Finally Achieving SEO Value from Google Plus!

HootSuite: Social Media Tools for BusinessFor a long time, there has been discussion over whether or not SEO value is truly given to your website through social media. According to Matt Cutts, the internet will become more and more social as time passes. Yes, social media engagement does affect your SEO value, so get on the bandwagon and get networking. To all the skeptics that do not want to plunge and invest into a trend, it’s not a trend it’s essential and you’re missing out on the power that social networks brings to businesses and more importantly business sales.

Marketing journals are coming out with more astounding statistics on social media usage that has so lovingly been named socialnomics. Just to give you a statistical shocker, almost 50% of Facebook users say recommendations from their friends holds the greatest impact on their purchase behavior. This should say to all business owners if you can get more followers you have a way to influence almost 50% of each friends purchase behavior!

But, no, we get Facebook, what we don’t know is what to do with Google Plus.

The BIG Question: How Do I Use Google Plus?

Yikes! It’s really not about the technicalities of Google+ it is about the simplicities? How do we as marketers use Google plus to increase our SEO value, gain followers in our circles and take control of the +1 function? And in the end, is it worth it?

I will explain to you the perfect positioning of Google Plus, the functions it currently holds, how to optimize your Google Plus profile for SEO and finally my theories on why it hasn’t taken off.

The Positioning of Google Plus

It is no secret that Google Plus is in the game of social media because of its added SEO value. In my opinion, Google engineers have built Google+ to appear higher in search results. My opinion is based on the fact that when I share information on Facebook and share information on Google Plus, the Google Plus share will always show above the Facebook share. I believe that the positioning of this social media tool is undoubtedly strong, how can we wield this SEO power for our benefit?

By the way can you do me a favor and plus one this article now?

The Functioning of Google Plus Features

Circles

You can add people to your “circles” you can even add them without their knowledge or consent. In this fashion it is similar to Twitter, where you can follow as many people as you want and increase your network or information feed. But, adding them to your circles doesn’t necessarily mean you will get added back.

To increase your circles it is important to have accessibility to easily be added. The best way to accomplish this is to add the button on your website, posts, and even to the signatures in your e-mails. G+ is not at the forefront of people’s minds when they are trying to engage with you. It is rare that you can acquire more followers on Facebook when people spend up to 4 hours a day on Facebook. As I’ve always learned, if you want people to act, you need to make it simple and put it right in front of their face. And to ice that statement off, incentives always work great to get more followers.

+1 Button

The best way to think of this button is a “like” or “thumbs up” function. It is basically saying, you enjoyed whatever link was posted or you approve of this. This +1 metric is important to Google because one it speaks to the strength of an article, webpage, post or even author. Secondly, it works as an engagement metric. So, having a +1 button on your blog posts is important to indexing your content fast, spreading it virally and increasing your reach.

To increase your +1 engagement for your website is a trick I am still working on. It seems that it used to be Facebook sharing was the big go-to and now Twitter has astoundingly taken the lead, but how to push Google sharing to the top? I am still working on that. As far as accessibility it is important to add the +1 button to all your blog posts.

This +1 button is the most powerful metric for Google, by simply +1 your page you are able to rank higher for your business. Rand Fishkin, Founder of SEOmoz performed an experiment for a Vintage Scooter Helmet website, it was ranking 16th and by simply getting a group of people to +1 the page he was able to increase their rankings to the 6th position. This is huge! This is all the difference between capturing 25% of all traffic for that keyword over not even receiving an impression on the second page.

Most people like to install a WordPress plugin to add social media buttons to a website but you can also go to Google directly and get the code for a Google plus button.

5 Musts for Taking on Google Plus SEO

The hint to true Google Plus SEO is understanding that you can no longer be an anonymous contributor to the internet world. Instead, take advantage of your presence on the internet and optimize it for the value of your posts and business associated.

