Ah…Google Plus (or is it Google+?…let the list of confusing things about it begin). It was supposed to be the Facebook killer that we Facebook haters had waited for. When that didn’t happen and Facebook thrived, it was supposed to be a lot of things: great for SEO, the new “killer app” as far as communities go, a must-have if you’re an author, THE place to post and store photos, and who knows what else. It was hailed as the second largest social network and touted as a must-have for businesses.
But recently, I’ve started reading more negative articles on Google+. That 51% of agencies say that Google+ has no impact on search campaigns. That the data reporting Google+ as a winner is skewed and that, in actuality, the picture is not that rosy for the social network. And that marketers hate Google+.
I know for me, personally, Google+ is something that, in theory, I want to get behind. I would love to see Facebook go the way of Friendster rather than be positioning to charge $2.5 million a day for video ads. But in practice, I’m still finding Google+ really hard to use and like. The redesigned page is a usability nightmare and my eyes can’t even track what’s going on there. Getting a custom url for a Google+ page is apparently at the discretion of Google; in other words–good luck. (If you want to try, here’s how you submit the request to Google.) I still don’t get the “circle” concept. Sharing stuff with the G+ button is either a nightmare for all or I am just personally challenged–I mouse over the G+ button and try to type my comment and nine times out of 10 the box disappears while I’m typing.
So which is it? Is Google+ worth investing time and effort into if you’re a business? Is it worth “circling” people and trying to use Google+ the way we use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, relatives and long-lost acquaintances? Or is it destined to go the way so many other Google products have gone?