Google +, Explained
I know, one more thing to learn, right? Don’t worry. There’s not a ton to do just yet.
What is it exactly?
- It’s Google’s version of Facebook. (Competition is a good thing, as it prompted Facebook to improve some features recently.)
- Google + has “Circles”, as opposed to Facebook’s Friend lists, so you can easily have different groups for family, close friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc.
- Google + has “Video Hangouts” where you can spontaneously video chat with people in your circles. Keep this feature in the back of your mind as a nice business tool.
What to Do Now
Add the Google + Share button to to your website.
If you use “Shareaholic/Sexy Bookmarks”, the Google + button has been added. You may need to update your plugin. If you don’t have WordPress, add code to your site. Go here if you need the code. See example below.
If you’ve received an invite, sign up and explore; otherwise sit tight.
So far, it’s been Invite Only and Google has been rolling it out in phases, which I think is pretty smart to work out the bugs. Right now they’re “at capacity”, so you can peacefully sit tight until they roll it out to their next group.
Don’t represent your business just yet: If you are able to join Google +, use it as a personal account for now. Google will launch a version for businesses later in the year, and have deleted some profiles that are representing brands. Some really cool features in development for business are: Google Business Meetings, Google Screencast & Google Whiteboard. Might be worth the wait and sounds much more robust than a FanPage.
Plan on adopting Google + for your business, when it’s available. Besides the fact that it may be pretty useful, Google rules the search engine world. The +1 button could highly impact search engine results. (Think YouTube, owned by Google and how videos appear at the top of search engine results.) Also, if you do a Google search right now, you’ll see the Google+ button right next to each result, allowing you to “recommend” that page. If your contacts have recommended a page, Google+ “may” use this as a signal to a determine a page’s rankings (according to Google).