|Sun July 10 2011 23:03:26|
What Online Sellers Need to Know about Google's Latest Service
By: Ina Steiner
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."