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Sun July 10 2011 23:03:26

What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service

By: Ina Steiner

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Google used to be simply about getting your business seen through search results, but now it's so much more. So when Google launches a new service, it's best to pay attention, and it recently launched a major new one: Google Plus, aka Google+, is a social networking site that rivals Facebook and Twitter.

Our intrepid Greg Holden did some research to find out what online sellers need to know and presents his findings in a new 2-part series running in EcommerceBytes Newsflash this week.

Not only did he try out the service, he also asked Google if sellers would be able to sell directly on the site the way you can on some Facebook apps like ArtFire's Facebook Kiosk, and he spoke to some gurus to get their thoughts.

I've also been testing the service, so far I like it - it's a cross between Facebook, Twitter and Google's RSS feed reader. Like Twitter (but unlike Facebook), I can follow people without them having to follow me back.

What may be important for retailers is that Google uses data to power its algorithms. So if it can detect that you have a lot of connections and expertise in a particular area, it's possible it could boost you in search results. For that reason, it's probably a good idea to get on to Google Plus and start learning your way around.

Sellers I speak to have mixed reviews about Facebook and Twitter; many feel as though they should be more active on social networking sites, but few sellers report that they see more sales as a result of their networking activities.

More details to come in Greg's column, in the meantime, let us know what you think about Google+ and social networking for ecommerce in general.

Update: Here is Part One of Greg's article about Google Plus, "Google Plus Is a Possible Channel for Online Sellers."

Update 7/11/11: Here is Part Two of Greg's series, "Google Plus Part Two - A Promising Online Business Opportunity."




Comments (9) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service   What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service

by: Digby
Web Site

Mon Jul 11 00:07:28 2011

I have a Facebook business Page, but it needs a lot of work.

I think that those people that say social networking and social shopping are not worth it, may well have to eat their words in a few years.

Look at all these Group deal sites.

But a Facebook page is more work to do, and I do not see many people making many sales from them.

You just get a lot of "Likes".

But if you are not there, then your competition may be there.

Facebook ads have been good for me, but they are so damn dear.

I would also say that Facebook has replaced a lot of the time that people used to spend at the office on ebay!

What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service   What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service

This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
Web Site

Mon Jul 11 00:31:30 2011

I am very much looking forward to Mr Holden's article.  I have a Facebook page for my business (no profile), and an alternate biz  page as an add on to my personal FB page.  I find it difficult to maneuver between the two and still stay within the FB policies.  And of course I run into the old problem of spamming my personal FB  page with business stuff if I want to send twitter or blog  updates to my FB page.
The G+ ''circles'' sound like a smarter solution, as you can keep your family separate from your friends and both separate from your business contacts - and still maintain everything within the same page.
So I'm hoping for some solid info on how to best make use of this new toy.

What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service   What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Mon Jul 11 04:37:49 2011

We are in a Depression.

I'm going to use it on the library computer to rendezvous with other eBay sellers and find new food pantries.  

What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service   What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service

by: No sales from twitter here

Mon Jul 11 10:27:02 2011

I have been using twitter for some time.When I twitter a item I have on ebay I get 20 or 30 views instantly .I even did a experiment and did not twitter a new listing and in 24 hours it got 2 views compared to 30 or 40 from twittered item.I have also noticed more watchers for items listed on twitter.In the end though I have not noticed any marked increase in sales however.Anything is better than nothing at all however as ebay has decided not to advertise there site at all anymore.There saving $1 on advertising and losing $5 in increased revinue because no one comes to the site anymore .When will the insanity end?

What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service   What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service

by: Richy

Mon Jul 11 10:51:13 2011

Isn't the point of selling listing online that you don't actually have to talk to anyone? I prefer cats.

What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service   What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service

by: John

Mon Jul 11 11:51:50 2011

.....ʇı,s ןןɐ uʍopǝpısdn puɐ spɹɐʍʞɔɐq oʇ ǝɯ : )

What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service   What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service

by: me too

Mon Jul 11 15:49:22 2011

@ Ricky
''Isn't the point of selling listing online that you don't actually have to talk to anyone? I prefer cats. ''

Purrfectly said!

What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service   What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service

by: MR ME

Mon Jul 11 19:33:36 2011

I prefer to keep business and friends separate... the old saying goes... Never loan money or sell a car to a "friend"

What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service   What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Tue Jul 12 10:21:12 2011

Don't bother to waste your valuable time on a social networking site. IT ain't worth the investment and maintenance cost.

Those sites are not really 'transaction-based' and have zero advanced search functionality.

They are also excessively expensive, while offering little truly 'qualified' traffic if any.

Additionally most buyers use those sites to socialize., not go shopping. Their mind set is not 'spending' when they interact there with friends, family, fans and colleagues. They are instead there to trade 'without wallet' their personal values. If they want to 'buy' they go to their favorite vendors or marketplaces, where they know how to find items. The Ebay listings are considered 'spam' there, so I switched them off as any seller should.



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