Google+: New Buttons and Functionality Releases!
As you probably know, I’m a strong believer in Google+ as a social network as well as the hypothesis that by using same you will increase your own/client’s online reputation, authority, trust…and yes serp rankings eventually too.
That’s not a unique thought, as there must be thousands of us SEO practitioners thinking along those lines around the globe and in the past couple of days, Google has added some new tools to help further that thesis.
Official announcements abound…but what I think might be more important is to think about the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ ideas first…but here’s some background and stats to begin.
Google+ is growing at a faster rate than Facebook…i.e. sharing of online content by users on the Google+ social network is set to surpass sharing by Facebook users by February 2016 according to a new US study from search and social analytics specialist, Searchmetrics. The forecast comes in the run up to the 2nd anniversary of the introduction of Google+ which was first announced at the end of June 2011…so happy birthday Google+! Here’s what the folks over at realWire had to comment on this study…
The first chart below shows Google+ in red and as you can see, it surpasses Facebook in blue in 2016! Cool!
And this chart shows how Google+ is gaining it’s +1 votes at a much faster rate than Facebook too….in the words of Searchmetrics “…we conducted a longer, 15 month, analysis of the percentage growth rate of Google+ plus ones and Facebook shares in the US from January 2012 to April 2013. This shows the steep growth curve for Google+ compared to Facebook’s slow, steady growth..” Yup. We’re talking a hockey stick rise here, eh! Us SEO types like this!
Okay, so Google+ has some real momentum…but what about those tools, you ask?
Well the new Google+ Follow button is a standalone plugin that — as you might expect — lets visitors follow you from your site. It’s nice and compact, so it integrates easily with your existing social buttons.
There’s also a new Community button too (I like the graphics here!!) and it will be making it’s way “out” onto the web and begin showing up I’m sure at thousands of sites very very soon!
One thing to note, that if you do not upgrade same – don’t worry as all existing badges will stick around for up to 90 days, giving you time to configure the new version for your website. After 90 days, Google+ automatically upgrade any Google+ badges to the new design.
And there’s a great re-cap of this too over at Mashable here….or at the Google+ Developers blog here…you probably already follow Google+ on Google+ but if not here’s the link to join that community…Matt McGee’s great re-cap over at MarketingLand is here….TechCrunch data is here….and don’t forget just a few weeks back, that Google+ announced that new dashboard that I’m sure we’re all using already, right? Well, at least us Canadian SEO practitioners are I’m pretty sure!Google