2 Years ago Google+ was launched with a beta update and was still in its invite only stage. I was one to receive an invite and although I found the interface pleasing enough, it just wasn’t Facebook. Facebook at the time had also released Advertising so was profiting from increased traffic to the site from advertisers whilst still retaining a high level of growth from active users not interested in advertising.
Fast forward two years and whilst Facebook is still quite clearly the market leader of social media outlets, it suffered a failure in it’s big “going public” and overpriced it’s shares. This in turn led to shareholders pressuring for higher returns and some would now say that Facebook isn’t once what it was.
Google+ on the other hand endured a relatively low key launch and has steadily grown its user base year on year. Following it’s recent redesign as well, G+ is now much more friendly to photobloggers who have made this platform their own. Regular bloggers too are also enjoying great success with Google’s new social media platform.
There is also the added benefit that Google+ might have an impact on your Search Engine Optimisation. With the recent advent of Google Authorship enabling authors to display their Google+ profile directly in the SERPs, there have been plenty of rumours and hearsay that suggest Google could be counting this towards your rankings.
Google’s official line is that Authorship is there to verify content on the web and distinguish spam text from the real thing. People on SEO blogs however are thinking differently. With more than one or two people suggesting they’ve seen ranking gains after adding authorship. The general consensus however is that Google+ Pages in the SERPs, whilst they have been shown to increase engagement, there are no hard facts to suggest that the authorship adds a boost to rankings.
It’s definitely one to watch in the future, but for now it’s still inconclusive.