Ever since its birth in 2011, people have viewed Google+ with everything from disdain to outright disgust. Seen as the search giant’s attempt to muscle into the social media market, many felt that Google+ was unpolished, redundant, and obscure. But, in just a few short years, Google+ has become an important part of the social media landscape and plays an increasingly vital role in search engine optimization and social media marketing. So, while many people may hate Google+, it is time for you to learn to love it!

Why People Usually Hate Google+

The most immediate reaction one has when first playing with Google+ is that it is no different than Facebook or Twitter. It looks like just another stream of nonsense from a bunch of people you barely know. Worse than that, it is just another place you have to start trying to dedicate a portion of your valuable time to in order to develop your brand. Worst of all, it uses an entirely different menu and administration structure from other sites, meaning if you are very familiar with Facebook’s layout, Google+ may be fairly alien. But Google+ is not a total waste of time and resources!

Why You Need to Love Google+

Google+ offers a few neat features that make it easier to play with than Facebook or Twitter. These features include the ability to edit posts after they are made, the ability to use the Hangout feature as a means of directly sharing content with others and better integration with mobile devices for uploading media. But the real reason to love Google+ is its integration with Google’s search results. We have all heard for years about how search engines are increasingly using social media as one metric for determining a page’s relevance in search results. Obviously, having social media buzz on Google’s own social media platform is one way to ensure the search giant notices your page’s relevance. More importantly, features like Google Authorship allow you to directly influence your site’s visibility by adding your photo and Google+ profile next to articles you create when they appear in search results. Reports indicate that Google Authorship also has the added benefit of bumping a page up in search results by demonstrating increased relevance and credibility. Other reasons people are increasingly beginning to love Google+ include the following:

  • the ease with which you can control who can see what aspects of your profile,
  • a larger space to write (not limited like Twitter or Facebook),
  • an ability to create on air video streams to reach directly to your audience in face-to-face video conferences,
  • an ability to create GIF files to animate photos next to your posts for added visual appeal,
  • and much less advertising means your message is not lost in the background noise.