2014 is the Year for Google+ – Sorry Facebook, You Did It to Yourself
I know it is a little late for 2014 trend predictions, but some things need to be said. As a social media strategist, I am telling you that 2014 is going to be the year of Google+. Between the new capabilities of Google+ and some bad decisions that Facebook has made, we are going to see businesses dedicate more of their social media efforts towards Google+ than Facebook.
To succeed online, you must be found. With billions of websites and even more social media pages available, being the one that people see is difficult.
To find things, most people turn to Google. There are other search engines, but we are just going to talk Google today. If you look at the factors that determine your fate on Google Search, the most influential is your number of “Google +1s.” This is the most important reason why you have to learn to love Google+.
Let’s take this one step further. If you just look at math, you could assume that the more pages that Google indexes for you, the better the chance you have at being seen. I am going to tell you that this assumption is basically correct. Google Search indexes all public Google+ pages so everything you post is now searchable content within Google. This is why businesses are going to love Google+.
Google+ also has some other great features that help enhance a business’ visibility in Google Search. These include Google Authorship and Google Communities. I will spend more time later this week on these topics. For now, know they exist only on Google+.
What’s Up with Facebook?
Facebook was the favorite social media network for nearly everybody. They were a free service for connecting people. Then they added amazing advertising opportunities. As someone who loves targeting and marketing, I have always been impressed with the unparalleled level of targeting Facebook offered. You could reach the smallest populations very easily and relatively inexpensively.
In 2013, Facebook introduced “Promoted Posts” and re-worked their Newsfeed algorithm otherwise known as Edgerank. At first, promoted posts and stories were a new way for advertisers to get their word out. But then they re-worked their mystery newsfeed algorithm. This new algorithm intentionally made it more difficult for the posts on business pages to be seen by their fans. This was done in an effort to encourage advertising.
While it is their right to change this algorithm, it was done in very bad faith to companies that have done a lot for Facebook. Look at all the major brands. Everyone now includes “Follow us on Facebook” as part of their traditional advertising campaigns. Facebook has received billions of dollars of free advertisers from some of the most recognizable brands in the world. Changing this algorithm has aggravated marketers and will contribute greatly to a shift from Facebook to Google+.
I would also like to add that Google+ is currently an ad-free environment. Realistically, I can see that changing but as we have seen with the evolution of advertising on Google Search, Google has not compromised content for advertising. Facebook did and that’s not cool.
Business marketers, I am telling you today that 2014 is the year for Google+. Take notice and more importantly, take action.