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Google has been trying to push Google+ since its inception, but they’ve had a hard time gaining any ground on the vast majority of businesses that do their marketing using Facebook. Last week, they added a new feature that they hope will make them more attractive and competitive. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the (maybe kinda sorta) salvation of Google+: communities!
Communities are Google’s answer to Facebook groups. They come in two main varieties, public or private. When you create a public group, you set it so that everyone can post or so that only the moderators of the group can post. Private pages also have two versions, searchable or invisible.
Creating a community is easy. Click the community tab (pictured on the right here) on the left side of your Google+ page, and then select create a community. You then choose between a public or private community, for your business, you should select public and allow anyone to join. Once the page is created, you should personalize it with your business’s picture and information.
I know that I (and others) have derided Google+ in the past, but communities may be a game changer. With the advent of Google+ communities, we may finally see some good SEO benefit from the social media platform. Google promised big things and hasn’t delivered much (aside from Google+ local), but communities are a different animal. Private communities will be just that, but public communities will be fully indexed. That means all the work you do building your brand, all your posts and replies, will be able to be found in a Google search.
Facebook is great, but their groups may not be able to compete. If Google+ is able to offer the same level of users (which remains to be seen and is far and away their largest roadblock), then Google+ communities will become a no brainer, as they’ll offer all the benefit of social media with the additional boon of being indexed.
Do you think communities will change the way that the average user views Google+?