YOU DELETED YOUR FACEBOOK APP?
Six months ago I did the unheard of and deleted the Facebook app off my iPhone. I didn’t delete my profile - I’m not crazy - I just made it harder for me to access my account. The goal of deletion was to free up more of my time and allow me to be more productive day to day. It worked! I was on my iPhone a lot less and I was getting a lot more done…for about a week.
About a week into my experiment I discovered the Google Plus app. I didn’t find it on iTunes, it had been on my iPhone for as long as I had the iPhone but I rarely opened it. The few times I had, Google Plus was a wasteland – there wasn’t anyone to engage with and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with the platform. With my Facebook app gone and procrastination on the brain I gave the Google Plus app another try.
I have to admit it wasn’t easy at first. Google Plus looked a lot like Facebook (without all the friends) and it even acted a lot like Facebook with the +1’s similar to Facebook’s “likes” and the similar “newsfeeds”. After about a month of only having Google Plus on my iPhone it dawned on me, I like Google Plus. Even though I have added the Facebook app back to my iPhone I still prefer Google Plus to Facebook.
I have listed the top five reasons I prefer Google Plus to Facebook in the hope of inspiring more of you to join me on G+. There are a lot more reasons I’m just going to list five and let you be surprised with the rest of the Google Plus greatness.
1) IT'S TWITTER, NO IT'S LINKEDIN, IT'S FACEBOOK... NO IT'S GOOGLE PLUS!
The light bulb moment for me on Google Plus was when I realized it wasn’t Facebook it was it’s own thing. In my opinion it’s a mix of the major social media sites creating an awesome Frankenstein-like monster of social. It has usability similar to Facebook, the new connection ease of LinkedIn, the Twitter “follow” like feature and so much more.
2) I CAN SEE YOU, AND YOU AND YOU!
Google Plus hangout is the greatest thing since sliced bread and silly-putty combined. The Google Plus hangout lets you video chat with up to 9 people. It’s a great way to hang out with several friends at the same time. Despite this being a great way to stay in touch with friends, I use it to make new friends. I’ve had the opportunity to sit on several hangouts with topics ranging from some of my favorite TV shows to discussions about current events and hot topics.
It’s amazing, if you hang out with people virtually you become friends in the real world. There are several people I have “hung out” with that I consider real friends.
3) SHUSH! DON'T TELL MY OTHER CIRCLES
Everyone knows about G+ Circles, what the use? My biggest problem with Facebook is the massive horde of people who see most of my post unless I am very proactive about blocking out who can see it. G+ makes segregating your groups or circles more than easy; they make it almost necessary. Once you have your circles built out it’s very simple to communicate with a single circle or to check in on a circle. I have several circles dedicated to various topics – it’s very nice to be able to read through post based on specific issues. My Game of Thrones’ circle is a huge time suck and a lot of fun!
4) WAIT! I DON'T NEED FRIENDS
Compared to Facebook I have hardly any “traditional friends” on Google Plus. This really bothered me at first, then I noticed no one on G+ has friends. When you have a network of people without friends you are more likely to make new friends. I really see Google Plus as an awesome networking tool! I’m adding peeps to circles like crazy!
5) G+ YOUR SEARCH RANKINGS
When I started using Google plus I saw a big jump in search engine traffic for my little personal blog. This led me to do a little research. There has been a debate as to how much Google plus helps Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or if it helps at all. I believe there are three reasons Google Plus helps blogs and websites get found on the web.
- Social Validation – Google strives to provide users with valuable content with each search and it is always looking for ways to validate content as original and relevant. Having a Google Plus account tied to a blog posting allows the search engine to tie the article to a real person/ author. Based on the G+ account activity Google is able to provide weight to the posting based on the author’s relevance and other post made by the same author.
- Personalized Search – Always seeking a better search experience, Google has been moving towards a more personal search experience. Google has leveraged Google Plus to make users searches more relevant based on their circles. Therefore, my search patterns effect what people in my circles will see when they search. The larger my network the more influence I’ll have over their search.
- Google Plus accounts are seen as sites – Google sees a Google Plus profile as a “regular” webpage – this really makes it a valuable asset when you realize that Google Plus pages have page rank. That means that when a Google Plus page links to a website it is passing along link juice as if it were a full-fledged webpage. Google has made it difficult to see the page rank of Google plus pages but Joshua Burg learned recently that by modifying the a Google Plus accounts URL structure you can determine the accounts page rank. Depending on the pages activity he say he has found a page rank spread ranging from 0 to 6. As more becomes known about the power of Google Plus for SEO you will see much more emphasis on Google Plus as part of a robust SEO portfolio.
As you can see Google Plus has a lot to offer and I recommend everyone take a week and give it a try – you might be surprised what you’ve been missing. Log on, find me – I need friends and let’s explore G+ together. It’s clear by how much focus Google is giving the platform it’s not going anywhere so join me and get in before it’s cool!