There is a ton of buzz spinning around over Google's release of the new social network platform, Google+ (or Google Plus). Right now you can only gain access to the site by invitation from someone else already connected, but millions of people have already been connected in. The fast growth is probably due at least partially to the sense of exclusivity that comes from the invitation-only deal. Yet, anyone involved with online marketing or website promotion has their ears perked up at his latest development as well.
You may be interested in joining in the fun and growing your circles of friends, but you have an even deeper interest in learning about Google Plus if you rely upon SEO to gain traffic to your websites. Right now there might not be a direct impact and you are likely going about your business as usual, but your eyes and ears should be tuned to developments with Google+.
Data Collection in Social Media
Google isn't jumping into the social networking market just because it is incredibly popular today. They don't necessarily want to take down Facebook or MySpace. They are primarily after data collection. Users of social networking sites willingly hand over tons of information about their life, their location, their families, and most importantly, what they love and hate. This is valuable information that Google can use in the search engine business.
The goal of the Google search engine is to take what their customers (searchers) want to find or learn and deliver a list of relevant, high quality websites, blogs, videos and images that will meet their needs. The more accurate they are in doing this and the better content suggestions they offer, the more searchers will come to them rather than other search engines.
What could help them deliver the most relevant and useful sites better than cold hard figures telling them which websites, blogs, images and videos real people find the most valuable? This is data that can be collected through the circles feature on Google Plus and then directly applied to the ranking of websites in the Google search engine.
This has a direct impact on everyone using SEO to bring traffic to their sites. The sites that get the most "+1" clicks could rise to the top of the SERPs even if they aren't necessarily the ones using the best SEO strategies. This creates a whole new game that people like you have to play if they want to remain highly ranked in the SERPs.
Something to Watch Out For
Most people are now aware of Google Plus, but not everyone has figured out how it could impact them. Some believe it is just another social networking tool and don't yet see how it could impact the world of search engine optimization and online marketing in general. Those that take SEO seriously are watching to see how fast Google Plus advances and what they decide to do with the data they have already started collecting.
What does this mean to you? Are you scrambling to get your foot in the door with Google Plus? Are you trying to figure out this new system so you are among the first to get advanced SERP ratings? Do you have some ideas of how Google+ could be used for marketing and SEO?
If not, it's okay, but you should at least have your eye on this latest Google development.
Cheow Yu Yuan is the co-founder of OOm, an online marketing agency providing Singapore SEO services.
Find out more about OOm SEO services today.
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