Towards the end of 2013, when Google+ was more of a standalone network, it released figures claiming it had 540 million monthly active Google+ users with 300 million monthly active ‘in-stream’ users.Since then, it has slowly become an infrastructure for all Google products.According to StatisticBrain, Google+ is: Approx. 74% male, 72% 35+.
with profiles immediately created when a user opens a Gmail account. So more realistic figures are believed to be of 2.2 billion users, only 4-6 million of them are active. According to StatisticBrain, Google+ is:
Approx. 74% male
Dominated by U.S. users, who make up 55% of its audience
Despite the technology and electronics bias of Google+, brands from all industries have embraced the offerings of the network.
Those who do use it, sing its praises. According to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, a survey of 180,000 consumers showed that Google+ scored a satisfaction rating of 81/100. For context, Facebook was scored at 68/100 in consumer satisfaction.
There is also no denying the potential improvements that Google offers because of search engine optimisation (SEO). Whilst Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are walled gardens, restricting Google from accessing much of their data, Google+ is (unsurprisingly) open to Google’s web crawlers allowing content to be indexed and served up in search results. Content that originates from Google+ can actually rank in instances where a website may not, and is increasingly included in Google search results, with priority given to authors within your Circles or content with a lot of +1s.
As Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page who said:
“If you ignore GooglePlus, Google Search will ignore you”!
How will you benefit from using Google+?
There are a number of potential benefits to using Google+ as long as you are willing to dedicate the necessary time and resource to make it work and take advantage of it being a relatively new, relatively niche network.
Targeted communications - Circles enable businesses to communicate directly with certain groups. For example, a sporting goods manufacturer or retailer can use Circles to share content and broadcast directly to these groups and send targeted emails.
SEO - Each piece of content made on Google+ has a unique URL. This means that it can appear in the SERPs of Google. And given that for most businesses, appearing at the top of Google search results is the holy grail, it’s a good way to improve your company’s ranking.
Reach - Also, given that Google always ranks its own products higher when it comes to SEO, a post on Google+ is more likely to show up in search results than other webpages or social media sites. So if your customers fit into an active and engaged community on the network, it could be a good opportunity to get their attention.
Local SEO - The integration of Google+ into its search engine means that searches for local businesses are only getting better. When a search is performed for a local place, Google uses factors such as the amount of +1s on a Google+ Business Page to determine which information ranks highest in the carousel results. So if you’re looking for more page views on your website, sharing content to get more +1s is a simple, quick trick to help you achieve it.
Engagement - The network is interest driven, rather than generic like other social media sites. This means that there are some very active and passionate communities consuming and engaging with content. It is a great way to build a niche audience.
Usability - There are also a number of usability benefits over other social networks; there are fewer adverts, you can write longer posts, visuals can be larger, posts can be formatted to make them unique, you can share content to only relevant circles too so there’s more chance that people will read it.