I sent this email out to the team this morning, and thought I’d share my initial thoughts on Google+ with the blog readers out there also. I’ve been using Google+ for about a week now, I have about 170 people in my “Circles” and I’m in about 70 people’s “Circle.” Think of the “Circle” as a “Circle of influence” this is who you reach with what you post.
I think Google+ is here to stay. I could be wrong, have been before, but Google is investing a lot into this technology – and it’s affecting MANY aspects of search. Items you’ve +1′d will show up in your personalized organic search stream, and in the paid advertising stream. Your results will be affected based on what you’ve +1′d, so your customer’s results will also be affected. If you have +1 on YOUR site, and your competitors don’t, you just moved ahead of them in that one person’s organic results, without doing much work other than adding a button and promoting it.
- It’s kind of a hybrid between Facebook and Twitter – you don’t have to be “accepted” (read: friended) to see someone’s posts, you can just “follow” them. They do need to follow you back in order for them to see YOUR posts.
- If it doesn’t die off, It’s going to grow faster than Facebook – I read a post that said by doing simple extrapolation math, (simple?) from the initial Beta release (approx. 2 weeks ago) to Monday morning – Google+ grew by a 2.8X factor - from 1.7 to 4.7 million users. It’s not NEARLY as large as Facebook, but it is growing much faster. It took Facebook between 1 yr and 15 months to grow to 5 million users. UPDATE: Paul Allen from Ancestry.com says his model shows Google+ will have over 20 Million users by the weekend!!
- I think we should look into adding +1 buttons next to blog content, Lodging Specials and individual VRM properties. Here is the button creator
- Businesses can’t have Google+ pages, Google says they’re coming – but not yet. If you create one now, it will likely get deleted. UPDATE: Google has had THOUSANDS of businesses contact them to request a business page, so they’re accelerating their program. the business page beta will roll out in a few weeks – hopefully to the rest of us a few weeks after that.
I haven’t decided (nor has anyone else) what the push and pull marketing aspects of this will be. Likely we’ll be able to run AdWords ads that target much like Facebook Ads do, but right now that’s not happening. I think there will be opportunity to engage, but until we see how business profiles work – much of what I read is speculation
Here are some good resources for reading about the latest on G+. There are more thoughts and ideas released hourly so check back to these resources often.