Why You Should Still Care About Google Plus [Episode 26 The Blog Chronicles]
Google Plus was rocking in 2013.
Do you remember the G+ heyday?
Those were fun times….
What about now? Did something happen to Google Plus?
Yes and no.
Yes, Google made some business decisions in 2015 that affected the G+ momentum. Like, it dropped dramatically.
Many people lost interest and left.
Now let’s fast forward to 2017…have you used Google Plus lately?
Oh, you think it’s a ghost town? Huh.
Then how is a guy like Ben Fisher helping his clients grow their business through Google Plus?
Like the Capri Laguna hotel. They have found huge success growing their business on G+.
Going and checking out Google Plus right now on your own is fine, but what you really need to do is listen to an expert like Ben Fisher tell you WHY you should go back to G+.
That’s exactly what this interview is all about.
Welcome to episode 26 of The Blog Chronicles
Here are some other things you’ll learn from this interview:
–Ben’s overall assessment of Google Plus today. What shape is it in? What can it offer a blogger?
–An estimate of how many people are currently using G+
–How a blogger or online business owner can direct traffic to their website using G+
–How to craft an attractive Google Plus post
–How business bloggers can get a good return on their time investment using G+ Collections and Communities
–G+ success stories
–Why Ben is optimistic about the future of Google Plus
You can read this interview or listen to the audio below.
What do you think about Ben’s positive claims on Google Plus? Anything you would want to say to him? Leave a comment or question for Ben Fisher below…Why Google Plus still works for bloggers:
Ben Fisher Interview Transcript
( For those who like to read.)
Matthew Loomis: Hi Ben welcome to The Show!
Ben Fisher: Hey Matthew, thanks for having me today!
What Benefits Are There For Any Blogger Using Google+ In 2017?
Matthew Loomis: First of all.
let’s talk about the state of Google+ in 2017.
I know that you are still a big proponent of using Google+ as a tool for online marketing. Why do you think Google+ is still worth a business blogger or really any bloggers time?
Why is it worth the time to use Google+ today?
Ben Fisher: That’s a great question Matthew, thank you.
You are right, I am a big proponent of Google+.
We started this company Steady Demand mainly because of the Google+ four years ago. To give you a brief story about that and how we even got started on G+. We’ve been doing SEO well, internet marketing in general since 1994. Mainly helping out enterprise businesses down to local businesses for trying to get exposure.
More importantly helping with SEO as time passed and kind of what we were talking about in the green room about the experiences I’ve had in the web hosting industry.
In the web hosting industry, I was doing a lot of SEO basically helping companies anywhere from GoDaddy Hostgator to Bluehost with SEO back in the 2000’s.
Right around 2000, I went ahead and stopped doing SEO. Mainly because a lot of the companies I was working with wanted to use Blackhat techniques.
I have always been more ”let’s do Whitehats techniques things aren’t going to last forever.”
Basically, I stopped doing SEO. I fired my customers and basically said ”hey if you need help aka and you get a manual penalty in the future give me a call.”
At that time I went back and focused on my business and just started experimenting and I specifically started experimenting with G+. The reason was this:
A. I was a Beta tester of Google+ so it was pretty much from day one.
B. I was seeing the coming of personalization along with Semantic well before it’s time.
When the Plus One Broaden was rolled out.
When Search Plus Me was rolled out.
Then finally of course in 2013 when Hummingbird was rolled out.
So when my customers came to me and said ”hey we’ve been hit by a penalty!” I basically said ”hey I’ve got this idea” it was working for me at the time it has to do with this network Google+ it’s part of Google.
Back in those days by the way people we saying that Google+ is Google that was the mantra of the marketer.
Matthew Loomis: I remember those days.
Ben Fisher: So I said ”hey let’s try this…”
We’re going to get real engagement from active users on G+.
We’re going to write some content or we’re going to disseminate your content and we’re going to do it in such a way that we’re basically teaching Google about your business and what that’s going to do for you is it going to stabilize your traffic. Of course, they said ”hogwash no way!” I said ”of course way!”
So we basically did that and in about six months across all through our case studies, we were able to stabilize their traffic to pre-penalty levels. (They had lost about 75% traffic by the way.) So that was great but the real eye opener was when they went ahead and got their disavowals and got out of their penalties traffic shut up about 600% almost universally across all three.
