I have heard many musings about Google+ in the last several months – it is going away, there are so few people on it that it is useless, it is a waste of time, and quite a few more. Granting that the exposure that you could get on the Google+ platform is inconsequential compared to posting on such platforms as Facebook and Twitter, is there still value in maintaining a presence on Google+?
If your only concern is social media, then perhaps not. If, however, your goal is driving traffic to your website or expanding the reach of your message then the answer is a resounding YES!
The screenshot below should be enough to convince you. This was taken from a search today for “Texas A&M University.”
When we have good Google+ posts they show up on the Google Knowledge Graph – the search page’s right column. This is the area of the page that people not familiar with the term they are searching for look first, usually even before the page links returned. This means that we in effect have the ability to put whatever message we want to convey on the front page of the search returns. You (literally) can’t buy that kind of exposure.
Perhaps, then, we need to shift away from thinking of it as a companion social media platform (where its value is rather limited) and more to a companion to our search efforts and broadening the overall reach of our messaging.
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