Our previous blog was all about Google + and while it may have appeared a bit negative towards the new social media platform, we are actually pretty excited about a few of the features. Aside from using Google + to strengthen your search efforts (which you should do) there are a couple of tools that are great for you small business owners out there.
The first feature worth mentioning is hangouts. Think of hangouts like a video chat but only on the next level. You can have up to 9 people chatting with you at one time! That is pretty neat. Aside from the fun interaction of being able to see your co-workers (or friends and family), you can get real work done in the process. During your hangout, you can screen share so the whole group can view the same information simultaneously. You can watch videos together, read documents and more. Currently calls made to the US and Canada are free. (You will need to add some apps to your computer depending on what you want to use during your hangouts.) They even have a mobile app for hangouts so you can do all of this from your favorite mobile device.
The other feature that we are excited about is related to search. It is called the +1 button. If you haven’t heard of this feature before, some are comparing it to the “like” button currently used by Facebook. However, the +1 button is tied to search results. The +1 button is small, red button that (if enabled by you for your business) will appear in search results. If someone finds your business in a search result and they want to recommend you to others, they only need to click on the +1 button. Any +1 recommendations can appear on your display ads, search ads and Google search results. Behind the scenes, Google is matching up recommendations from people on Google + with their Google + friends and serving those results up to them. Again, we aren’t too sure about leveraging Google + for building up your own network but why not leverage the work that has already been done? Also, the more information about your business that can be brought up (such as positive customer recommendations) in search results, the better.
And since Google + is in the early stages and there are bound to be more changes and additions to the product, we suggest that you follow Google +’s business page. (Even though we already told you not to spend time building up your “friends” in Google +, this one would be worth following. They have a lot of tips about how to use their products and you can use their hangout feature to learn more about what they are up to.)
This concludes our special blog series on Google but we are just getting started. The next blog series will be all about social media – you don’t want to miss it!