At that point, I had to step back and say ”wow, we’re onto something I guess.”
To get back to your question – is it relevant?
Matthew Loomis: A lot of things have changed since then.
Since that time period.
Ben Fisher: Tonnes of things have changed.
Hangouts were removed basically from it.
Now we’ve got an entirely new interface which rolled out just the other day on the 24th.
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Ben Fisher: It is something kind of quote – unquote gutted from Google+ and Google My Business the G+ page at least.
Brand pages have been taken away from the forefront so there are all sorts of changes but also there’s a lot of great changes too.
Can You Explain What You Mean By One’s Brand Pages Being Taken Away?
Matthew Loomis: How were brand pages taken away from the forefront what do you mean by that?
Ben Fisher: Well basically, a recent update within Google My Business they used to be able to access what brand pages that you owned via Google My Business.
Now to access them you actually have to go into Google+ to get to the pages that you own. So it’s just more difficult to get to your brand page. I look at it as… and I know that’s the way people see it but I look at it as where Google forces you to go back to Google+ to get to your brand page so it makes sense that way.
For the local side for local brand pages which are connected to maps, I think Google My Business those are what I mean by gutted there is, they’ve done certain things like removed the phone number or they’ve removed the address from those pages.
I think it’s and my colleagues feel that it’s less useful to the end-user. Google feels of course that it’s useful to them because there’s more than enough information in maps knowledge Panel etc… So it’s a delicate balance that Google has to play and what meets their advertising needs and what meets the needs of the users but they have to do it from a big data perspective.
So they have to look across millions of user profiles to answer the question of is this useful or not and sometimes that’s not the best answer and sometimes it is.
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Ben Fisher: Just to get back to your question.
That is this – if you look at this purely from the marketing perspective.
The fact that there are real users there but more importantly that you have a methodology where you can directly teach Google about your business and have that information verified by real people. That’s a win for any blogger or any marketer.
Do You Know the Current Statistics For People Using Google+?
Matthew Loomis: How many people are using Google+ today?
Ben Fisher: If we knew the actual answer to that.
You and I wouldn’t be talking today.
They haven’t released the actual numbers since 2013 I believe was the last time that they talked about numbers. It’s been awhile so…
Matthew Loomis: Why do you think that is?
Ben Fisher: I personally believe that it is because the number is not against statistically significant.
For Google, that means it needs to be one million active users monthly.
You can kind of divine that or I still have to divine that, is from the last IO Google IO. When they released their numbers about how many people are using G Suite, Drive and a lot of other Google products.
If you noticed on the slide that they show basically for each one and they left out a lot of products that didn’t meet that one billion mark.
I think the other thing that it comes down to is just political in nature. They’ve had to distance themselves from the G+ products at least as far as talking about it and I think that comes from just people within Google basically not enjoying it so much.
Do Bloggers and Entrepreneurs Find Value In Utilising Google+ for Their Business in 2017?
Matthew Loomis: So you still think that Google+ is a relevant social platform.
And something that business bloggers and business owners should use to market and promote their business. What are some of the blogging niches that you find are being successful using Google+ today?
Ben Fisher: Interesting stories.
Right, which is we have one client.
Which is a small boutique hotel Laguna Beach in California and you can look them up their name is Capri Laguna.
This hotel when they first started it was doing hardly any marketing (they were a two-star hotel by the way.) The property management company had recently taken it over. It was across distributed four-star hotel. So we were contacted and we were brought in to help with marketing mainly from an SEO perspective and we’ve been doing some blogging for them and we’ve been doing som G+ for them.
They currently have around eight thousand followers on Google+ the average post for them get’s anywhere from between I’d say fifteen hundred engagements per post. The interaction rate for them is in the 56% range.
More importantly, I believe they are now a three-star hotel. They are booked year over year 100%. Previously they were booked 30% and their soul internet marketing comes just from Google+.
Matthew Loomis: Really, wow.
Ben Fisher: They also have a collection that they have on their Google+ Collection that’s kind of like Pinterest.
The Collection that they have is about photographers basically – Laguna Beach Photographers. What we did there was we basically networked with local photographers and asked them if we could utilize their photos and in exchange, we were going to give them some exposure.
