Last week I attended a workshop on content marketing and social media strategy lead by Online Marketing Summit (OMS) and Online Marketing Institute founder, Aaron Kahlow. Early on, the discussion focused to the various social media channels that marketers should be leveraging in their content distribution.
Kahlow made a comment to pay attention to Google+, noting its strength in building “author rank.” This prompted a hand from the audience and some observation that had several folks in the room nodding their heads in agreement – Google+ seems to have SEO value but hasn’t shown the type of engagement seen on other networks like Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn.
The implication of Google+ as a SEO driver is not new. Furthermore, the discussion of the place of Google+ within the social world and the Google stack is one that has been ongoing since its inception.
The definition of Google+ for its users was given some attention back in May at Google I/O when director of engineering for the Google+ platform, David Glazer, explained “…really it’s a way for Google to get to know our users.” Glazer went on to say that the point of Google+ is to be “that backbone” to “help us make search, Maps, YouTube, Gmail, etc. better.”
Fast forward a few months and perhaps we could say that Glazer may have been alluding to the September 24th announcement from YouTube that comments will now be powered by Google+.
For users, this change means more customization and connection to comments from those in your circle and improvements on comment moderation. Of course, the advantages for Google are there too as it strengthens and extends this Google+ backbone.
The integration of Google+ into Gmail helped formed a massive pool of Google+ accounts but think of the possibilities as it now has the ability to tap into the more than one billion unique monthly users on YouTube. This change represents an opportunity for Google+ to penetrate a Google product where there’s a wealth of content, activity, and engagement being generated.
Google+ powered comments are rolling out on YouTube now so only time will tell the impact this has on Google+’s presence in the social sphere. The time to act is now, though, for any marketer that hasn’t invested in creating and maintaining a rich Google+ profile.