Google is pervasive in our lives. It’s everywhere. Our Internet-driven lives are almost dictated by Google. It’s our go-to portal for personal, professional, or any kind of information. Google gives us everything we need.
And then there is social media. Along with Google, we are also addicted to social networks. And now the world’s greatest search engine has its own branch of social network — Google+, which was launched back in 2011. It is sort of a breakthrough and for those who don’t know, it also has a major impact on SEO (search engine optimization) for businesses.
This doesn’t, however, mean that anyone can make a profile on it and rise to the top of Google ranking. But with some in-depth knowledge of its special features and tricks, it can be used as a powerful tool for businesses to improve their search ranking on Google itself.
Here are some attractive features of Google+.
Google Authorship: This is big for SEO. Businesses can link to their websites, or writers can link to their works, next to their names with a picture, actually displayed within the search. Twitter, Facebook and other accounts can be linked through this as well. This feature is mainly targeted towards authors or writers with published works.
There are a few reasons why Google did that. One is to eliminate duplicate content and plagiarism, and second is to increase search results for publishers who have actual authority.
The Links: In addition, there are several places on the Google+ page where you can place links to improve your ranking.
- The links on a profile’s About page are important. The About page has its own PageRank and can contain any word.
- Another link can be placed in the Business About page.
- Any links on Photos page.
- Links to external websites (if the profile is public). The link if public gives profile ranking.
- Hyperlinks in posts
+Mentions: These provide links to profiles, which has a positive effect on the rank and the publicity of a profile. It also provides recognition through conversations on Google Plus.
Google Activities: Hanging out, sharing, events and check-ins, all provide benefits for profile ranking. As you share something to your profile, you get exposed to more profiles and/or pages.
Hashtags: Hashtags in Google+ connect to every search in the platform.
Ranking of posts: Posts on public pages or profiles stay longer in search results than do tweets. Each post has a link of its own and when a page is shared, the links follow.
It shouldn’t be assumed that merely having a Google+ account will automatically lead to a better ranking, but like I mentioned before, strategic placement of links, photos, and words on Google Plus pages and profiles can significantly improve your profile ranking. There is an hour-long debate on YouTube for those who believe Google+ has great power as well as for those who aren’t convinced. Google+ expertise can do wonders.
From my own experience, I know that searching a name returns their Google Plus profile on the first page of the search, if that profile is public.
Like Facebook likes, prior to July 2013 Google and its +1s indicated that a post was liked, admired, and favorited. Post July 2013, however, the +1 generates a post recommendation in the stream of the person’s followers — a little bit like sharing a post, but this is randomly shared by Google itself.
Another benefit of having a Google Plus account. Not all posts get recommended, however. Google uses an algorithm and methodology to choose which ones to recommend. Google also creates an add button next to the posts that have been +1’d so that the creator of the posts can be added to our circle. Anecdotal evidence indicates that the more +1s a post receives, the higher it ranks on Google search.
Of course, the quality of the content itself also affects its popularity. Colorful and attractive images, as well as catchy and personalized topics typically generate reader interest. If you also include relevant keywords and trending topics (via hashtags), aimed at a certain audience, you will improve your chances of your content appearing in their search results.
In the end, it all boils down to the power of the people. Greater circles of people and all-round interesting content will get activity going. And with some knowledge of how Google Plus works, there’s a good chance your posts will show up on the world’s greatest search engine.