This helped build up a lot of semantic relevance between Laguna Beach and the property itself. Therefore when people are looking for a hotel in Laguna Beach chances are is Capri Laguna is going to show up basically from a searched perspective.
And then that collection (I’d have to go and take a look at the actual numbers) but I believe it’s about ten times the number of followers than the brand itself has.
Could You Define Google+ ”Collections?”
Matthew Loomis: Can you explain what a ”Collection” is on Google+?
Ben Fisher: A Collection on Google+ is basically a collection of people’s passions and interests.
The easiest way to think about them going back to what we were just saying is Pinterest for Google.
So when you go ahead and you write a post you can sort that post into a Collection that you’ve created. Let’s say, Matthew, that you have The Blog Chronicles and one of your Collections is called ”Marketing Businesses That Are Awesome” or ” Marketing Tips For Small Businesses.”
So you write out that post and that post is all about a company that you’ve interviewed and you go ahead and you put that into the Collection. Great. Awesome.
The beautiful thing is –
A. A Collection and
B. They’re in the Collections… index normally as any kind of website is.
Then what happens is and this is the part that most people don’t know is that because Collections are powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence they are displayed to people based on what their passions and their interests are based on previous behavior.
Whether that be online or within Google+.
Let’s say I may have never followed your brand, right, but because I talk to marketers on a regular basis then I might find a post from one of your Collections in my home feed. And If I see that post I’m going to look at it and go ”man that’s pretty cool!”
I’ll go visit the Collection and see if there’s more there and I might follow the Collection which gives another signal to Google because they now know that another marketer has gone ahead and followed your Collection too. They might be exposed to my entire friend base at that point. Then over time, I might like your brand also if I like the rest of the content that you provide.
The big thing there that I think is most intriguing as a marketer is the AI aspect of Collections. The story behind that is that Google purchased DeepMind a couple of years ago.
As we all know DeepMind is the AI engine that’s going ahead and beating people at world champion chess world champions at the… it can compete in video games now. It does a whole bunch of things.
The first task that the DeepMind team when they first acquired it was to go ahead and write this new feature for Google+ called Collections. (Most people don’t know that but you can go look it up there are lots of interviews that site this information.)
Now that this whole new interface for G+ has been rolled out DeepMind is basically behind the entire backbone of Google+
If we understand that, then as marketers and business people we can understand how we can leverage that. When I say leverage that I mean leverage in such a good way to really truly be able to market ourselves without deception and be able to get some authenticity basically behind our brand.
Can You Tell Us How We as Marketers Could Strive to Be More Authentic in Our Businesses?
Matthew Loomis: Can you give an example of how that would help a business to be more authentic?
Ben Fisher: I believe that authenticity is the core of any good marketing for your business.
The more you can be honest about what you provide I think is the better because users are going to see that and when they see that they endear it and when they endear it they talk about it.
What’s better that word-of-mouth marketing, right.
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Ben Fisher: If you’re just trying to put yourself out there and say like thousands of people do.
You are the expert at something or you are the best at something or you are the Ninja at something, right. Which we can go to Linkedin and we can see hundreds of thousands of experts.
Matthew Loomis: Are people still using the Ninja term?
Ben Fisher: Oh Yeah. Yeah. Of course.
Matthew Loomis: Oh wow.
Ben Fisher: But that’s a disingenuous way I think of doing marketing.
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Ben Fisher: So if you can just put yourself out there and say this is what I do.
And put yourself out there in such a way that basically I could say answering people’s questions before they’ve even asked them.
That’s how I like to look at it is that when you are doing marketing especially on social media the primary purpose of your marketing should be answering questions. Not just ”how much does this cost?” More like all the questions that you’re asking is perfect examples of answering questions.
So that’s what you should strive to do you’re going to make a posting on Google+ or anywhere then you just go ahead and you put down ”how is this going to help my business?” Or maybe it’s a story or maybe it’s something like you’re sharing information and you’re sharing it freely.
There’s a blog post that I love on our website which basically we outline from A-Z exactly – How To Run A Twitter Chat. I don’t know have you ever run a Twitter chat by yourself?
Matthew Loomis: I have not. No.
Ben Fisher: Okay, they take about eight to ten hours just to orchestrate.
Between creating the question the answers the images scheduling everything.
