In a nutshell, Google wants to use you to advertise their service. The New York Times explains that this will allow the company to show user reviews for restaurants or the fact that you follow a brand page on Google+ in their display ads, which reach close to 1 billion users. In other words, if you give a new gadget or a company a +1 (the Google equivalent of the Facebook like) then this might be used to sell that same product to other people.
We want to give you – and your friends and connections – the most useful information. Recommendations from people you know can really help. So your friends, family and others may see your Profile name and photo, and content like the reviews you share or the ads you +1’d. This only happens when you take an action (things like +1’ing, commenting or following) – and the only people who see it are the people you’ve chosen to share that content with.
And while the new terms of service might upset a few individual users (although nothing like the new Facebook privacy settings did) it’s a TOTAL BOON for brands. Here’s why:
1. Free personally relevant advertising content!
Snooooreeee. I know this sounds so dry and corporate and buzzword-y but it’s also true! Things can be both! And it’s awesome! Your brand will be be given a free, truthful endorsement from a (non paid) source. It’s personally relevant to the consumer (or client or candidate) and this makes you look authentic in the best possible light.
2. There is still not a lot of content being shared on Google Plus but that’s not an issue – let me explain.
Although people ARE using G+, it’s still a bit of an undiscovered country out there. This is not an issue for your staffing company. On the contrary, all you need worry about is how it increases your search rankings. And it does! So you can just ignore all the stupid Hunger Games/Jonas brothers/Miley Cyrus posts and (figuratively) walk on by, secure in the knowledge that your staffing brand is rising in the ranks of Google’s SEO practice. (I’ll explain this more in #4)
3. G+ users can opt out of these new Terms of Service but why would they?
It’s no different than liking a page on Facebook or giving a Yelp review. I predict most people won’t turn the feature off. In fact, in what I have to admit is a pretty funny prank, many users are now changing their profile pictures to one of Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Funny? Certainly. Will it last long? Doubt it. Will it hurt your brand? (snort) No. It’s not like it would be so AWFUL to see a pic of Schmidt endorsing your staffing company. Now…if they start changing their profile pics to other, er…less desirable things than well then we can re-visit this idea at that time.
4. Your presence on G+ will increase your search rankings
For Google+ users, as long as you share blog posts with relevant, new (un-copied) information on a regular basis, you are that much more likely to be pushed up through the ranks of search results. (see #2)
You want this. You really, really want this. Your staffing company likes success, right? I thought so. Take it and rejoice.
5. Product endorsements from friends and family are the internet equivalent of word-of-mouth recommendations, and can be far more effective than generic ads.
And this is just another great example of authentic content marketing and semantic marketing. THIS IS WHAT WE WANT because it’s what Google wants and it’s what your audience wants (whether they decide to opt out or not, clients and candidates will still always choose a trusted review from a real person rather than being sold an ad). All in all, this is great news for social media marketing and (imho) does not violate the privacy rights of individual users as they are free to opt out at anytime. Win/win!