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Being Strategic About Social Media Part IV: Google+

Google+ ... is anyone on it besides Google people?

The answer is yes. And it's an interesting demographic you might not find elsewhere.

Compared to other social media platforms, Google+, on the surface, looks like a waste of time.

The average person in the U.S. spends less than 7 minutes on the site a month, compared to 6 hours on Facebook. There are currently 300 million active profiles on Google+, a fraction of Facebook's 1 billion.

But, on the other hand, I don't know too many of us who wouldn't love to get our copy in front of a few million people. Google+ is also one of the few social platforms that has more male (60%) users than female. They tend to be early adopters. And Google+ also lets you email people in your circles when you post content.

Google+'s real value may be in the SEO juice content gets from being posted there. There are 1 billion searches on Google every day. If playing in Google's sandbox by putting your content on Google+ gives you an SEO bump, why wouldn't you?

There's been a lot of speculation on this; some say yes, others say no. I tend to believe Moz, which says: "After Page Authority, a URL's number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor." An experiment we did here at the Daily Herald supports that. I would Google content on our website and not see us pop up on the first results page. After various people in the newsroom shared the content or +1'd it on Google+, I did see us on the first page.

A second key factor is people in your circles. If I Google something that someone in my circles has shared, it was typically the second or third link on the results page.

So: Share content on Google+ and get people in your circles. At the least, you'll get a higher search ranking.

Another big benefit to writers is Google authorship. Linking your content on websites to your Google+ profile means your image and info will show up next to your search return results -- plus the SEO boost.

Below is an excellent chart outlining how to create a Google author tag.

BTW: You can find me on Google+ at</a>

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