As a crucial element of the internet marketing industry, the online reputation management and social media are vital tools to follow for those who want to stay on top of the SEO trends. At the same time, we all know that it is in the nature of the SEO techniques to change constantly.
While until summer 2011 the businesses with an online presence had only two high power pages to rank them automatically in the searches, namely Twitter and Facebook, the introduction of Google+ brought another element to the equation.
Overall, the social networking pages made the lives of site owners and webmasters much easier, as they do not have to spend extra cash on domains and hosts just to downgrade the pages containing bad reviews or negative comments from the first SERPs. Let’s take a closer look at the impact Google+ had on online reputation management.
The business pages
It is no longer a secret that Google is introducing the Google+ content into the normal search queries. However, this action presents a lot of implications and shows signs of favoritism towards brands, especially the ones with the Direct Connect feature. Basically, this means that the non official pages, where the non approved company information and criticism can be found, have reduced chances of showing up in the SERP. What users will see instead is an increased amount of marketing messaging, which is obviously positive.
What does having a Google+ brand page mean then?
Currently, the search results that show up on a Google page are limited to 10. This is the main reason why some SEO experts consider that having a Google+ profile is like having your own search engine page. While the Facebook and Twitter pages show only once, with Google+, things are completely different.
Basically, when searching for a company the user will see the official page and on the next positions, the Google+ profile and the latest Google+ page posts. The bottom line is that it makes it simpler for companies to determine users to click on contents that they control. This statement is also backed up by user behavior patterns, as most are interested in the first results of the query.
Direct Connect – The controversial feature
Companies that have linked their official websites to the Google+ brand page can benefit from the Direct Connect feature, well, basically compliments of Google. In essence, the role of the feature is to take the user search away from the result page and into the company’s Google+ page. Obviously, many ask themselves why anyone would want that. Considering that the Direct Connect will show only one result, businesses practically eliminate negative comments, reviews and most importantly, possible listing of the competitors.
Summing it all up
All signs indicate that Google+ is mostly developed for companies and not for individual users, unlike the Facebook and Twitter profiles. In fact, even the features and functions of Google+ are mostly useful for businesses rather than users. Why? Well, it provides a free and easy way to maintain a positive image of the company, while having a certain degree of control over the posts that put the business in a bad light.