Tag Archives: google+

Google+ Updates Visual Layout

5920040910_242ec1dd3cThe latest update from Google+ brings several revamps to the visual layout of the social network. Google+ already allowed a big cover photo to match Facebook’s new Timeline layout, but this new layout will allow even larger pictures. Users can now use an image that is up to 2120 by 1192 pixels. That is a very large image. For brands this is good news because it allows the first image to be more eye appealing and because the image is chosen by the brand it allows the best foot forward as the initial impression.

Google+ is now placing all local reviews in one handy spot on the profile page. Under the tab “Reviews” local users will be able to easily see all the reviews for the brand.  The final review is a change to hovercards. A hovercard is the image that appears when the mouse is hanging over an avatar. The hovercard is now larger and because the image is controlled by the brand this can be a help. The hovercard is also a place for launching certain functions, like initiating a hangout. This will help brands appeal to people when there is only tangential relationship between what the user is looking at and the brand.

Google+ Launches Updated Profile Pages With Larger Cover Photos, Revamped Local Reviews & About Tabs.

Photo by west.m

 

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Google+ Cracks 100 Million Unique Monthly Visitors

Google+ LogoNew data from comScore shows improvement for Google+, as it now joins Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin as having over 100 million unique monthly visitors. October 2012 saw it break into the club with 105 million visitors. The previous October the fledgling social network only had 65.3 million unique visitors, so it is seeing extraordinary growth. Google+ still pales when compared to Facebook, but its stand-alone numbers are still impressive.

Digital marketing agency’s that offer search engine optimization services need to make sure Google+ remains in its field of vision. Even though it does not boast the usage of even a crippled Facebook it is still important. Its raw numbers is large and that largeness is often lost in the eclipse of Facebook. Google+ presence also ties into other services like an improved awareness by Google places and Google maps which are services that Google does have domination within. The rule of thumb to remember is that a Google+ presence translates most directly into access to a user’s mobile device. They may not be using the service to share content, but they are using the service to access other features which are much more difficult to track.

Report: Google+ Has 105 Million Unique Monthly Visitors

 

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Google+ Growth Rivals Facebook Growth

On September 17 Google+ announced its user base at 100 million users. On Thursday it announced its user base at 135 million active members. Part of that growth is driven by the acquisition of Snapfeed. Regardless of the reason that is almost a growth rate of 14 million new users each month. The only other service that has had such expansion was Facebook back in 2008 to 2009.

This is important for the education marketing company because it means an alternative to Facebook might be developing. If it does rival Facebook, then it will not be for some time but it is moving along. Google+ does offer some features that Facebook does not, its circle programs being the most notable. Facebook did implement its clone of circles, but it was late to the game and few people use the feature of varying broadcast types.

As Google+ grows so too will the effectiveness of brand presences on the social network. There are also people who use it exclusively as a way to sidestep Facebook’s dominance. By using both social networks the education marketing company can more broadly reach the US public.

Google+ More Closely Mirroring Facebook

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Google+ Launches Its Enterprise Service

Over the months Google+ has been expanding its offerings. While it is still one of the small big social networks, its latest release is an attempt to capture a segment of the market that other social networks are not very involved within: the enterprise setting. Google+ now offers video integration with other Google products like Gmail, Calendar and Documents. Google+ is also offering a restricted sharing function to help productivity as well as some more administrative controls. The announcement comes with a timeline as well, the new services are free for use until the end of 2013.

If the social media agency uses Google+ as a collaborative tool, then this announcement will help it internally. This new tool will also help marketers. While Google+ is still without advertising, there is some small advertising function to Gmail. The big boost for the social media agency, however, comes on the back end. More integration with Google further improves its data about users and corporations. Even if specific user data is lost behind the enterprise wall, there are still associations that Google can measure and collect. This move also makes it more likely to increase the size of Google+ active users, as workers forced to use it at work are also more likely to use it for personal sharing and consumption.

 

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Local SEO and the Social Media Influence

The data Google+ Local draws on to make its recommendations is large and extensive. What is currently missing, however, is a tie into most social media. Google+ Local does not know if that Dave & Busters is highly ranked by a user’s friends or not, unless those friends wrote reviews that Google has access to. Because of this the social media agency needs to work within the channels Google+ Local does draw from.

Selena Narayanaamy, the Director of Strategy Development at BlueGlass Interactive, sees that gap in Google’s rankings closing in the near future. This will relieve some of the burdens on the social media agency because their work will then have an increasingly important place in the local search environment.

Local search will soon draw upon FaceBook check-ins and data posted about locations to FaceBook. Other services will also tap into FaceBook, so even if Google does not have direct access it will still sniff some of the data from other cooperating services like Gowalla and Foursquare. Another useful feature will be geo-tagging. Even if a tweet is not about a location, if it is tagged in a certain location, then Google can use that data to signal some traffic.

To account for this increasingly large data pool, the social media agency will need to corroborate data. Making sure that geo-tagged videos are given the correct location will become important. Making sure the name of the business lines up across the services will be important.

