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Should Brands Focus on +1’s or Google+ Followers? Solving the Google+ Equation

A “+1” used to be a term heard only in reference to a wedding invitation, but Google+ changed all that. Now people can +1 pages, posts, or pictures posted to Google+. The +1 button used to be the only option to embed on a website, until Google rolled out the Google+ follow button and other badges to celebrate the platform’s 2nd birthday earlier this summer.

+1 Button vs. Google+ Follow Button

Both have its own advantages for brands since we know how important the Google+ platform is for marketers. The follow button is fairly new and many brand websites still contain only the +1 button. Brands should add the Google+ follow button to websites to encourage site visitors to follow your Google+ page.

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Adding the Google+ follow button will allow you to grow your audience on Google+ and foster long-term engagement.

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Long-Term Brand Value of Google+

When a Google+ user +1’s a webpage, that is a good thing. If someone +1’s your site or other content, then that person’s connections on Google+ will see that +1 in their search results, should they search your brand name. But If you ask a user to simply +1 your .com site and move on, you’re only getting that one +1. If you can convert the user to a G+ follower, you then have an opportunity to get +1’s from them on every brand owned piece of content you share to G+.

This is an engagement strategy that will pay off for a brand with SEO benefits as it relates to Circles. So add the follow button to your site, but you don’t need to remove the +1 button if you already have it – this is a recommendation straight from the source.

The +1 and Circle Search Impact

When users +1 your content, that engagement is surfaced in search results, which creates credibility in the mind of the searcher who sees those actions.  We can hypothesize that searchers are then more likely to click results which have +1s, driving more traffic to that result and, in turn, creating greater SEO.  Be aware though that more Google +1s do not directly impact higher Google web rankings. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, addressed this “myth” in a thread on Hacker News, which was in reply to a recent blog post from Moz.

Creating good content and sharing it on Google+ is the key to putting this information to work for your brand. Still craving more information on Google+? Check out our recent blog posts “Why Content Marketers Can’t Ignore Google+” and “4 Ways Google+ Can Help Enterprise Brands“.

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8 Comments
  • Are Google Plus Followers Important?
    Posted at 20:09h, 20 August

    […] Should Brands Focus on +1′s or Google Plus Followers? Solving the Google Plus Equation […]

  • Louise Goldstein
    Posted at 04:20h, 23 August

    Do you know a way you can find out how many Google+ followers you have? I can see how many +1’s but not followers?

  • Mary Ellen Skawinski
    Posted at 15:51h, 28 August

    If you hover over the left hand menu, then click on “Pages,” it should display a box for your business page. There you’ll see how many Followers you have and the date of your last post.

  • kieranwils
    Posted at 16:21h, 28 August

    View your Google+ profile as your brand page and click on the name just left of the alert symbol and click “dashboard”. The dashboard will tell you how many followers you have.

  • jamestaxlaw
    Posted at 17:28h, 04 January

    very informative.

  • Nic
    Posted at 20:19h, 09 January

    How do I get followers vs people who just +1 my page? I have +32 on my biz page, but only 8 followers. I don’t even SEE a follow button on my page?

  • Kieran Wilson
    Posted at 10:10h, 03 February

    Hi Nic, You can find everything you need here: https://developers.google.com/+/web/follow/

  • Harrison
    Posted at 04:48h, 08 May

    Good to know. 😀

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