And timing everything so that way when you’re actually hosting the Twitter Chat you can actually sit there and engage with people and answer their questions.
Then there’s getting the audience and all sorts of stuff… but anyway it’s a really laborious process.
Matthew Loomis: Sounds like it.
Ben Fisher: And we do these for our customers.
Basically, from that why don’t we just vacuum every step of the way what we do and let’s just put it out there. And you know what if it helps people, great! Those people are not going to be our customers they want to do it themselves and that’s fine that’s okay this is a very big world.
Then again there are going to be companies that say ”you know what?” ” That’s a lot of work these guy’s know what they’re talking about I think we should hire them.”
That’s the customer that we want basically at the end of the day.
Matthew Loomis: How many of your clients are the solopreneur type or the freelancer?
Do you have any of those or are you working with just big brands?
Ben Fisher: We work with across the board.
I wouldn’t say that we have a lot of solopreneurs that we work with.
Mainly because I think it’s cost-prohibitive. In general, most people who are solopreneurs are usually still in that DIY phase. I think experience wise when you’re bootstrapping because I bootstrapped. I bootstrapped a lot of businesses.
I want to be in there. I want to be digging into it. I’m very careful where I invest my funds and something like social media is very top of the funnel versus the bottom of the funnel.
So it’s more of an awareness thing versus a sales thing. When you’re first starting you need to focus on sales that’s what builds and so on…that’s a long way of saying not a lot of solopreneurs. Then again you look at a real estate agent and they are kind of like solopreneurs, they just have a bigger particular item. So I would say on average most of the companies that we work with have made at least three or four people who worked there.
So Collections, I don’t know if they are necessarily going to help someone become transparent. Either you are that kind of person or you’re not that kind of person. Either you run your business that way or you don’t. But if you are that type of business that can share information freely and not worry that your competitors are going to beat you because you shared some information which astonishingly many businesses are afraid that their competitors are going to copy everything that they do.
The fact of the matter is this unless you are a really big company that has some trade secrets – it doesn’t matter. It’s more beneficial to share your knowledge.
Matthew Loomis: That’s been known in the internet community for some time.
But people are still coming in constantly and they still have to learn that.
Ben Fisher: Of course.
How Are Communities Different From Collections?
Matthew Loomis: How do the communities differ from collections on Google Plus?
Ben Fisher: Communities are definitely a different thing.
Communities are an excellent place for like-minded people to get together and talk.
Unfortunately, I feel that while Google+ is trying to focus on communities I think the execution of it… to be blunt pretty crabby. I remember the heydays back in the early days of Google+ where you could pop into this community and you would have this intense discussion with people who were true thought leaders. Comments would be four-five-six sentences long. A post would be the size of a blog post.
It just works very well thought out very deep. It doesn’t matter what the subject was it was just really thought-provoking.
Matthew Loomis: I remember those days.
Ben Fisher: And then marketers would come in and they would try to link spam and they would get deleted immediately.
Even with the refocus on communities as they say. I just don’t see that anymore.
I think those days are gone with this new layout of Google+ maybe it will revitalize. There are some waves that I am starting to see there with some of my old friends are starting to come back and look at it and are starting to have those conversations again.
But back to communities – I think that communities are filled with so many users that they are no longer there that they look big which attracts marketers but at the end of the day those people are not active. And I know this because I own some really large communities that are North of a hundred thousand users each.
But after I’ve done the analysis when it comes down to it it’s like a couple of hundred thousand is actually active if that.
How Much Has Facebook Affected These Online Communities?
Matthew Loomis: I’ve noticed that too in some of the communities I’ve been apart of.
How much of that Ben, do you think honestly is due to Facebook and the communities over there are they sucking up people’s time over on Facebook?
Ben Fisher: I don’t necessarily know.
I can’t necessarily say it’s because of Facebook.
I try to look at where my friends personally have gone. They’ve gone all over the place but for the most part, most of them have gone back to focusing on their business.
Of course, there were Hangouts, right, people would do Hangouts and Hangouts events.
I used to do Hangouts and Hangouts events. I think it I’ve probably been on over two hundred. We used to have weekly shows and all sorts of things it was kind of interesting because about two years ago myself and a group of my friend’s just said ”you know what?” ” Forget Hangouts it’s served its purpose.” ”We’ve reached our audience we’ve made new friends we’ve made new connections…we’re going to stop and let’s see what happens when we stop.”
