Plus, I am a 35-44 year old male?

There has been a lot of buzz the last few weeks over Google‘s announcement to integrate Google + into search engine results (did you catch that reference, if not review the last sentence one more time, if you still don’t get the reference you are lame). If you are looking at the title of this post in bewilderment, stay tuned to find out just how I learned that I am a 35-44 year old male.

Anyway, when Google + was released this summer it caused a lot of initial hype as Facebook’s new potential competitor. However, after a few months Google + faded into the social media background for the majority of people.

Now, Google has announced that it will leverage its search engine power to promote its social media platform by integrating Google + listings into search results. Google announced the change as a strategy to generate social results that are more relevant and personalized. Check out their promotional video for what they call Search Plus Your World below.

Search Plus Your World might actually be awesome for Google + users that have a lot of interaction on the social network. However, it poses some new challenges to businesses. Here is a high level look at a few:

1 - Search Engine Ranking

Google + business pages or a lack thereof will affect search engine rankings. It is not entirely clear how much search engine rankings will be affected in the future (when is Google’s algorithm ever clear?) But, for now at least having a Google + business page provides the opportunity to potentially push a competitors listing to the second results page.

2 - Branding

It is important to claim your Google + business page before someone else does (remember, the trouble brands had with people sitting on their brand name Twitter handles?) Google + poses a great risk for brands that have their business pages hijacked because the illegitimate page is likely to show up in search results for the brand.

Similarly, as Google + grows both negative and positive mentions by users will start appearing in organic search results giving it the potential to become an even more pervasive social review platform than TripAdvisor, Yelp or OpenTable to name a few.

3- Content

Content obviously drives both branding and search engine ranking, which is why it is important to include strategic keywords in Google + postings. Google + is different from Facebook because it  focuses more on singular images within posts as opposed to uploading entire albums of photos.  Posts should include a strong image and strategic keywords that your audience is likely to search, while still providing valuable and entertaining content.

Make sure you get your business’s Google + page setup.

Now, back to how I found out that I am really a 35-44 year old male as opposed to a 20-25 year old female as I had previously believed. Well, this morning Google reached out and told me. As you may or may not know Google released a new privacy policy. In doing so they also published an Ad Preferences section on your Google account. This section tracks what websites you visit and determines your demographics based on that information. That my friends, is how I now know I am a 35-44 year old male stuck in this young, white chicks body.

Or, maybe the opposite is true. Maybe 35-44 year old males have the web browsing habits of a 20 something female? Just saying, some of my recent online activity includes obsessive Pinterest-ing and purchasing several swimsuits from VictoriasSecret.com. I am starting to think this may say more about about the middle-age male demographic than it does about me.

You can find out who Google thinks you are by visiting this Ad Preferences page.

For Marcus Hotels and Resorts employees:

If you are a Marcus Hotels and Resorts owned or managed property please submit a web request for us to create the page for you. Google + is structured so that each page has one owner and several managers. As a result, it is important that the page is set up using a corporate group email address as the owner with each of the social media experts at the property and at the agency as managers to protect the account in the case of personnel changeover.  There is nothing worse than trying to reclaim your social media accounts from an ex-employee or agency.