Google+, the search giant’s attempt to play in Facebook’s sandbox, may have started as a running joke, but they aren’t letting it stay that way. Searchenginewatch.com reports that Google is ramping it up for Mobile and integrating Google Places, the hyper-local resource, as well as Zagat, which they acquired last year. http://bit.ly/JRfSLK
Here is the video that shows how it works.
Okay, let’s take this one piece at a time. Mobile. Click thru rates on mobile advertising is 72 percent higher than on desktops, and Google reported in October that their revenue from mobile was up 150% over the prior year. Unless wear-out sets in, mobile ad growth is on an exponential rise.
Meanwhile, the Google VP of Marketing noted that over half of the searches for Google Maps come from mobile devices.
So now we know what the “+” in “Google +” is for. It’s how Google puts 2+2 together and makes money. All those hyper-local listings on Google Places are getting folded into the Google+ mix. Now the info and reviews and user content will get rolled together and share through Google+.
And Zagat, which Google purchased last year, facilitates a handy restaurant review guide. Meanwhile you, the mobile user, will start getting more relevant ads. Win win win. See the demo at bit.ly/Kgbta2.
Retailers and location-based businesses, this is your hyper-local opportunity. We have been using Google Places to drive search (for one client, over 200% increase in 6 months), now this is going to enhance the package, and hopefully, increase the user generated content. If you haven’t put Places to work for you, this is the time to get up to speed on it. We’ll keep you apprised of best practices as they emerge for Google+.