Sharing is Caring

The bigger your network the better, this concept is strewn throughout the core power of social media. Get users to engage with you, link to your profile, add you to their circles, +1 your articles, and re-share your articles.

Easier said than done, but the key to recent Google updates is the power of quality content. So do NOT start buying 5 dollar articles and posting them on your website at poor quality and sharing them on your Google profile. This will not help you and this will not increase your quality network. Rather, write meaningful content with captivating titles which entices people to click and leaves them wanting to share your article with their own network.

Followed Links in Bio

Many websites you have to contribute a great piece of quality content to and in return you get a link, but not on Google Plus. You can add links right into your own profile with any anchor text of your choice. So, go to your Google+ profile page and edit your introduction and add links.

Title Tag Optimization

This is not the normal title tag between the tags in your post. No, I am talking about the sentence that describes your shared link. For example, when you post a link and paste in the url. Wait for the snippet to show up, delete the url and write in a captivating sentence. This sentence will become your title tag when searched.

For example: if I was going to share this post I would write >>

Google+ SEO Secrets http://www.linktothisblog.com

It is very important that you remember this when posting on Google plus. Many will simply share the information and not write any caption which is a beginner’s first mistake to SEO with G+. Also it is good to choose the right image to match the post.

Editing for Viral Hope

I’m sharing all my G+ Tricks! Not many people know if your blog post goes viral, you can always go back and edit the information. Even better you can analyze the factors which affected if it went viral and replicate that on old posts. If you had a catching title that made people click and share, or a meme associated to a post you can always go back and edit your posts.

Indexing with Efficiency

It’s no joke, sharing anything on Google plus indexes it faster than submitting it via webmasters tool.

The indexing of a new post or page is as simple as +1 or sharing it via your Google+ profile. A significant added perk to using Google plus as a marketer! In my current SEO marketing agency we have a habit of sharing the information we post on Google plus as soon as it is created to make sure that the information is indexed and shared immediately.

Share for efficient indexing.

My Theories on Google+

As a marketer I do enjoy the theoretical punches at why things are happening. Even more than that I love the statistical studies developed from controlled experiments. So, here is my pure opinion on why Google has not captivated the crowds and put a massive dent into Facebook’s social network usage.

Facebook was a first mover in the industry, they did not create something, sit and look at the abundance and let it run endlessly on its own. Instead, they used the information the strength of the millions of users and continued to grow. Listening to the users and seeing what markets they could branch into, then the Facebook pages were born.

Google Plus on the other hand was another social media that was created automatically when you made a Gmail or any Google account. Ultimately, when individuals are trying to create a Gmail account a lot of “fake” users essentially are created. This is especially true for people who have multiple Gmail accounts with a different profile attached to each account. Although, it may seem overnight that we all were added to circles of friends, very few people understood how those related to the usefulness of Google.

My main issue with Google+ is the lack of explaining the cool features and how they are utilized. It’s fun to drag and drop people into your circles, but what does it really mean for usability? Was it a poor move on Google to allow people to add you to their circles without your consent? It almost immediately makes the system feel as though the more information you share the less control and protection you have.

My final thoughts are the accessibility and identity. Was it smart to make a url identity of plus.google.com? Rather than separating into their own brand? Small things like this make me wonder if it could make all the difference. What if Apple made their logo without a bite in it? Would it resonate the same emotions? The small things that make all the difference to consumers make me wonder, what if they did this instead? Could that be the difference?

The author of the article is Alisa Carcaden. I am drawn to internet marketing and have a passion for discovering new ways to succeed for websites. If you enjoyed this article please follow the Twitter feed @custparadigm.

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for such a detailed info on Google+, Mitz. I never really thought I would ever need Google+ for SEO… that was a big mistake on my part. I should have incorporated it to my SEO efforts when it was first launched. But with all your tips here, I am confident I will be able to catch up

  2. says

    The part about ‘title tag optimization’ I do not really understand. Are you saying when you write a comment you would write “Google+ SEO Secrets linktothisblog.com” and where you have “linktothisblog.com” you would put in the address of your own blog?

