I am thrilled to say that I have recently joined Hilton Worldwide as eCommerce Manager. I will be further be honing my expertise in local SEO, eCommerce SEO and social media optimization, while getting my hands dirty with the paid search side. The months to come will be very busy and exciting!
Around 3-4 weeks ago, Google+ started featuring pages for brands and celebrities for new users to follow as part of the sign up process. Right now an editorial team at Google reviews pages and decides which pages they want to feature, and there is no way to pay your way in.
Here is the screen you see when signing up:
The featured pages are assigned to different categories of interest as Circles. Brands like Starbucks are featured in the “Food & Drink” Circle.
As you can see, when the user clicks to add, all of the featured pages in the Circle are added to the user’s stream. So while this is a great way to get content to the user right away, it is driving unnatural growth of some brand pages. And in some cases, US-centric brands are gaining a massive amount of followers (40K+ in a few weeks) with a location outside of the US (up to 90%).
Google, please fix this! # of followers is a useless metric due to lack of relevance.
With incredible popularity and growth of Pinterest, and an impressive increase in referral traffic past Google Plus, the next move for Google becomes a question. Should Google buy Pinterest? And if so, will it become integrated with Google Plus?
Google needs to come up with a better strategy for engagement (compare the average user spending 3.3 minutes per month on G+ vs. 7.5 hours on Facebook). At the very least, Google should lower the font size in the stream and all of their products. Facebook and Pinterest have a good handle on how to put a ton of data in your face without being overwhelming. Though Facebook has the benefit of its users being trained from years of experience, Google Plus just simply doesn’t provide an inviting interface.
The difference is subtle, but it makes a huge difference when you take into account the amount of real estate that is lost on Google+.
That being said, Google is definitely taking a tip on design from Pinterest with the new Google Plus One button.
Could this be a hint of a future bid?
I have been a Pinterest user for a few months, and one of the most obvious things I’ve noticed is the female dominance. I checked the breakdown in Comscore, and nearly 70% of Pinterest users are female. Is the incredible success of Pinterest due to its appeal to women? Or is there a space for the male user to become an active user?
The only way I can figure out the answer to these trying questions is to try something different on Pinterest.
So, check out my Zombie Fortress board on Pinterest!
This is pretty scary stuff!