Like most media types, I worry endlessly about what traffic bus I might have missed. When Google+ came along, I thought, ok, I didn't catch Google's Wave and that was the right move. I'll just wait and see what happens to Google+ before I give it much thought.
In mid-December, I had heard enough to think, hmmm, I better create a G+ page for my biggest site, GoFISHn, to see what happens. Check it out here. Then I did nothing for a few weeks. When I looked in on the page this week, I noticed that a couple dozen people in the fishing biz had already located the page and were following it. I knew most of them. They are among the most active, self-directed online marketers in the category. I guess that's no surprise.
But the real shocker came when I did a poll of GoFISHn fans on facebook to ask if they used Google+. We have a 174,000 fans, and got 71 responses, which is probably a just barely valid sampling. Anyway, 36 said "yes," 17 said "no," and 12 said they didn't know what Google+ was.
When I posted about this on my own Facebook page, a few friends, all very sophisticated types, chimed in that they were not using Google+ and it wasn't important to them. I've heard and read various forms of the sentiment in lots of places. Google+ = yawn. That made me wonder: could we be seeing an inversion of the usual bright shiny new things adoption demo profile? Maybe the technorati are less inclined to jump in (speculate why here) than say, small business owners.
As I thought more about this, a pretty simple explanation came to mind. The early adopters I found on GoFISHn's Google+ are all very proficient at SEO and social media. It's natural for them to jump on Google+ because it represents a new and compelling opportunity for free promotion. Facebook caught on. Twitter did too. Get in early on Google+.
And it's not just the social opportunity. It's SEO too. Guess what? Google+ pages turn up very high in Google search results. Our GoFISHn Google+ page ranks sixth in a search for "gofishn", just below our Twitter page. That's awfully strong considering that the page is only a few weeks old and has only a few posts. Pretty amazing, but not really, right? On Bing, by the way, our Google+ page is nowhere to be seen. As any numbers of experts, including John Battelle and Tom Foremski, have pointed out lately, Google's search results are no longer the pure wind-driven algorithm they once were. Google advantages itself, and Google advantages its big brand customers. It stands to reason that anyone who plays ball with Google+ will do well in Google search as well.
I'm now posting on Google+ every day.