Yes! Google+ Matters to Real Estate Agents

Google+ may be the most important social media for real estate agents there is. That is, if Google keeps it.

Background

Google+ was, according to Wikipedia, launched June 28 of 2011; when they opened it to everyone in on September 20 of that year it proved to be immensely popular. Two years later it had something like 540 million people registered – and it continues to grow today. Because it is so different from Facebook and Twitter many did what I did, signed up and ignored it. Then, in 2012, it became clear that your Google+ account could influence the search results for your website. Suddenly Google+ made sense for a whole bunch of people, including real estate agents.

You’re creating a network

When you use Google+ effectively, you’re creating a network all  your own. The key, according to  Mark Traphagen in an article called Google Plus For Real Estate,
… the larger your Google/Google+ network is, the more people whose search results your are influencing.
If, like most agents you’re market is local, you want focus on growing your Google+ network as much as you reasonably can.

Google Authorship is the key

The key to linking your content – your blog posts and listings most likely – to Google+ is by signing up for Google Authorship. This is a free tool that will begin to link your content to your Google+ account and, if you do it right, start showing your picture next to the content listing. Make sure you’re logged into your Google account, then go to Google Authorship here.  The instructions there are pretty simple. If you don’t like your Google profile photo, just click on the photo you want to replace in the upper right hand corner of Google Authorship. That will allow you to upload a different photo. Note, it will take several days in many cases, to ripple through everything, so don’t be surprised if the old photo shows up for awhile. Verify your email as instructed and before long you’ll be seeing search results more or less like this:
google search results for real estate agents

Will Google keep plus?

On April 24, 2014, Vic Gundotra, leader of the Google+ project at Google resigned. Immediately there was speculation that this sounded a death knell for the project. Search on will google kill google plus and you’ll find all sorts of opinions. There are a couple of truths here. Google+ is unlikely to ever catch up with either Facebook or Twitter. In many people’s minds apparently, if you can’t do that with a social media platform, you might as well kill it. I don’t agree, but so far Google hasn’t called me for my opinion. We’re already seeing tweaks to Google+ with, according to some, some downplaying of the benefits of linking everything to or through your Google account. The truth is we simply don’t know yet what will happen to Google+. My hunch is it’s robust enough to stick around (try Google hangouts for a free and easy video meeting with clients, for example). My recommendation is to link your content on your iHOUSE website to your Google+ account through Authorship. Or at least some of your content – maybe not listings which come and go, but any content you’ve written you’d like to be found in a hurry when someone does a Google search. Keep your ear to the ground – we will too. And we promise to update you re Google+ just as soon as we know anything. Are you hooked up with Google+?
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