With Google being the premier internet search engine across virtually all demographics it stands to reason that Google+ and its new +1 buttons will have a large impact on search engine optimization (SEO). However, Google has not hinted at this. They have announced that +1’s influence search results for Google+ users, but the standard SEO strategies remain the same – for now. How to Use Google+ for Marketing – Part 2 will cover how you can use Google+ to enhance your SEO.
+1 content: If anyone in your target market has a Gmail account, I can assure you that investing time in +1’ing your webpages will be well worth it. Why? Because +1’ed content conditions search results for Google users. Anyone who has added you into their circles will see your +1’ed webpage if it is related to their query. It may most likely be on the first page of their search results as well. Take a look in the example below.
When logged into Gmail:
When logged out of Gmail:
Notice the difference between these search results when I search for “marketing” on Google. There are search results on the of first page for the term “marketing” indicating who shared the link. This creates a rapid way to appear on the top page of Google’s search results. However, just keep in mind that this tactic only works when a) users have added you into their circles and b) users are logged into Gmail. Because there are stipulations that affect this strategy, make sure to continue to participate in the standard SEO strategies.
Benefits of +1’d Content: Once you’ve +1’ed your pages and the +1’ed link shows up on related search results for those who have added you in their circles, the link will probably have a higher click-through rate (CTR). If the content was valuable or interesting to readers, it will more likely induce retweets and shares. Studies have shown a positive correlation between the number of retweets and shares a link receives and its search ranking. Therefore, as your link gains popularity on Twitter and Facebook, your organic search rank goes up for improved SEO.
Remember that Google is the industry’s largest search giant. Just because they haven’t factored +1’s into the SEO ranking system now doesn’t mean they won’t use the data in the future. Google can change how SEO is ranked tomorrow and everyone would need to conform. So it probably doesn’t hurt to have your Google+ account just in case radical change pops up in the future. In the meantime, work on building out your fan base and continuously +1’ing new content as it’s released. Acquiring a fan base is an on-going challenge with any social media platform, making Google+ no different. Refer back to my first Google+ post to learn how to gain followers on Google+.