The last few weeks have clearly been busy at google. We’ve felt the impact of this at limeyboy.com in two main areas. Firstly google updated their gmail interface for google apps for business users, and secondly a tranche of changes to google+. It’s google+ that we’ll be discussing in this post.
After a flurry of initial growth, (20 million in the first few weeks) google+ seemed to flounder a little. No sooner was this reported on NPR, that google announced the next day that the beta trial, the limited invite system google likes to roll out new products, (google voice for example), was to end and the product was going to open up to the plebs.
This reignited my interest in google+ and I started using it again, the problem then was that google+ wasn’t available to google apps for business users. This meant having to access to it via an alternate gmail account I had, rather than my main email account. However last week google opened up google+ to the google apps users so I could go from my email to the web, to google+ and back again. In one stroke, google made the utilization of their product much more convenient for me.
Yesterday some more good news came out of google, they had added the google+ pages functionality. Before this, all accounts had to be just personal. Great for the social side of life, but pretty useless for business users. You see I think that facebook has taught us, and for some the hard way, that there should be some differentiation between business and personal.
So now you, as a real estate agent can draw an electronic line in the sand between your google+ personal persona and your business life.
So why is this important, or even essential to do for any forwarding thinking real estate agent?
Anyone who’s familiar with google’s webmaster tools may have noticed a new feature in the user interface recently, namely: +1 Metrics. Essentially google is trying to understand how people rate your content and information. In principle this is rather similar to Facebook’s “Like” tool. The difference being google can see your website’s +1 Metrics, how and what they make of Facebook’s “Likes” is a little less clear.
So in simple terms, if google can see that your site has a legion of followers who have +1-ed your site, that tells gives them valuable insight into your “authority” on the subject matter. Basic maths and common sense suggest the more +1s your site garners the more likely they are to promote your site further up their index.
This is especially interesting in light of google’s recent algorithm update to focus on “newness” of content. If you are a real estate blogger, who on a regular basis generates quality, insightful, niche based content, encouraging your readers to share your content via +1 is only going to help.
So in short I would recommend setting up a google+ account and then creating a page for your business. Then, in the same way you use your facebook business page start adding content to it…and fast. In addition make sure that you are giving your readers the opportunity to share you content via +1.