We have heard on more than a hundred occasions about how Google is engaged in some kind of covert ranking game through its social network Google Plus. It might be an effort to make it more relevant in the face of other major social networks like Facebook or a quest to integrate the social with search, but what matters is that you can’t simply ignore G+ if you are out there to make a successful business. Here’s how it should figure in your search engine strategy.
Google Plus has been around for more than two years now. At first, the social network was considered just a competitor to the more successful Facebook. However, with time experts were able to tell that Google Plus had a far greater purpose to serve. It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that Google owns a great part of almost every internet user’s attention. With a search engine that has become synonymous with Internet search, a widely used email client, a video sharing site, Google is deeply ingrained in the lives of webizens.
The purpose of Google Plus was never limited to giving users a outlet to communicate with their friends and network with new people. In fact, it was the least of all important objectives. The main objective was to use social signals generated by G+ to extract better search results for a particular query. And that explains why online marketers and search engine optimizers were betting their money on the ability of Google Plus to drive ranking to a higher position.
Relation between Google plus and higher search rankings
The relation between Google +1s and higher search rankings is now too obvious to ignore. According to a research by Dr. Matt Peters and the Moz Data Science Team revealed that after Page Authority, it’s the number of Google +1s that a URL has, which has the maximum impact on the search rankings of that webpage.
As unbelievable as it may sound, the finding was vindicated by a similar comparison done by Searchmetrics. The million dollar question that arises is also the most obvious right now. Why?
Google+ posts are easily crawled
Many search engine optimization experts have found that content shared on Google+ pages is indexed and crawled almost immediately. Other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, owing to their numerous privacy clauses and restrictions on data sharing make it tougher for Google to crawl content on them.
What is more exciting to note that rather than being limited to a platform for sharing content, Google+ is built for creation of content. Every post has a lot of characteristics that match with a full blown blog posting. A unique URL, long and complex entries, and separate title tag are all the features that make Google+ a tool optimized for generating semantic signals for the search algorithm.
Google+ posts in the SERPs
There are many a time when there is a post created exclusively on Google plus page ranking amongst the top SERP. This shows that Google+ is way beyond just personalization of search results.
Google + posts also passes link value
Pages and posts on Google+ also pass link juice because all these are followed links. When sharing a link on Google+, the anchor text itself takes the place of the title of the page you are sharing. Certain links in the About section of your Google+ page are also followed and pass link equity.
How should you start about taking advantage of Google+ for SEO?
By now you must be convinced enough to start considering optimizing your Google+ for better search engine results. If you are looking for a starting point, than follow these tips:
- Build new relationships on Google+. Follow influencers in your domain, comment on posts that interest you and share good content.
- Post great content which attracts maximum shares and attract natural links.
- Add Google Authorship information to your online content by using rel=“author” to your website
- Complete the About page of your Google Plus profile wit relevant information
- Add social sharing buttons on your website to make the content easily sharable