With the introduction of the Google +1 feature, users have the ability to give their “stamp of approval” to items of any given search. The +1 concept is akin to the Facebook “Like” button, but crafted for Google results. When you +1 something you’ve found on a Google search result, it will be displayed below each returned search item, and will also be visible to the friends, contacts, and others that you communicate with via Gmail, and the like. The +1 tab has also started appearing on the actual landing pages, so it allows you to let others know pages you’ve liked while searching on Google, and helps customize a more user-friendly/community-oriented search engine.
Google+ is composed of the following products:
You share different things with different people. So sharing the right stuff with the right people shouldn’t be a hassle. Circles makes it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself – just like real life.
Key note for marketers: If you’re careful with the way you construct these Circles, content engagement signals should go through the roof, i.e. likes, shares, tweets, +1’s, etc. Google, dominating search and owning YouTube, can then take direct signals from this content, enhancing native SEO values.
With Hangouts, the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Let specific buddies (or entire circles) know you’re hanging out and then see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Until teleportation arrives, it’s the next best thing.
Key note for marketers: Businesses of all kinds will be able to mobilize this feature immediately. It’s essentially “Chat,” improved. “To support Hangouts, we built an all-new standards-based cloud video conferencing platform,” explained Google Real-time Communications Tech Lead Justin Uberti (http://bit.ly/ikz1fS). What this means is Google is taking hyper-sophisticated video conferencing technology and making it available for free.
Taking photos is fun. Sharing photos is fun. Getting photos off your phone is pretty much the opposite of fun. With Instant Upload, your photos and videos upload themselves automatically, to a private album on Google+. All you have to do is decide who to share them with.
Key note for marketers: Any technology that makes it easy for people to share photos/videos digitally is good for marketers. Campaigns and contests can be designed around this real-time sharing feature from Google+. Adding an incentive to label the photo/video with your brand name and/or location makes for user-generated, rich-media content. This content, then, continues to feed your brand’s native SEO value.
Tell Sparks what you’re into and it will send you stuff it thinks you’ll like, so when you’re free, there’s always something cool to watch, read, or share.
Key note to marketers: Sparks is a lot like Google Reader or an RSS reader. You deem the topics that interest you and Google will automatically feed photos, blogs, websites and videos that pertain to that topic. The stream can be used to keep tabs on relevant technology and information pertinent to your brand, and, it can be a source from which you create content to speak to the world from your respective position.
Texting is great, but not when you’re trying to get six different people to decide on a movie. Huddle turns all those different conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone gets on the same page all at once. Your thumbs will thank you.
Key note for marketers: Huddle is the device you’ll use to communicate directly with your Circles. Group texting is nothing new, but enabling those texts with GPS-tagged messages, photos with messages, or videos is game changing. With what Circles presents, Huddle is an expected feature of the greater application of Google+. But, it’s application offering targeted mobile messaging is a feature that will be appreciated by many.
For fans of Google and its many products, Google+ is a reason to celebrate. Fading beneath Facebook’s limelight the past couple of years, Google has made a very aggressive stride forward in the social space. The implications for marketers, specifically those with interests in social and search marketing will be great. For now, my best advice to those looking to get involved: Build/edit your Google Profile to go live at https://profiles.google.com.