Google+ is about Identity: Intimacy, Interaction and Interests

We know that Google+ is here to stay. Google has chosen the ‘social’ direction and is not intending to leave that direction. Which means we should look at Google+ and see how it can help us and our brand.

Mahle Ohye of Google made the video below in which she explains what Google+ really is and how it can help you build your reputation. An interesting video (which covers some of what I will be talking about at A4U Expo next week). Let’s take a look at some of the things Ohye says. She talks about Identity, Search and how you can make it work for your brands reputation.

Identity: more than a social network

Ohye points out that Google+ is not just a social networking site. It is a place where you can establish your identity, have connections and show your interests. It supplies a social layer for all your Google Products. All these products can be more tailored to you.

The +1 button takes your identity and helps you build your reputation by having users publicly recommend your content or share with others.

A Google+ profile is the identity you create for Google, either personal or for your business. Ohlye mentions the different elements of a Google+ Profile or Google+ Page: intimacy, interaction and interests.


Sharing: here she is talking about Google Circles, you can share with the appropriate audience, so your ‘juvenal humor’ won’t affect your career.

Targeted communication: this is more about businesses, so that as a brand you can better focus on different types of target audiences, for example making a difference between customers and resellers.

Following: you can follow or block people easily

Hangout feature: she shows the hangout features. She also mentions the live hangouts, like the one we did last week.


Interaction can be improved by for example editable comments (you can change what you wrote) or the possibility to bump posts to the top of your business page. Here she actually compares it to a blog, saying Google+ actually is better than a blogpost because the one with the most interaction stays on top.


In the interest topic Zagat is promoted a lot, showing the information they give Ohye on restaurants. She also shows the circles.

The +1 button

The +1 button according to Ohye is very much for building your reputation. That is reputation in different ways:

– The one Ohye points out is that of the site or product behind the +1. Because a page or product (it shows up in ads too) is +1ed, their reputation goes up. After all, it is someone recommending the page.

– There is also that of the person +1-ing: your picture might show up in the search results of your network. People searching will benefit because search results are more tailored for them, but off course for the one showing up, it is a little bit of reputation building.


Then Ohye goes into search and the connection with search. She starts of by saying that if you ignore Google+ you can still do well in search, because it is about relevance. But Google+ is an opportunity.

Ohye talks about Google Search Plus Your World. Here you are able to connect with your circles while searching. You can see results from friends within your circles as well as the pages you follow. Each have a level of trust.

In search all the identity and trust levels are integrated. It’s were most comes together.

Combining it to your website

You can connect your website to your Google+ identities. You have two different author profiles: the one for your site and the one for specific authors.

Ohye the shows how far your reputation can ‘reach’:

A network creates your reputation.

For the users

Ohye points out that it helps the users: Google serves more relevant search results and they have more ‘social’ information.

Searchers can see a lot in their search results from Google+:

– Richer content, Google+ posts and comments
– Author information –> option to follow a Page or Profile
– Annotations from circles (+1’s, shares)
– Engagement: Ability to +1, recommend, share it

In the last part of her video Ohye shows how you can get started, how you set up a page.

Watch the entire video:

Bas van den Beld

About Bas van den Beld

Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.

8 thoughts on “Google+ is about Identity: Intimacy, Interaction and Interests

  1. Such a crap PR story. If ‘intimate’ sharing was kinda hot, I have several brands which i monitor traffic from and is never a referer, and they don’t get plusses as wel. And now they’ve FU places in there as well.

  2. from an engagement point of view Google Plus has a lot more potential than Facebook to be the platform where users can connect more with brands. Hangouts at its best is a good starting point. The journey is just getting started with these guys so we need to have a lot more positive attitude towards the platform. 

    I was surprised Google / YouTube didn’t go into trying to get the premier league rights. With that type of content i’m sure the users would come. Commercial gamble but they can afford it 🙂

    1. It certainly has the potential, but without an audience (especially for consumer brands) its no where close to Facebook as far as value proposition. Google know that. That’s where all this integration is stemming from and why we can expect it to continue at an even quicker pace. I want to love Plus but right now it’s just nowhere close to offering the same value to us as other channels.

      Now the premier league rights is an interesting one. Massive opportunity out there for a VEVO like platform for online sports in general. Licensing could be huge!

      1. Content will be the drivers for more users for sure and this will come from exclusive moves / concerts. Imagine watching a game and you can do a hangout with the players after the game? 

        it will happen. 

        Now is the time to test, learn and critique.. time permitting 🙂

        1. They actually did a hangout with David Beckham when G+ first launched but we haven’t seen much since then. They could have even cashed in on the EURO’s and had some of the teams be interviewed via a live G+ hangout feed. Cost would be pocket change to Google and would surely drive the hard core fans online to watch….

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