  3. says

    Nice post Mitz,

    I firmly believe that Google Plus will take over from Facebook & Twitter as the best way to socially share. After all the biggest search engine is backing it to succeed!

    I have recently installed Hootsuite, to help me to automatically post from WP to Google Plus. Wonder if what other systems people use?

    All the best,
    Glenn

    • Mitz says

      Hootsuite is a great help. In fact social media marketing is very important to SEO now. Times are changing and we must adapt. As for Google Plus beating Facebook, I think this could happen too! Google is not going to stop and let Facebook win.

  4. says

    Very informative! All the questions at the end of your post leaves me wondering has Google confused the masses?
    Google+ for me is like Twitter & FB combined. Twitter for the notorious #Hashtags & FB for the social aspect.
    You(I think)have hit the indexing of posts and +1′s right on the money. Of course Google will index posts and activity on their product, which is real good news for those of us who want to be found.

    Thanks for your posting..very straight-forward!
    Bryan Ring recently posted..Lawn Care and WordPress

  5. says

    Thanks for this insightful share, Mitz. SEO and Social Media goes hand in hand today. Together they can help a great deal for a blog or site.

  6. says

    Your article about Google Plus is quite interesting, and I’m looking forward to more informative and helpful posts from your blog. Thanks!

  7. says

    I did sign up to Google+, but don’t use it that much any more. I think it’s just not having enough time to engage on the site.

    MItz, I think your websites are great, but the pop up you have could perhaps be different? I know you’re a tech goddess. Perhaps you can make it so that the pop up only shows when you land on your first page. When the reader clicks from page to page on your site, the pop up should not show. I clicked on 5 pages on your site today and had to close the pop up each time. By the 3rd time I have to confess it got on my nerves. It even showed when I went back to something I’d already read!

    To go one step further, perhaps the pop up shouldn’t even show to people like me who’ve already subscribed to your site.
    Anne recently posted..Caught In A Self-Doubt Trap

    • mitz says

      Hi Anne
      Yes you are right about the popup.. I might take it off all together… I really forgot about it!! Thanks so much for reminding me! :)

  8. says

    You really gotta play along with google’s game. If they spend time working and create something for the user, at least try to use it. It can only look good in your favour.

  9. Ileane says

    Hi Alisa,
    I’m a big Google+ fan and I agree that it’s a place we should all spend some time on. The proper set up of your profile is really the key to getting off to a good start. Include your keywords and link to all of your site and blogs. I even add links to interviews I’ve done so that anyone who sees my profile can learn more about me.

    Thanks for talking about Google+ Alisa.
    Ileane recently posted..Lynette Young Presents Google Plus for You

  10. Calra says

    Not really a big fan of Google Plus because I’m still exploring every nook and cranny of the SEO practice, but I’ll be sure to get a print out of your article to remind me of some very important points regarding the subject.
    Calra recently posted..Hello world!

  11. says

    Hi Mitz
    Great Post. And very important tips. This means if we want extra effect on Ranking factor along with SEO,then we should implement Google + button in each page.Is there any restriction regarding limitation How much Google + button,we can used in a website?
    Thanks for sharing this information.
    Clarkmartin recently posted..Offset Printer – Experienced

  12. Febeamarie says

    I believe that the positioning of this social media tool is undoubtedly strong the lack of explaining the cool features and how they are utilized. It’s fun to drag and drop people into your circles.The best way to accomplish this is to add the button on your website, posts, and even to the signatures in your e-mails.
    Febeamarie recently posted..What Is White Hat vs. Black Hat?

  13. says

    I think many of their other products/platforms have similar issues as well.
    Some canonical issues are a nightmare to handle.
    Others though should be simple fixes … so no idea why G have never really tackled them.

