get traffic from Google’s search engine, whether by boosting your position in search results, increasing the chances that people will click into your site, or other factors.

3.) What happened to Google Places?

On Wednesday May 30, 2012, over 80 million Google Places pages were replaced with Google+ Local pages, with reviews and information powered in the majority of cases by Zagat. Google has used a variety of review options to rank an industry.

The conversion of Google Places pages to Google+ Local pages took place regardless of whether Places pages were claimed by business owners or not. Business owners are effectively being dropped into the social fray with more customer-interaction potential but also greater demands to learn how to use Google+ to their full advantage. Most Google Places listings are not fully optimized. Most notably, unlike Google Places pages, these new Google+ Local pages will be indexed.

An educated guess is that Google wants to control the web experience from a single spot – if you look at the top of Google+ pages – everything you need is there: Email, Search, YouTube, etc. The caveat here is that this is constantly changing – one must be read...

4.) How can businesses integrate Google+ into their brand strategy?

Although there are endless things to say on this topic, here are three tips for now:

1. Google+ Viral Marketing

One of the most powerful aspects of Google+ is the +1 function. This function allows individuals to share things they like by using the +1 button. This has the potential to allow your marketing to go viral through Google+ users.

2. Moderate your Promotion

One of the biggest mistakes people make with social marketing is spamming their followers. While social marketing is essentially permission-based, you can still spam your followers if you post too often. Because of the potential viral marketing element, it is especially important to moderate your promotion on Google+, because you want those promotions you make to be impactful. More people will +1 your links if you post them rarely.

3. Sparks

Sparks is a search engine that is based on recommendations. You can use it to share interesting content, including your own, and to seek the content shared by others within your circles.

5.) With so many social media outlets, some may say they do not need Google+. How would you argue against this?

Remember MySpace? Friendster? The control of the Social Media landscape is ever-changing and moving. Learn from the past, Prepare for the future. Google is changing, shifting and delivering a quality product to capture market share so be ready!

Ad America Internet Marketing & Web Design located in Olney, MD (a suburb between Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC) specializes in optimizing local businesses on Google Places – and Google +. In addition, Ad America offers SEO, Website Design and Mobile Sites to businesses, professionals and non-profits. To get a free review please contact Brad Mandel @ bmandel@adamerica.org or call 1 800-715-5660 x 12.