Google has been very busy lately with an array of new features and social products. Google+, the +1 button, Circles, Hangouts, and Huddles are just a few of the terms flooding your Twitter and Facebook feed, but what does it all mean for you?
In just a few months, Google has redefined the way we search and rolled out a legitimate competitor to Facebook and Twitter. We’re skeptical any time Google rolls out a new social product because Orkut, Google Buzz, and Google Wave were massive failures, and they know it. But this time, it’s different, and here’s why:
Google+ (Google Plus)
Google Plus is the newest social network from Google, and it works similarly to Facebook and Twitter but with two unique features, Circles and Hangouts. Circles is a feature of Google Plus that allows you to connect and segment the different groups of people in your life. Circles allows you to choose which information to share with your friends, family, and professional connections.
Hangouts is an innovative feature that allows you to group video chat with up to 10 other people — for FREE. Google is trying to virtually simulate the experience of bumping into someone in real life by making video chat easy and convenient. Hangouts could also become a popular tool for small and large businesses to run more interactive conference calls and meetings.
The +1 Button
Google rolled out the +1 button to compete directly with the Facebook “Like” button after they saw the massive adoption and success that it has had over the past year. It’s an interesting concept, because it turns searching into a social activity. The idea is for search users to “+1” a search result that they found relevant or useful. Google has already admitted that the +1 button will directly affect search results and rankings, but only when the user is logged into a Google account.
Much like the Facebook “Like” button, the +1 button can be added to your website. We are already in the process of adding the +1 button to websites that we manage for our clients due to its positive affect on search rankings.
What Does It Mean For The Hospitality Industry?
The +1 button is already having a huge impact on the way we search on Google, and we believe that it will be around for a long time. Unfortunately, it does not have integration with Google Plus at this time, but we anticipate it to soon be a feature that Google implements. Click here to get the Google +1 button code to place it on your website.
Right now, Google+ is for people, not businesses, But Christian Oestlien, one of the Google+ masterminds, has stated that they are developing a separate Google+ profile for businesses, and he is encouraging businesses to hold off from creating personal Google+ accounts at this time. Hopefully, they will integrate it with Google Local Listings and provide a more social component to it. If you would like to join Google+, contact your Revenue Performance Account Manager, and we’ll hook you up with an invitation. First come, first serve.