    • Mitz says

      Yes I think Google puts the ideas out there…sees what happens…scraps them if it is not viable or works on them to death to make them great… If they do the latter I want to be part of it early on. :)

  14. says

    Google Plus is a revolutionary social networking platform that’s a cut above the rest, thanks for sharing its awesome features and I will definitely consider leveraging this medium as well.

  15. says

    Hi Mitz, I’m so glad to find such an useful post about Google+ and it’s relation with seo. I think G+ is a great social media platform to grab the attention of public and the perfect way to earn Google trust for any website or blog.

  16. says

    Nice to see someone go to the effort adn provide the detail/examples,
    good job that man!

    Google has a ton of Canonical Issues – most of their forums are available under various addresses.
    I think many of their other products/platforms have similar issues as well.
    Some canonical issues are a nightmare to handle.
    Others though should be simple fixes … so no idea why G have never really tackled them.
    christina recently posted..The Tiger’s Nest and other thoughts from the mountains

  17. says

    I think the biggest problem with G+ is that it’s still lagging behind. It only makes sense for Google to promote content going through G+ as it’s their network. And even though they are obviously scrutinised for trying to achieve monopoly, which means that they can only put so much bias on it, it’s natural to promote your own business. It’s a no-brainer that G+ will become more and more relevant in both SEO and Social Media Engagement.

  18. says

    I agree with your last paragraph, Google+ might be great with cool features, but it isn’t marketed the way it should be. I’m just getting started with G+ and I like it very much so far (especially since FB limits the reach of my page), but it would be good if they did a little more explaining.

  19. says

    Great tips, Mitz..I am yet to use Google +, but I have seen it surely offers a lot of benefits for SEO. Google surely will give importance to Google+ as it is their owwn social networking site. Thanks for this valuable info.

  20. says

    I definitely agree with this sentence “Many websites you have to contribute a great piece of quality content to and in return you get a link, but not on Google Plus. You can add links right into your own profile with any anchor text of your choice.” because with Google Plus you are able to add links and brand your profile for marketing.

  21. Gautham says

    Google plus certainly gives much unfair advantage to webmasters, if you can utilize authorship, your traffic can multiply.

  22. says

    i am really impressed by the reading this share till now facebook and twitter are my key elements for social media but after reading this i will now pay attention towards google+

  23. Hm Adnan says

    Great informative site…..I am happy to read the post and think the search engines Plus on the other hand was another public networking that was designed instantly when you made a Google mail or any Search engines consideration. Eventually, when people are trying to make a Google mail consideration a lot of “fake” customers basically are designed…Waiting for the next post..thank you..
    Hm Adnan recently posted..Gender And Learning From The Games

  24. says

    Hi Mitz its an excellent post, and I agreed with you that “G+ share is more valuable than FB share (It is little bit straight forward)” because I just created few Squidoo pages on different niche and tried both simultaneously even i get few more likes of FB than G+ and amazingly i got better result with those page which included G+.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Ranjan recently posted..How to Prepare For Interview

  25. Joe Clark says

    Hi Mitz,

    I am so agree with your thoughts about Google+ and strongly believe that Google plus is the next good step or milestone for SEO. The once using Google plus seriously would be the once getting good search engine rankings.

    PS. I would like to invite you reading my below mentioned post about Google plus too. :-)

    Joe
    Joe Clark recently posted..Google plus: heaven of SEO for webmasters in 2013

  26. Maja says

    Hello Mitz
    Now it is necessary for every webmaster to use social networks especially to get high ranking in organic searches under a particular keywords. Google has also considered links from Facebook and twitter for ranking of sites
    Maja recently posted..Massage at Hair Salons

  27. Brenda Macalino says

    Wow is this real? its good to know about this, now the SEo are open, I will share this news to my friends…
    Brenda Macalino recently posted..dog training

  28. Aasma says

    Quite useful tips, However I had no idea about title optimization tip.. that’s certainly quite useful and could easily help to become your post viral so one should use it intelligently.
    Aasma recently posted..Online Recharge Software

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