With the new introduction of a social platform there are a number of challenges that Google currently face. Perhaps one of the greatest of these, is getting businesses to engage with people on their platform as opposed to competing platforms such as Facebook. When you have major brands and businesses showing proof of interest, typically you’ll find small businesses and others following suit, driving more and more visitors and in turn giving the platform more kudos, more engagement and increasing the likelihood that others will join.
There is however something of a chicken and egg effect. Without visitors, you won’t find brands. Without brands you won’t find visitors. The same goes for celebrities, and as the CNN article reveals – Google have made a conscious effort to bring famous people to plus for this reason.
Google Direct Connect also gives further weight to being on the platform. (Direct Connect kicks in when Google detects you have an active and engaging page). This alone makes a compelling argument for why businesses should potentially be on the platform, but is it enough?
We’ve already seen the ability to add authorship markup to blog posts, in an effort to get publishers and bloggers to bring their content directly into Google+, and to associate themselves with a piece of content. If you haven’t yet got around to doing this, I’d absolutely recommend giving it a go, regardless of your particular niche. This guide from Blind Five Year old takes you through the necessary.
The benefits of this are impressive. Increased clickthrough rates and the uplift in traffic has seen many people including myself diving straight in. For Google, knowing the influence of authors is also pretty useful information, particularly in working out influencers, and people who you should be circling in the suggested users panel. I’ve no doubt, that this is just one scenario where that data becomes useful.
What if there was the ability to get a little friendly Google+ image beside corporate website content that is written by multiple people, and controlled by the brand? What would the uplift be in the number of brands flocking to the Google+ platform to receive such an endorsement over their competition?
Asking brands to join Google+ to (could potentially) change their SERP from looking like this:
This is just one aggressive tactic that Google could play to increase the number of brands and businesses on Plus. Whether they will need to play that particular card remains to be seen. What do you think? A step too far? Or natural evolution of their acquisition strategy?