Does the engagement die down? Do our connections die down? Does our business improve?
And guess what the fact is that when you free-up four to five hours a week back into your business your business skyrockets.
Matthew Loomis: That makes sense.
I used to wonder how do these people spend so much time on social media when they have businesses to run?
Ben Fisher: Right.
It’s kind of the shoe cobblers problem, right. The shoemaker has no shoes.
In this case, I think it’s that most people are surprised actually when I’m asked for instance how much time do I spend on social media? The answer is when I started the business I probably spent ten to fifteen hours a week on social media if not more.
Matthew Loomis: That’s pretty significant.
Ben Fisher: But there was a purpose.
There was a business purpose which was not meant to become to fruition for years.
I knew it and I was building relationships with people very specifically. And there were certain people who I wanted to get to know. And there were certain people I wanted to get to know to know other people. If I got to know them and if I genuinely liked them I kept the relationship going and if I didn’t I moved on just like we always do in networking.
But it takes a lot of time and a lot of communities became moderator and owner of a lot of communities like I was saying with the Hangouts and all of that. It served its purpose these people are all friends.
I love the fact of what you’re doing here Matthew because I’ve been on the other side where I’ve interviewed lots of people arranging everywhere from Hulk Hogan of all people.
Matthew Loomis: You know what, I caught that one 🙂
Ben Fisher: You did?
Matthew Loomis: I saw that yeah.
Ben Fisher: It’s funny but it doesn’t Hulk out ’til the end 🙂
To people like Guy Kawasaki.
To really cool companies like… OnBalance to enterprises like T-Mobile.
(To the little, not the little guys because they’re great I think.) Guys who are running real estate companies like Bill Gasset you know all sorts of people. It was great! It was great for networking it really was so I learned a lot.
Matthew Loomis: You’re saying that it still is good for networking in 2017?
It just depends on where you’re at as a business owner or a blogger, is that what you’re saying?
Ben Fisher: Correct.
Matthew Loomis: You and I might not have to spend the fifteen to twenty hours a week.
As someone, just starting might need to do.
But you still think that Google+ is still worth the fifteen to twenty hours a week?
Ben Fisher: I would say this.
That if you’re just starting out or if you’re just in the mid-level or growth phase of your business that absolutely.
Get involved in Google+ go network with some people. Go Plus mention somebody. Find somebody that you idolise or that you look up to that might be a mentor one day and strike up a relationship with them.
Don’t stalk them but get involved in their conversations. If they are active you can meet these people no problem and they’re happy to help and they’re happy to talk to you.
I’ve had this purpose happen to me a lot where it’s like I’ll just be posting my stuff and I’ll see the same person over and over again asking questions and giving their own opinion. Once in a while when someone is sharing their opinion you’re like ”ha, that was really cool that was really good,” I’ll engage back with that person then that person might just one day send me a private message and say ”hey would you like to hop in and hang out on a phone call?”
”I’m really sure why not let’s do it!” Because I’ve already warmed up to the fact that this person might be somebody worthwhile meeting.
It does happen and that’s the beautiful part of it is that it’s still a network where that can occur.
Not to say that can’t occur on Facebook or Twitter because it absolutely can.
It’s just that every network is different and I just find it easier on Google+ to make those connections.
What’s the Best Advice on Creating a Successful Google + Post?
Matthew Loomis: I would agree with that.
When it comes to connecting with quality people and actually getting a connection that has some depth to it. Some substance and a good return on investment. I have to agree with you on that on Google+.
A few years ago when Google+ was thriving with authorship and there were a lot more users many people were coaching everyone to follow a set of protocols as far as crafting an effective post on Google+.
For example, you should have a really good meaty description at the top. Not just a one sentence intro like you do on Facebook a lot. You needed to have a substantial amount of text to get people to engage with the post. So today, after all these changes have occurred does that still stand with crafting an effective Google post?
Can you give us a few tips?
Ben Fisher: We actually have a blog post on our website that is about this which is – Creating The Perfect Google+ Post.
As you know Dustin Stout is on our team as well.
He and I created the whole perfect post so the answer is it still works. It’s a formula with that we use to this very day again we’re sharing the information out there and we use it with our clients.
