What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know About Google Search+

“Hold on to your butts.” A classic line from Samuel L. Jackson in one of the greatest cinematic achievements in the movie industry, Jurassic Park. And he is right, you need to hold on to your butts—especially with Google pulling out the big guns and releasing Google Search+ upon the world. Everybody is familiar with Google Search, and as a nonprofit, you probably use it everyday. But it’s the “+” that adds another dimension to it—a social dimension if you will.

Essentially what is happening is that Google wanted to integrate more of their social network, Google+, into what made them the biggest player on the web, Google Search. So when you want to search for something on Google, not only will you get the normal results before Search+ came to fruitation, you will also get results from Google+. The Google+ results can be broken down like this:

Personal Results

If you have been using Google+ on a regular basis, then this will be beneficial for you. Once you search something, you will get results from Google+ that YOU have posted or have been shared with you that relate to the topic. And you are the only one that has access to those specific results.

Google+ Profiles in Search

If you were to search a specific name, Google+ profiles will be given to you of people you may know, or people who may be of interest to you who you might want to follow. Also, with Google Search’s nifty autocomplete function, searching a specific name will pull up their Google+ profile in the search bar via autocomplete. You will also have the option to add these people to your circles if you choose to do so.

People and Pages

Here is where your nonprofit will benefit the most from Google Search+. If someone was to search “Catholic Social Services” or the “Humane Society,” in the right-hand side of the page, Google+ pages will appear with pages/profiles related to the topic you searched. So in this case, you would get the “Catholic Social Services” Google+ Page among other pages related to their cause. So if your nonprofit has quality SEO, expect it show up at the top of the search results, giving it a great increase in exposure.

The moral of this story is that if your nonprofit has a Google+ Page, you need to use it, and use it often. Because when someone searches “nonprofit” or something that is related to your nonprofit, you will more than likely show up in the Google+ results. And if your nonprofit doesn’t have a Google+ Page, then stop reading this article now and get on top of it. This latest edition to Google’s arsenal is something you cannot miss out on.

How do you think these changes will affect the way nonprofits use Google+?


Derek Dillon

January 12, 2012

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