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Part Three: Do Social Media Sites Help SEO? A Look at Google+

Part Three: Do Social Media Sites Help SEO? A Look at Google+

SocialMediaandSEO_GoogleIn part three of our social media/SEO series, we take a look at the role Google+ plays in search engine optimization.

Google+ was officially launched to the general public in mid-2011 and has grown to over 400 million members.

It is a multilingual social networking service that boasts:

  • Circles to organize your relationships
  • Streams that provide updates from individuals in your circles
  • Hangouts to allow group video chats
  • Google+ Local (to replace Places)

Although many still don’t take Google+ seriously, you can be sure that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. You can bet that your activity on Google+ can affect your SEO even more than Facebook and Twitter, if you do it right.

If you have set up your Google+ account to optimize for SEO, and run a search for your name, you’re likely to see far more results in Google+ than under any other site. This gives you an indication how much this new social platform has dominated the search results.

In addition, Google analyzes several facets of Google+ and +1 behaviors:

  • Sharing: Just as Google analyzes Facebook and Twitter sharing, it also looks at who is doing the sharing, and how much a link has been shared on Google+. In addition, it will also take into consideration how quickly the sharing occurs.
  • +1s: Google highly ranks the +1s people reward you when they’re visiting your site. These numero unos will help rank your site favorably, and they are weighted like shares. The number of +1s you have, the influence of those rewarding you, and how quickly you’re acquiring the +1s all play a part in the algorithm.
  • Circle Count: The larger your circle count, the more likely your content is to be shared, and the more value Google will place in you. Your following, however, must come from accounts that Google “trusts”. (In other words, these accounts cannot be spammy in nature.)

Google+’s influence on SEO with regards to sharing is similar to that of Facebook and Twitter. Generally, when analyzing your engagement meter, Google will want to know:

  • Who shared your content (i.e. anyone influential?)?
  • How frequently was your content shared?
  • How many comments did it receive?
  • What was the nature of the comments (yes, those Google spiders crawl all over the place!)?
  • Were the comments from individuals of high authority on the topic?
  • How many +1s did your content receive?

To help you better understand how to make the most of your Google+ profile so that your efforts will be rewarded by the major search engines, we’ve made a helpful to-do list to follow:

How to Maximize Your Presence on Google+

  1. Add the +1 button to your site so people can add your site/content and you can see how “popular” you are.
  2. Create and post high quality content to share with your users, and be sure to post to the public (as opposed to just your circles).
  3. Be active on Google+. Share things that you don’t share on Facebook or Twitter. Diversify Google+ so that your friends/followers have a reason to find and share your content on this unique social platform.
  4. Engage with users. Sharing is great, but find ways to have real conversations with people so they get to know you better. For example, you might want to click –through the links that others generate and respond to them thoughtfully so that they know you’re listening and not just broadcasting your own work.
  5. If someone shares your content, be sure to thank them and add them to your circles.

Major search engines like Google and Bing are constantly modifying how they rank and index sites. Our behaviors on the various social platforms are now just as important as how frequently we return to our favorite websites.

If you’d rather be running your business than working on a Google+ strategy, please contact a PR Brigade Social Media Expert to find out how we can help you engage your Google+ audience.