Recipe of success.
The reason is that if somebody is engaged on Google+ they want meat they want content. They don’t want a one-line CatGif. Although CatGifs do work just not for business.
The thing is you want a short title usually between forty characters. You do want to Bold that with asterisks on both sides of it so that it Bolds out with the formatting. You want to have your link usually right next to your title if you can for those people who do have a small attention span. They can go straight to the content.
Then you give it a little bit of wait space and after that, you’ve got about two to three lines in which you can give a shorter description. That shorter description should summarize what the post is about but also what the definition link is about if there’s a link of course.
Also, it should tease the reader to read more to open up the post.
After that, you absolutely want to summarize the destination post in much more detail and give an opinion more importantly. Why is this important? Ask some sort of question which is stimulating. Again that’s going to bring about engagement. And finally, you want to ask people to give their thoughts.
Then we round it out actually with usually doing the first comment on a post as well. So I found out that adding your own first comment might look tacky is actually great from an engagement standpoint increases you engagement by over 75%. By the way that’s the biggest problem is that you put out a post that nobody engages with.
And the short answer is yes it still works.
Matthew Loomis: Everything that you’re describing obviously takes some time.
Which is why your services are in demand, right?
Ben Fisher: Right.
It does take time, to be able to find the right kind of followers for a brand takes a tremendous amount of time. Manual labor and it’s not something that you could outsource to overseas.
The content itself if you’re talking about writing which we do which is about two hundred to four hundred unique words per post. If you take a look at that company, Capri Laguna that I was talking about you’ll see this in action but two to four hundred words per post are basically almost half a blog post.
As you and I know it is difficult to put out one blog post not just to say another post about that blog post and then do that every day. So yes, it’s very difficult it takes someone who has a background in journalism or public relation which is almost exclusively what we hire.
Matthew Loomis: Journalism or public relations?
Ben Fisher: Either or usually.
Some people we’ve hired have no social media experience whatsoever.
They just have great journalism PR background. The reason is that somebody that has that kind of background can do research they can write and they can connect with people. They can engage with people very fluently. Those are all the talents that you’ll need to properly handle social media.
Matthew Loomis: Absolutely.
Ben Fisher: There is another aspect to G+ that I really think everybody really needs to do. and that is this
And that is this – You’re familiar with the gentleman named Mike Blumenthal, right?
Matthew Loomis: Yes. I am.
I am familiar with his name and I see him a lot on Google+
Ben Fisher: He’s on G+ he’s on Twitter a lot too actually.
Look for him – @mbloomenthal.
Mike is a really great guy, he’s very scientifically analytical and he is the leader and the father of local search. He’s been in the business for over ten years.
He is a man I highly respect.
He’s a scientist with the top contributor group over at Google for My Business so we work together in there. It’s only about twelve people in the world that are our top contributors for our GMB.
Matthew Loomis: That was quite a recognition and an honor for you.
Ben Fisher: Absolutely.
It’s great it’s really awesome to be able to help people and be tied to Google in that way.
The reason that I’m bringing Mike and this up is that we got together almost a year ago and Mike was a Google+ naysayer. He really did not believe that Google plus was great for business. he had beat the drum on it for years ”I think this is good I think this is good.” And then all of a sudden ”ahh, once they’ve removed links to G+ it was like it’s gone.”
So I went to Mike and we got together and basically, I said ”look I know that you’re not a real believer what if I can show you some data that shows otherwise?”
Of course, Mike is a scientist and we got together and basically, I showed him some ranking reports that we had for local clients the engagements that we were getting that were in correlation to that. We decided to do a case study together. And that case study was all contingent upon whether it was succeeded or failed he was going to talk about it. I was like ”sir, sound good to me let’s do it.”
We started working on one of his clients called Barbara Oliver and the whole idea was to basically help create some three packs that didn’t exist and help the client get ranked.
The neat thing about it was the only thing that we did was manage a Google+ page effectively. We did this for about forty-five days. After forty-five days the client rose in ranking from almost nowhere to being ranked about five, I think it was. Then what ended up happening was those magical little three packs came into existence.
The possum update hit, we ended up doing a little bit more work and then the count went up and ended up being in the one-two and three spots across different packs.
So the long story short of that is that if you are interested in any kind of search ranking for your business big or small you should be paying attention to Google+.
