Google+ As A Business Research Tool
Why should you seriously consider Google+G as a business research tool? You mean… apart from the fact that Google is still the number one search engine?
There are many factors that make Google+ a platform to add to your business research toolbox:
2. Searching Hashtags
Hashtag searches are easy, using Google+. You can enter any hashtag in Google’s search bar to get instant, up-to-the minute results on all Google+ activity around that particular hashtag.
You can also search any of the categories in your vertical, left-hand and top, horizontal menu bars, including:
- Best of
- Most recent
Hashtags also now work in “Comments” – a recent functionality change.
Don’t just stop when you’ve located posts containing hashtags, however – click on the hashtag in the post to run further searches on it.
To Narrow your Hashtag Search:
a) Run your search using the hashtag of your choice
b) Add a filter, such as the “From You”, “To You” or “From your circles” category
c) Save your search, if desired, to return to it again.
Step 3. Using the Google+ Search Function
The Google+ search function offers powerful advantages that other social platform search engines simply can’t compete with. For example, MemeBurn had this to say about Google+ search…
(And if you’ve been shaking your head and saying, “I have a WordPress blog. I can’t verify my site with a rel=“author” tag” – WordPress seems to have fixed this problem with its latest version, making plugins and other workarounds unnecessary.)
Google wrote the book on search engines, so it’s no big surprise that it functions miles above the rest. And, like Twitter, it presents live-stream feeds as part of your results.
In addition to searching “everything”, you can also speed up and narrow down your searches by selecting specific categories to search, including:
- People and pages
- Google+ posts
- Hangouts (top horizontal menu
- Hangouts on Air (LH vertical menu)
- “From your circles”
- “From you”
- “To you”
- “What’s Hot”
You can also save your searches.
One other point you might like to know: Instead of its previous “best of” results for search strings, Google+ now displays “most recent” – and lets you be the judge of which posts are “best”. (You can also click on any trending topic to automatically launch a search string.)
No other social network has such powerful and easy to access search functions.
Step 4. How to Use Trending Topics
If you select the “What’s Hot” category from your left-hand vertical menu, you will instantly see a list of trending topics and hashtags.
Unlike Twitter, Google+’s Trending window usually seems to contain at least two or three hashtags or suggestions (and dozens of live streaming posts) that business researchers can use or check out.
And simply running a search for the keyword “trending” can bring you the latest on who is talking about trends.
Add a specific industry keyword to that, and you can narrow your results.
Remember that hashtags alone won’t do all the work – they are search parameters and filters. And – as with Twitter – don’t overuse them! One to three should be the maximum you should consider: And more than one only if your extra hashtags are highly relevant and related to your topic.
Always begin your post with a powerful first sentence, remembering that Google treats it as a Title in all search results.
Step 5. Six Other Ways to do Business Research on Google+
1. Ask your followers focused questions and make notes from the answers
2. Pay attentions to questions asked by your target audience or potential clients
3. Get a discussion going within your community
4. Count the number (and quality) of comments on your posts – and on others’
5. Join a community closely aligned to your profession and help yourself to tips
6. Read what works for similar prof essionals – and what doesn’t
Google+ A Business Research Tool Conclusion
Finally, remember that Google+ has so many other features, functions and platforms that integrate with it.
Google+ functions are effective and versatile. Get into the habit of using them today for all your business research.