Before I talk about Google+ Direct Connect, I’d like to briefly go over why I think that Google+ Direct Connect will play a role in the future of Google search, especially for local businesses. When a Google Plus Local Page has gone through the claim & verification process, Google (almost) knows for a fact that it is a legitimate business that people can visit during its dedicated hours of operation. When a website is verified by the owner of a Plus Page via Google+ Direct Connect, it only makes sense that it would be favored in organic rankings over one that is not. For example, let’s say I have a webpage up for Dallas Texas Oil Changes that ranks very well, but I live in Canada. Should I outrank Bob who owns an oil changing business in the center of Dallas Texas? Probably not- if you are in Dallas and whip your phone out and google “oil change” you’re looking for a business that is close to you that can change your oil. At a minimum, I predict this will impact maps results aka local results. That said….
What is Google+ Direct Connect?
- Google’s definition: Google+ Direct Connect lets you quickly navigate to a Google+ page (and even add that page to your circles) when using Google Search. For example, if you searched for the query ‘+youtube’ or ‘+pepsi,’ you could be immediately taken to the YouTube Google+ page, or the Pepsi Google+ page, and given the option to add the page to your circles.
- To rephrase this: If you type +Pepsi in to Google search you should see a result appear for Pepsi’s Google Plus Page.
Does it work?
As with many other Google+ features, it is still in experimental stages. In Google’s own words “a page’s eligibility for Google+ Direct Connect is determined algorithmically, meaning Google’s computers will decide if and when you’re eligible”. Who knows how/when this will affect small businesses such as “AAA Taxi”. There could be 700 companies named “AAA Taxi” all over the US. It does work for larger brands, such as Pepsi, or Bank of America (see image below).
Why should you use Google+ Direct connect?
- The most important reason to use Google+ Direct connect to me is because it is going to start working and Google+ and Google are becoming more integrated daily lately. It would be silly to jump on the bandwagon after everyone else has. Early adopters are getting all kinds of benefits, such as custom URLs. For example, if you are the first AAA Taxi on Google+, you’ll be the one that is offered the vanity URL of plus.google.com/AAATaxi. Will this impact the future of Google+ Direct Connect and will anyone other than computer geeks use Google+ Direct Connect? Who knows.
- Google+ is infiltrating search more and more. Utilizing all of the tools Google+ has given us allows for better management of a brand’s reputation and brand visibility.
- If you use Google+ Direct Connect you will have a badge or text on your company’s website that lets people know that you are on top of social media, care about your company, and people can easily click through to your Google+ Page to see your reviews, posts, pictures, YouTube videos, leave you reviews, and hopefully even circle/follow you or give you a +1 which could possibly impact search now or in the future as well.
- If you use Google+ Direct Connect you’ll get this cool little badge on your Google+ Page as seen below.
How do you use Google+ Direct Connect?
- Your Google+ Page needs to link to your company’s home page.
- A page badge or rel=”publisher” code on a text link back to your Google+ Page. (In this case, reciprocal linking is encouraged).