The SEO Benefits of Google Plus
Google+ is a social network which lets you connect with people, share posts and engage in different communities as well as Hangouts. You can also ‘+1’ content that you enjoy, which is essentially giving a thumbs up to its quality. Aside from being a social platform, it is also highly beneficial to your SEO efforts.
Since the introduction of Search Plus Your World in January 2012, Google has taken active steps towards creating personalised search results and tying social signals closer to rankings. By using Google+, you can increase the chances of your website showing in the SERPs for relevant searches and improve its click through rate. Here’s how:
Google Authorship is a simple process that allows you to claim ownership of the content you create. When you have implemented Authorship and someone conducts a search, your result will often have your picture beside it. This link in the SERPs will be much more appealing users and is more likely to be clicked than a result without Authorship.
Authorship is closely aligned with content authority. Google is eager to give a clearer profile to authoritative articles in the search results and therefore if you post interesting, useful content which is shared and receives +1’s, this will build authority.
In order to set this up, you will need a Google+ profile. You must then add your blog to the ‘Contributor To’ section of your profile as well as add some simple coding to your blog.
Don’t forget that the rest of your Google+ profile can be optimised by using relevant keywords and links to your other social profiles. For example, if you are an SEO expert you will want to state this in your tagline and within your Introduction. Do not keyword-stuff these sections – instead consider the information that people would want to know about you as the creator of suitable content.
The posts that you share can be used for SEO purposes too. Including links to your content in a post can pass authority to your site if done correctly, providing a valuable backlink and referring followers back to your site. For the link to be followed, you must make sure you create a link specific update. If you post a photo and then add the link within the comment text, it is marked as nofollow and therefore will not provide a great deal of link value to your site.
Circles and Social Signals
By utilising Google+, you can build a community of followers (Circles) that are relevant to your industry and share updates with them specifically. Even if someone within that Circle is not currently on their Google+ profile, when searching for a term relevant to content you have posted, it may show up higher in their results, particularly if it has received engagement such as shares and +1’s.
+1’s alone do not cause higher rankings of posts, but they do act as a vote, showing that the content or post is useful and interesting. Google naturally deems these backlinks as good quality. To earn those +1’s, the message is always the same – create quality, unique and interesting content that people will want to share.
Google+ Local focuses on businesses and their locations. It aims to connect businesses with their local customers socially. By registering your business on Local, you will gain more online visibility as it adds another link back to your site and also acts an additional channel to list business information and offers. Your customers can leave reviews which can also appear in the SERPs and gives you the chance for further engagement by responding to reviews with thanks. This is an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive by changing a customer’s perception if they leave a less favourable review.
Overall, Google+ can benefit your SEO by allowing you to add authority to your content, build quality links back to your site and develop engagement with your customers (current and potential). In order to garner these benefits though, you need to ensure that you are building the profile naturally and not trying to get results fast.