You should be writing content and you should be getting engagement from real followers not fake bought followers. It will help your business it doesn’t matter if you’re a soloprneur or if you’re an enterprise just do it. And we’ve proved it so that’s what I want to leave you with there is the bigger whammy at the end of the day is it can help you from a business perspective transparency getting connections but it can also help you from an SEO perspective.
Matthew Loomis: That is good stuff, Ben.
What is the title of that case study so that I can link to it?
Ben Fisher: You can actually go see the case study at – Local U dot org
It’s in the forums right now.
Then Mike was going to be doing a MozCon Local (Which was on the 27th and 28th February 2017.) He did a presentation which is entitled – Words Are The New Links – Which basically is talking about Semantic Correlations. Semantic word correlations between words and entities and how you can increase the relevance of entities through the use of words.
Matthew Loomis: I like the sound of that.
Ben Fisher: Thanks!
Mike came up with it Matt, he’s the guy!
Matthew Loomis: I’m a copywriter and a content writer so yeah I love words and this sounds great.
Ben Fisher: Bring it on.
Why Are You So Confident That Google+ Is Still a Great Platform for the Future?
Matthew Loomis: Ben this has been great stuff about Google+ today and I want to close with this question.
Going forward, why are you optimistic about the future of Google+?
Ben Fisher: Going forward.
I’m optimistic about it because I’ve seen it go through its ups and downs.
More importantly, I’ve seen what happened in the past year and a couple of months. About November not last year but the previous year in November they rolled out the Google+ preview. That was the first signal that Google+ was not dead. They were starting to revamp the design.
The next thing I was waiting for… so my gut said… ”this is going to be around for about a year and then it’s going to become permanent but what’s going to happen between now and then?”
Luke Wroblewski and his team at Google+ did an amazing job during that year.
They took people’s feedback, they listened to it and they implemented changes that were really important. So basically between the whole rewrite listening to people making a year’s worth of changes show that there is an active dedicated team behind Google+
If they were going to kill the product? It would have been done a year ago. You only have to look at history to realise that is a fact. When they killed off Google Buzz it was done literally within a couple of weeks I believe the same with all the other products that are in the Google graveyard.
Anything they are going to kill they do it swiftly. Look at what happened to the RSS Reader, right. What did they give? Everybody a two months heads up notice something like that. That affected I think it was North of a million users if I remember correctly.
Matthew Loomis: Every bit as much, yeah.
Ben Fisher: So if they would kill a product like that.
Which was used by millions of people in a short period of time but they would let Google+ go and continue and put development resources behind it all.
We’re talking about a team of probably ten-fifteen people maybe. Do your math on that if you do the math on that figure out just on the average. How much do you think those engineers are making a year? Plus the building okay put that number out there I would still say that’s an investment.
Matthew Loomis: Ben, honestly when I was doing the research for our interview I started to get a sense that Google really sees this as a long game.
Google+ is a long game like a really long game.
They’re so smart that they are thinking of things that we’re not even seeing right now.
Ben Fisher: Exactly.
There’s a video we made a while back which I think speaks to the core of this.
When we had software that we used to do for Google+ Analytics.
We tried to explain why Google+ was important and it comes back to this whole teaching Google aspect. That is that this simple message was that Google has to fight a lot of spam on so many fronts. Why not put together a network that basically takes the power of over three hundred million people and put them to work verifying information for you.
That’s in the form of Plus1 comments and shares.
You take that just as a basic concept that is a business does what they say they do and they post about that information and then people validate that information by engaging with it. That’s just one more node that Google can look at to verify whether that information is trusting or if it’s basically verifiable or not.
That right there makes sense especially if it goes over into Google Search.
Which is then monetized by ads.
Matthew Loomis: Absolutely.
It sounds like it makes sense to continue using Google+ for an online business owner.
Ben Fisher: Absolutely.
As long as they are dedicated to it, I’m going to be dedicated to it. I think a business should also be dedicated to it as well.
Don’t ignore the other social networks if your customers are there of course. Absolutely not. We provide services that are not just Google+ we provide Google+ we provide local search services.
We provide Facebook. Yes! we do FACEBOOK. We do Twitter we provide Twitter Chats like we were talking about. We even offer Instagram Pinterest and Linkedin services. We have to, its social media. All social media is the same and it’s very core and that’s why companies can do multiple channels you know it’s just the platform that’s different.
