Google’s gonna get you to be a G+ user one way or another

googleEven as Google shutters popular services like its Reader, it is doing everything in its power to get people and businesses join its Google+ social media platform. The latest ploy from the most used Internet search engine affects nonprofit organizations.

On Tuesday, Google announced it was incorporating nonprofits into its Knowledge Graph. If you don’t know it by name you know it by sight. The Knowledge Graph offers mini biography about your search so you know if what you are searching for is what you really mean to be searching for. You’re most likely to get these advanced results when searching for famous people or famous places.

And certain nonprofits like Livestrong and Kiva have already had their information incorporated into the Knowledge Graph. When you search for nonprofits you get a Wikipedia summary of the organization along with other highlights of the nonprofit like its financials, tax status, what its cause is and its recent posts on Google+.

You read that right – your nonprofit’s latest posts on Google+. So a prospective donor is searching for the right organization to support and they stumble upon your nonprofit on Google. They are going to get so much more information than just the boilerplate info provided by the 160-character site description underneath your website’s URL. If you have a Google+ account, your nonprofit can give the latest information even before a person clicks through to your homepage. And they can jump right into the conversation.

The latest figures from Google say they have more than 100 million active users. Some dispute that number as less than transparent since elements of Google+ are a part of other Google products. But that may not matter. Google is luring users with new programs that will continue grow its social media presence in our lives.

I have been resistant to the idea of joining Google+ for some time – for both my nonprofit work and personal uses. I’ve searched through the site a number of times and have never thought it was worth the time investment because our audience doesn’t seem to be there. Perhaps that blind thinking on my part, or a lack of resources to dedicate to another social media platform.

But several communications and marketing professionals believe in Google+ and its opportunities for businesses.

And this new tool could give nonprofits the lift they need to reach new audiences and compete for the dollars essential to advancing the important work they are doing.

It’s definitely a prospect to consider now that Knowledge Graph is going to be incorporated for nonprofits who may not have the SEO resources available to do it themselves.

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