How are you advising clients on Google+?

January 23, 2012

Social media


Has Google finally handcuffed us into using G+ by adding it to the search algorithm? (Image credit:


I’m not the biggest fan of Google+. At least, I haven’t been. Too many brands don’t know the fundamentals of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, PR, strategy, on and on, for me to recommend adding another social network to the mix.

Too many people have tried to exploit those not sure where G+ should fall in their marketing mix by writing books and devoting their blogs to the latest wave from Google because anything with Google in the name is going to get peoples’ attention. Get it? Wave. Bah-dum-bum-ching.

Until today, my stance was that a brand needed a G+ page because of the search effect. But it could pretty much be a place to squat. Concentrate your efforts elsewhere…like on that competing social network that’s about to reach 1 billion users. But then I read Geoff Livingston’s post on Google adding Plus activity into its search algorithm. And I started to wonder.

Should I be giving clients different advice now when it comes to G+?

Because the search stats don’t lie:

- As you saw in Geoff’s posts, almost 70 percent of Web inquiries go through Google.

- 80 percent of Internet sessions start at a search engine, the overwhelming majority of which are on Google.

- 80 percent of users don’t go past the first page of search engine results.

- 90 percent of users don’t go past the third page of results.

What these numbers confirm to me is that you could make a strong argument that search is the lynchpin for connecting with your customers…at least initially. Especially new customers who don’t know you yet. And if you read Geoff’s post, you also know that tweets and Facebook posts aren’t currently indexed by Google. For now.

Thus the quandry I’m in. And why I’m wondering how you’re advising clients in G+. If Twitter and Facebook continue to be closed to indexing, then I think we have to consider advising clients to make time for G+. But if Twitter and Facebook open up to indexing, I’m not sure G+ is as appealing. Still some appeal there because the G+ results appear at the top of the search query. But not as much urgency, IMO.

So that’s where I stand for now. G+ is at least more prominent on my radar screen. What would you do? Does the addition of Plus results to Google’s search algorithm change your perspective?

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cparente 12 pts

Been thinking the same thing, even though I'm not in consumer. The gold standard for reporting on this issue is Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land.

Eric Melin 7 pts

Right now things are changing fast, but we absolutely advise people to lock down their business account, tie their Google account to Google+, and implement +1 on their blog and website. Google is leveraging their powerful search engine and search is still higher than social media when it come to purchase intent (, so it could extremely valuable in the long run for businesses.

JGoldsborough 242 pts moderator

Eric Melin You make great points, especially about the value of search. Totally with you on +1's and locking down biz page. Doesn't Google tie your Google account to G+ automagically now? What will be interesting to see is if this really drives G+ usage. Only time will tell...

My latest conversation: Data Deep Dive: FB users spend 27% of their time in the newsfeed

geoffliving 273 pts

I was talking to someone at the United Way about this today. They don't like G+ for social networking, I said forget that, this is cheap SEO/SEM. At least for now.

Interesting developments from Facebook, MySpace and Twitter today: I wonder if the tool will take off though. Clearly these networks are (rightfully) perturbed.

JGoldsborough 242 pts moderator

geoffliving That is an interesting tool. But think about the companies we've worked with in the past. No offense to them, but the average Internet user will never take the time to download this bookmarklet. Partly because they will wonder whet the hell a bookmarklet is. Cheap SEO is right.

My latest conversation: Data Deep Dive: FB users spend 27% of their time in the newsfeed

Nikki Little 46 pts

I'm asking a lot of the same questions you are, Justin. The Search Plus Your World introduction definitely upped my interest in adding Google+ to the mix for clients. I'm getting ready to go through a discovery session with a new client (a precursor to building and launching their social strategy), and I'm thinking Google+ will make a lot of sense for this particular client. I'm interested to test it out because while some clients have created pages just to have a placeholder, I don't have any yet that are quite ready to make the move from passive to strategically active.

Just like any other social network, it requires some digging to determine if it makes sense for the client. I think it's a viable option for a company that has some really great content to share but may not have the time it takes to manage a presence on Twitter (yes, Google+ is growing rapidly, but it still doesn't require as much upkeep as Twitter does).

Everyone in the PR worlds needs to pay close attention to Googe+ moving forward because Google's recent algorithm change makes it a whole new playing field for marketers. Note that I'm not saying jump on board immediately or risk losing the marketing game! Just pay close attention, and don't discount G+ as a network that could make sense for your client.

JGoldsborough 242 pts moderator

Nikki_Little Smart way to look at it, NL. I can't wait to hear how your experimentation goes. I agree with Geoff that FB and Twitter (at least Twitter) will likely be indexed by Google again sometime in 2012. But even so, the G+ results appear up at the top of the page and with search, that can matter. Definitely one to watch.

Nikki Little 46 pts

JGoldsborough I'll keep ya posted. :)

SallyE 15 pts


You took my story, right down to the end. My thoughts exactly. And, I'm at the same place. What to do, what to advise. I'm going to watch to see what others have to say.

Thanks for posing the question.

JGoldsborough 242 pts moderator

SallyE Glad to know others are pondering the same question. I think my answer will continue to evolve. Hopefully some of the conversation here can help. Cheers!

Conversation from Twitter


jgoldsborough I'm telling them to call you.


steffchilds LOL, good answer. Better get my POV in gear :).


jgoldsborough Dude.... Get with the program. I expected so much more of you... =)


sunriverweb Oh and don't forget to comment & share others posts where you can jgoldsborough


sunriverweb In short, sign up, complete a profile, post once a day, if poss, ramp up as the platform grows & grow with it jgoldsborough