Do You Always Propose Google+ To Your Customers as a First Option?
Matthew Loomis: You as a social media consultant.
You don’t always necessarily recommend Google+ first, you first find out where their audience is?
Or maybe not.
Ben Fisher: Not true.
There are rare instances and I mean very very rare where I will not recommend Google+ because it’s simply just the best money for your time for your buck.
The effect is so large, it’s so ”biglee” now. Just kidding, but the effect is so great now so the effect is so large actually. You’re affecting search you’re affecting PR you’re affecting marketing. You’re reaching out to people you’re getting clicks which translate into sales.
You put all these things together and you throw search on top of that and it’s like ”eehh, why are you not doing it?” You don’t care about search ”okay, that makes sense.” ”Not really!” So…
The only time that I will not recommend g+ is if the person that I am talking to is so closed-minded that they don’t even want to hear it and then it becomes a negative. Then I’m like ”okay, whatever we’ll talk about it another day.”
Connect With Ben Fisher On Social Media
Matthew Loomis: That’s great!
Ben where can people connect with you online, social media wise?
Ben Fisher: Sure. Absolutely.
So if you want to connect with my company it’s – Steady Demand dot com
Then basically you can follow us on Twitter – @steadydemand
You can follow us of course on Google+ – + Steady Demand
If you ever want to figure out what is the easiest way to reach somebody on Google+ just go to Google dot com / whatever their vanity URL is so in our case + Steady Demand.
If you want to get in touch with me personally it’s + Ben Fisher
On Twitter, I’m @ The Social Dude
Matthew Loomis: I will be linking to those in The Show Notes.
Great! Be I want to thank you for coming on The Blog Chronicles today and sharing your expertise with us.
You have really encouraged me to keep Google+ in the radar. Not in the rear view mirror but in front of me and considering getting back to it more heavily.
Honestly, I had backed off from Google+ but what you told me today, I think I need to reconsider it.
Ben Fisher: Wonderful Matt.
I think you’ll find as a publisher and especially with the great content that you’re producing you are going to be able to reach more people and help more people at the end of the day than you do currently. On top of that as a publisher we want traffic, we need traffic.
That usually comes in the form of organic traffic. So organic traffic is on your radar absolutely G+ and then just the fact that you’re a writer should be second nature for you.
Matthew Loomis: Part of it is the time factor that we talked about.
I still share things on there but honestly, I haven’t been engaging on there very much for quite a while.
I know that’s a big thing on Google+ if you’re not engaging with other people the people are like ”Oh, I’m not going to bother engaging on your stuff.” You know what I mean?
Ben Fisher: Exactly.
You think about it, it’s kind of social media, in general, is a very give and take symbiotic relationship.
Matthew Loomis: That’s true but it seems it’s like on other platforms.
It’s a little different, it seems like on Google+ if you’re not engaging then they forget you. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. It’s probably a good thing because we’re supposed to be social not just throwing up in people’s laps and running away, you know.
Ben Fisher: I like how you said that.
”Not just throwing up in people’s laps.”
The way I think is that David, me and Mark used to do a lot of shows together and we used to talk about social media and how it’s kind of akin walking into a networking event. We’ve all been to a networking event of some kind. When you go into a networking event the first thing that you don’t do is walk up to a group of strangers and say ”hi, here’s my business card this is what I do, have a nice day talk to ya later” and walk by.
Matthew Loomis: Right.
Or this is my new blog post I just wrote.
Ben Fisher: Exactly. Right.
You walk up to a group of people and you listen to about what’s going on.
Interject if it’s right. You get to… that’s one of the things that social media allows you to do. It allows us to do that and to accelerate that process so much faster.
Matthew Loomis: Absolutely.
I’ve made so many friends on G+ and on other platforms too. Social is a great thing whoever invented it deserves a bonus.
Ben Fisher: I agree.
Matthew Loomis: Well, Ben.
Thanks for coming on today I really enjoyed this conversation and I’ll let you know when this is up.
Ben Fisher: Okay. Cool, sounds great!
The Show Notes
Thank’s For Tuning Into This Episode of The Blog Chronicles.
I’ll see you next time!