Google+ will force your marketing hand

For me, 2014 will be most remembered as the year of Google+ fighting back. The staggered hype that surrounded its launch has been long forgotten, and although it still gets mentioned, Instagram really stole a march in making you add that additional social channel. However — this is where things start to get interesting — who benefits from Google+ — consumer or business?

At present Google+ (apparently) has over 540 million users, meaning only Facebook has more users on a social platform.

Yep — I did just say that — second to Facebook and yet many, many don’t use it…or at least admit to it! Though the platform is great, despite the numbers, I feel that Google has not yet connected to the consumer psyche in a way that means they want to involve it as a central function of their social habits. Moving back for one moment though, and adopting the focus of a business, you will see the immediate required shift as Google has identified + as the centre focus of its strategy.

With the changes in its search algorithm under code name Google Hummingbird, and the evolution of its popular Google Hangout functionality as a full-blown, stand-alone application, this graphic displays where it is heading in the long-term. 2014 may just be the year where it is ramped up to an unavoidable level, or you risk the potential of losing out in the all-important search stakes.

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