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Using Google+ as a Lite Business Blogging Platform

Facebook has the market cornered on true social networking. Twitter is the news source. YouTube owns videos. Google+, the network that's growing huge but still having challenges communicating its identity, has one major advantage over all of the other social networks: size of posts.

It's possible to format and utilize Google+ as a lite blogging platform. This is not necessarily a good replacement for those who already have a valid and active business blog, but those who are getting started or who never been able to generate real traction to their blog can take advantage of some of the things that Google+ does well.

Here are some of the advantages:

* Formatting - While it's not nearly the type of formatting that is available on true blogging platforms like Wordpress or Tumblr there's enough formatting options on Google+ to make it work. Again, this is only good as a lite version.

* Length - The constraints present on other social networks are looser on Google+. Sure, you can use hacks to plug in a blog on Facebook and there are tools available to fake a blog through Twitter, but posting directly to the feed is only possible from a length perspective on Google+.

* Instant Rankings - While I haven't tested beyond my own accounts, I know that Google+ posts tend to rank extremely quickly and very high for good keywords, particularly for those who follow me. Even unauthenticated web searches present Google+ posts.

* Tie-In to Google Local - The local components of Google through search and directed from other locations are generating more and more traffic. Reviews, maps, information - all of these give people reasons to visit a Google account for a business. Once there, people are often unable to find anything interesting on the pages because of how infrequently most post to their Google+ page accounts. By making it a lite blog, this can change.

The disadvantages are numerous, of course. Links, images, videos - pick one. Unfortunately, you cannot mix and match different media types. You also can't put them in-line the way you can on real blogging platforms. Unless you are one of the lucky ones with a vanity URL, it's not easy to get people to your G+ page without using a custom short link.

At this point, anything that can get businesses communicating more robustly with their customers and potential customers is a good thing. It's not that I would prefer that people use Google+ for blogging over Wordpress, Blogger, or any of the true blogging platforms, but if it's convenient enough to make businesses act, then it's worth describing in a blog post.

I guess that's what I just did.

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