Internet marketers everywhere are aghast over Google +. Some people cling to Facebook for dear life, stating nothing can ever dominate the community of 700 million and counting. While others are, in my opinion, more open-minded and realize, Google + is a big deal that is already successful and will only become more successful. I have a bit of advice for those still in denial, get on board quick because regardless of the level of success Google + has, it is going to be important to the industry.
Google + Sees Startling Growth
Google + has only been out for a few weeks and the growth is already startling. It is being estimated that Google + has already reached 10 million users. According to estimates from Paul Allen of Ancestry.com, 2.2 million users have joined in the last 32 to 34 hours. Mashable has stated that Allen arrived at this number by, “Comparing surname popularity in the U.S. with the number of users on Google+ with each surname, he can guesstimate the percentage of the U.S. population that signed up for Google+. Finally, he calculated a ratio of U.S. to non-U.S. users to generate an estimate for the number of Google+ users worldwide.”There is a buzz around Google + at the moment. If this pace keeps up it may just become the fastest growing social media site of all time.
Why Google + Should Succeed?
Let’s take a moment and consider why Google + is seeing such quick growth.
At this point Google + is still on an invite-only basis. This has been a brilliant marketing strategy for Google, it has also intrigued just about every seo company. The people who were invited are the cool kids, and the only people who have the ability to invite others. This has enticed each person who has been invited to share the invite. It has truly been one of the better viral marketing strategies I have ever seen.
A Centerpiece for Google
Google has stated publically that they will be making Google + the center for all Google products. This in turn forces Google product users to interact with the Google + project.
I don’t want to make this post a knock on Facebook, because I enjoy Facebook very much. But similar to MySpace in the past, Facebook has become bloated and has lost sight of core, vital functionality. For example, many people do not know that you can segment Facebook friends (maybe you know that but trust me plenty of people do not). Well, Google + has made this function front and center in its entire marketing strategy with Circles. Google has also done a good job of giving the other core functions identity and clarity, those being Sparks and Hangouts. Sparks in particular brings a great element to this social media experience. When you think about it, it’s really like a category you would find on Digg or Reddit. But the difference is that Google can supply this with information from any area of their vast empire. It will be exciting to see how it works, and how spammy the information ends up being.
Not everyone agrees with me on this point, but I believe the new Google network will be attractive to the older demographic who may have perceived Facebook as being too meaningless. Think about it, the main complaint is that Facebook is a waste of time. People say, why would I want to see people on the internet that I don’t want to see in real life? Well, the Google + project is tied into other valuable Google products. It will be an interface that connects them all together. If this is the case then there is value that Facebook simply does not offer.
Google + Business Pages Coming Soon
Build it and they will come… Google + is set to release business pages in a few weeks. When this happens, businesses are bound to sign up. First, businesses will want to make sure they can claim their branded page. Second, these pages are should rank well in search and have excellent marketing implications. Overall, I do think this is something businesses are going to be excited about. It will be interesting to see how it affects Facebook.
Twitter Losing Shares to Google +
A report was released on Search Engine Land recently that stated the following information.
- When it comes to like buttons, Google+ is now second place to Facebook.
- Surprisingly, the stats show that Google’s +1 is more widely used than Twitter’s “share button” and is implemented at almost twice the rate.
- Websites with Google +1 plugin integration are at 4.5%, beating the combined numbers of the “Twitter share” (2.1%) and “Twitter instant follow” (1.3%) buttons.
The Google + button has now been installed more times than the Twitter button. This is undeniable evidence of the success this campaign is having.
For the Record, Facebook is Still Top Dog
We would like to make it clear that Facebook is still the number one social media site. But while this is the case, it is important to keep an eye on Google +. The site is growing with incredible speed and new updates will be coming out daily. We believe this will be a powerful marketing opportunity at some point. The question is, when?