Google+ a Facebook killer or a bust?

Google+ a Facebook killer or a bust?

BY BRANDON LAWS

The announcement of Google+, the newest addition to the social media world, is intriguing for multiple reasons and has people wondering if it may be the official answer to Facebook.

Google Buzz was seemingly a failure and there was no way Google was going to make that mistake again. The features and functionality look a lot like Facebook but with enhanced features such as video.

Given the fact that it was a lot like Facebook in terms of usage, it seems apparent that it will make a significant impact in SEO and could hurt Facebook overall.

Even though Google+ is invite only, it has not been too difficult to find someone to send an invite; in fact, with the latest estimated statistics, as many as 10 million users are now active on Google+. The invite only method may be part of the reason why it has generated so much buzz in the past few weeks.

Google has also made it very clear that the Beta version is not ready for business profiles at this point, but should be rolled out once the final version comes out. Google+ for business/brands seems to have the most upside and long term growth. Because Google is a search engine giant, the impact and role Google+ can play on organic search seems to be endless.

With the roll out of the Google +1 feature in recent months (also a Beta version), it seemed to be the first sign that something big was on the way. And to see the integration within Google+, we now know why. Ultimately, it is a similar feature to the “Like” button on Facebook, but the +1 feature has many more implications on search.

The button will be seen as a vote of confidence to one’s content, page, website, etc. The new social media platform Google+ will bring the simple feature, the +1 button, to life and foresee-ably allow content a bigger opportunity to be reached via the search engine powerhouse, Google.

Undoubtedly the +1 button will have an impact on search by itself, but Google+ will make it that much more of an impact on search engine optimization for relevant content. The +1 button is already showing up in Google Webmaster Tools as a tracking tool, so as a webmaster, it is already known that it is a factor in the game of search optimization and determining the most relevant content, according to who is clicking +1 on content.

Bottom line, by itself, Google+ is just another social media platform with fancy features; but attach it to a search engine giant, and it becomes one powerful tool for spreading information and connecting with people, and may even have more upside than Facebook does.

Brandon Laws is a sales and marketing specialist focusing on SEO for Xenium, a Portland-based HR consulting firm.