Google Plus Lives – No, It Isn’t Dead
I was wrong. Google Plus lives on.
Google Plus lives on in the social media world – it is definitely NOT dead.
In 2015, it appeared the sky was falling at Google+.
Key employees, instrumental to Google+, left the company.
Google stopped conning (almost forcing) GMail users into creating Google+ profiles.
Hangouts became their own thing.
It appeared Google was systematically dismantling their 3rd (or fourth?) attempt at a social network.
I myself said that Google+ was going away in the near future.
I am the first to admit I was wrong.
Google Plus Lives – Saved By Transition
During 2015, Google transitioned Google+ from a Facebook-esque social network to a Pinterest look-alike.
Focusing more on Collections and Communities, Google Plus lives on because the social network has done something remarkable.
Communities give users a forum-like place to discuss topics with people who share the same interests.
Remember when LinkedIn Groups were useful? You know how some Facebook Groups actually have great discussions?
Communities are like that, but sleeker, and with less Spam.
Collections give you the ability to create groups of content about a similar topic of your choosing. Collections may include posts, blogs, videos, images, and other information you find interesting.
You can share your Collections, you can follow other Collections, and people can follow your Collections.
It’s kind of like Pinterest Boards, but better, because you can organize almost any type of information in a Collection (not just photos).
Collections also have a Tumblr feel to them.
So, yeah, Google Plus lives.
But why has Google kept the social network around?
We have some ideas…
2 Reasons Google Plus Lives
Since we do not know anyone at Google, these are purely speculative.
First, Google and Facebook are rivals.
While those companies are both KNOWN for different things, they both provide the same 2 services – an online experience and a place to gather information.
They also make their money the same way – selling advertising.
Google likely feels pressure to stay in the social network game. So far, they’ve been able to keep Facebook on its toes.
And with as smart as Google is, they may just find the Facebook-buster some day.
But there is another, higher-value, reason Google Plus lives.
It’s all about data collection.
Think about this for a minute.
Google consistently makes over 80% of its revenue from selling online advertising, in the form of pay-per-click ads.
What makes online advertising extremely effective?
Amazing data that constantly grows in both quality and volume.
This data enables advertisers to show their ads to a highly-targeted audience demographic.
In the online marketing and advertising world,
And these improvements to Google+ will help Google Proper provide better data and better targeting to its advertisers.
Google Plus Lives…For Data
If you have millions of Google+ users creating Collections about certain topics, Google now knows what each of those users care about.
If you care about dogs, you may create a Collection about dogs.
If you care about social media, you may create a Collection about social media.
This list could go on forever, and could get MUCH more specific (substitute “dogs” with “Beagle rescue puppies”), but you get the idea.
This type of data goes FAR beyond what Google typically offers advertisers now.
The type of data Google+ collects on, ha, Collections gets to the heart of what people are interested in.
What they CARE ENOUGH about to create a collection of information about it.
And, because Google isn’t JUST a social network (they run a little thing called a search engine), the information they are gathering now is impressive, if not a little scary.
Over on Facebook, you can argue that they have information about what someone cares about as well, through Facebook Page Likes and Groups.
But it’s NOT the same thing. Liking a Page or joining a Group on Facebook requires very little effort.
CREATING and maintaining a Google+ Collection takes a good bit more effort.
A person has to CARE enough about the topic to go through those steps.
The only similar thing Facebook has to offer includes targeting ads towards Facebook Page Admins and Group Owners.
How Is This Relevant To You?
Perhaps the REASONS why Google Plus lives aren’t relevant to you and your business right now.
Here’s what IS relevant to you – Google+ is sticking around for a while.
And no matter what Google says,
And that, my friend, means an active Google+ Page *may* help your business rank just a little better in Google search engine results.
You may hate it, you may think it’s a waste of space, but you can’t deny it.
It’s important for your small business to have a presence on the social network.