Google has local search in the bag, and there is not much that Facebook can do about it. The question you need to be asking yourself now if you own a local business, or in fact – if you own any location based business is:
Am I putting in enough effort to my Google+ page?
Google’s ability to combine semantic search, social, and reviews and tie them all together in a pretty little package to serve up to search users may just be the hat trick of Web 2.0 (the one that Facebook in fact thought it would sneak through first). And the secret to it all appears to be Google+.
While Google+ may often feel like a ghost town to anyone that tries to use it in the same way that they use Facebook, it is in fact, being teed up to flex some massive muscle in the coming months and years. Doubtful? Ever wonder why Facebook has been in such a rush recently to install a number of new features (just this week testing starred reviews). It’s a race that Facebook started about 100 feet behind the starting line, and they can install as many “like” buttons as they want on sites, they will never have the amount of big data on sites and their visitors that the Google bots manage to recover.
Speak English – What Can Google+ Do For Me?
There is a lot of talk about the end of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In fact SEO is changing, but quality content still needs to be optimized for search whether that search is happening on a search engine, or through a social network. Social Network Optimization will be more important as Google (and Facebook to its own lesser degree), begins to drive search more through the filter of its social network. In the simplest terms, Google is already starting to change the search results you see, based on interactions that may have happened on it’s Google+ network.
Let’s say I am searching for “Best Deli, Summit NJ”. One of the first sites that pops up might be a Patch.com article about deli’s in the area that my mom “+1d”. Google is telling me that it feels like because I value my relationship with my mom (I do!) because it sees I am connected to her on Google+ it is going to steer me towards information that it thinks I will value because she valued it. This means that your small business – or the blog that you keep for your small business (should you include Google +1 buttons on your site, or share posts on your own Google+ business page) will likely rank higher in search for anyone that is networked to the people who interact with it through Google’s social network. That reach can be quite expansive, and can quickly saturate a local market.
So, while you spend time on Facebook (valuable indeed), make sure you are not neglecting the social network that has the power to rank your site pages in the top position, should you see social engagement around those links. For more information on Google+, talk to one of our experts at Premiere Creative. Call (973) 346-8100!