 

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Google’s Knowledge Graph Cannibalizes Google+

Google released its Knowledge Graph on the public last week. It is the box that appears in the right hand column displaying data about a search request, offering more information than just a list of links relevant to the search term. People and Pages on Google+ had previously occupied the real estate on the right hand side of the screen. If a user conducted a search for a brand or a person, then data about that and similar brands/people would appear with the latest content from them on Google+.

That space is now completely owned by the Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph will now display information about the person similar to how Wikipedia does. There will still be a space for the latest content from that person/brand on Google+ but it will not be the central focus of the Knowledge Graph. This change is all part of Google’s effort to stop being a search company and instead become a knowledge company.

This particular update will probably not have a large impact on the social media agency, if anything there will be a drop in traffic on Google+ as people are referred to it less often for answers to their questions. In the long run, however, this is part of a turn that does not end well for Google+. The social network is not part of a mission to be a knowledge company. Of course a social network can help to accumulate knowledge into a single database, but there are more efficient methods than running a social network that seems unable and unlikely to catch a foothold in FaceBook’s dominance.

The social media agency that was counting on Google+ to supplant FaceBook should reevaluate its long-term strategy.

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Brand Engagement on Google+ Increasing

A new study by Simply Measured says brand engagement on Google+ is increasing. From February to May the number of the top 100 companies with 5,000 or more fans grew from 21% to 35%. 22% of those brands have more than 100,000 followers which is an increase from February’s 13%.

Of the increased engagement, Google+ is much like FaceBook. Video posts continue to be the most likely posts from brands that generate +1s. Automotive brands are the most popular on the network. Electronics ranks second and followed by luxury goods.

There has been no shortage lately of reports that are bearish about brands on Google+. All of those reports, however, provide snapshots. Those snapshots only paint failed expectations of Google+ engagement. They fail to show trends. Simply Measured’s report, however, shows that engagement is increasing for brands, even if it is still paling to what was expected when Google+ launched.

The social media agency might still prefer to be bearish about Google+. The one reason why effort might be expended on Google+ is that the content is often redundant with efforts on other social networks. Until something new and radical happens, though, the social media agency would still probably not find efforts on Google+ to be lucrative.

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Google+ Redesigns Itself

While not a strict application of Facebook’s Timeline format, it is easy to see where Google+ took its cues in its newest redesign. On Wednesday Google+ changed its look to be sleeker and make navigation easier. The change is achieving some fanfare as both Wired and Forbes have endorsed the new look. The concern though is if the new design is too late to save the network. It started off with plenty of fanfare, but has failed to emerge as a serious Facebook competitor.

The social media agency would be wise to play with Google+ even if it is a futile network. There are still millions of people using it, and just in case the new design does make it more attractive then brands will wish they had been active on it all along. The other reason to invest time and effort tin Google+ is because duplicating a presence on both it and Facebook is fairly simple, although overlooking Google+ is also fairly simple to do.

Google+ is also actively reaching out to brands. To prevent failure and in an attempt to increase its user base Google+ can only do so much on the individual side, such as a site redesign. Brands, however, are easier to pick up as special partnerships can be announced. The social media agency that is looking to make a splash for new brands could try a special promotion, which an increasingly desperate Google+ might be willing to launch.

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Google+ Now Comes With Noise Control

In December Google+ introduced the noise slider but now it is also available for the What’s Hot section. The noise slider is the user’s control mechanism to limit what appears in the feed based upon the amount of engagement items are receiving. The What’s Hot section was introduced in October as a way of making sure Google+ users were not receiving only items from their circles but also seeing what was hot on the social network. Now the noise control applies to these posts as well.

The introduction of a What’s Hot section is a good idea. Many users will be exposed to items they normally would not see, and this can be a tempting place for a paid trending item. One problem with it, however, was its intrusiveness. Users now have an ability to turn it off altogether. While this will dampen its effectiveness as a wide broadcast space, it will not mute altogether. It will arguably become more valuable as the uninvited story is disregarded completely but the user. Now that there is an option users may pay more attention to this space.

The social networking agency should be enthused about this development. If the space is optional then that makes it all the more relevant when it is viewed. Not only does the What’s Hot space have some possible future advertising abilities, but the overall concept will help Google+ in its quest to topple FaceBook.

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Google+ Opens Up To Teenagers

Facebook will allow teenagers to join the social network and until Thursday Google+ would not allow teenagers. That changed, although both social networks make 13 the cutoff on the lower end. What Google+ offers that Facebook does not is additional security for those teenagers.

An example of the additional security is a message before the teenager shares anything outside of his circles. The message is a further reminder about the potential danger of sharing too much. These security features do not address the larger criticism that teenagers are too young to really understand what they are doing. Requiring an additional action does not overcome this objection. One nice new feature, however, is the automatic removal of teenagers from a hangout if a stranger joins in.

This is big news for the social media marketing agency because there is evidence teenagers are looking for a Facebook alternative. Now that Google+ is available it will be interesting to see if the teenagers abandon ship. If so, then the digital agency that is working towards the teenager demographic will find a focus on Google+ instead of Facebook a lucrative endeavor.

 

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