How Google Plus Could Impact Online Advertising and SEO

Google+ Marketing Strategy

Since the arrival of Google Plus, marketing analysts all over the Web have had a lot to say about the potential implications of the new social network. Although Google has asked business owners to hold off on creating official business or brand profiles for now, there are still other noteworthy ways that Google Plus could impact your web presence.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In a recent post, Sr. Social Search Strategist Brian Chappell noted how data from Google Plus, like sharing content from Sparks and +1 activity, could affect organic search engine optimization (SEO). One obvious data set Google now has is everything generated by the “+1” button that appeared months before the release of Google Plus. By allowing users like you to recommend content, Google’s algorithms can factor this social share data in how it recommends content to your friends and connections via search engine results.

On Google Plus, content that you have recommended with this feature is displayed in a list on the “+1’s” tab of your personal profile. For now, however, it doesn’t appear that content created on Google Plus that receives “+1” activity shows up on the “+1’s” profile tab. For example: if your friend posts a picture of their pet on Google Plus and you “+1” it, that pet picture does not appear in your “+1’s” profile tab. But as Google Plus continues to grow and implement new features, keeping tabs on where +1’d content appears may reveal choice opportunities for advertisers.

Relevant, Highly Targeted Advertising

With Google Plus, Google is poised to fuse search intent (what traditional search engine advertising is based on) and user behavior (social indicators from users). But with Google Plus there is a lot of new potential for extremely specific targeting based on user-submitted data, too. As Michael McEuen noted, search engine advertising on Google is a good way to “target user search intent and content on websites, but there is a lot of grey area to know for certainty that you are truly reaching your intended audience.” And one of the major advantages of advertising on Facebook, one of the most popular social networks, is the ability to zoom in on the ideal consumer by age, gender, location, or other details users provide in their profiles. While there is currently no advertising on Google Plus, many analysts are quick to point out that the abundance of user data may signal big marketing opportunities.

So now that Google is poised to start cultivating its own data set of diverse and complex user data points, it would be a huge opportunity to then capitalize on that by offering ultra-specific targeting capabilities for a variety of online advertising campaigns. Or, as McEuen puts it, “Think of not only bidding on a keyword, but also having the ability to set parameters around searcher demographic.”

How do you think Google Plus will affect your web presence, SEO and online advertising? What kind of opportunities do you predict Google Plus can bring your business? Share your thoughts in a comment!

Angela Epley writes about online advertising & web presence for the ReachLocal blog, which focuses on small business online marketing strategies.

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