Small business owners with social media marketing campaigns have wondered if developing a presence on Google+ is worth their time. While many American shoppers are already active on Facebook, Twitter and other networks, Google’s year-old entry in the social channel has struggled to gain much traction with users, but ContentLEAD has reported that a bevy of new features are making Google+ and important platform for companies to power their online reach.
Many have been drawn to the network as a result of its integration with Google search. Given the popularity and importance of SEO, the move to make Google+ a cornerstone social media marketing platform has been a no-brainer for some. The integration between Google+ and Google search went a step further recently, when the company quietly rolled out an “Actively discussed on Google+” feature in its search results. Now, users will be able to see conversations from Google+ that relates to results for the queries they entered.
Active discussions around results reward small businesses that are driving conversations on Google’s social network by giving them additional real estate on search results pages and encouraging clicks. Additionally, the notation may inspire searchers to get involved in the conversation and interact with brands.
The move went unannounced by Google, but appears to have rolled out late last Thursday morning.
When users see the Actively discussed tool within their search results, they will also see a “More” button, which allows them to preview some of the discussion around the link or topic trending on Google+. A “Less” button appears at that point so it can be minimized.
ContentLEAD has frequently reported that small businesses active in both SEO and social are making Google+ a part of their plans due to the impact of social content on search ranking. Among the most recent Google+ additions to search was the integration of a Share button within SERPs that allows users to Share relevant links on their own Google+ Pages, amplifying content reach and influence among Google+ users.
The integration of the Actively discussed tool seems be a nice complement to Share, since users can monitor the discussion and contribute if they want to. After clicking the Share button, which doesn’t appear until a user hovers over the link, he or she can add their own comment before posting it to their account.
All of these new features are good for Google+, but the network still struggle to attract consistent users. ContentLEAD reported that Google+ now counts more than 250 million users, which is likely helped by the automatic enrollment of those using Gmail and other Google services.