It’s time to start viewing Google+ as more of a search-engine optimization tool and less of a social media site.
Since its launch, Google+ has been the oft-forgotten social media site, ignored by executives who wonder what the site can do for them. Unfortunately, when a social network is created and owned by a search engine giant like Google you can only ignore it for so long. If you were planning on it going away and passing by quietly in the night, you should drop that mentality now. Google sees Google+ as more than a social media site but a hub for all things Google, including how search engine rankings are determined.
So what makes people feel so strongly about the importance of Google+ in the digital world? Below are just a few reasons:
- Time after time it has been speculated that social signals play a role in rankings—and the major search engines have confirmed that to an extent. While we may not know all the signals that play a part and how they influence rankings, we do know there is a correlation between social and search engine results. Since Google has full transparency into Google+, there is no denying signals from there are being read loud and clear.
- Google+ posts show in a dominant position on search results pages. If your business is active on Google+, you can easily snag prime real estate on search results as shown in this example for MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.
- With the launch of Google+ Local, local businesses can no longer ignore that Google is pushing them toward having to use Google+ whether they like it or not. The plan is to merge old Google Places listings (which now are Google+ Local listings) with business pages; it’s slow moving but will ultimately happen. Once a business has its local page merged with their business page, users can easily see Google+ posts by a business—or lack thereof—when getting location information.
Merged Google+ Local page
Non-merged Google+ Local page
- While Google authorship is not meant for brands, if you have a lot of fresh content on your site (especially a frequently updated blog) written by your employees this can help get it out there. Just a few simple steps will have your authors’ smiling faces showing up on search results and increase the chances that users will click to the content on your site.
- Google+ Sign-In was released back in February and gives user the option to use Google+ to sign into applications. This could provide Google with even more information on how users interact with the Web, which in turn could play into what search results Google dishes to users who are searching while signed into Google+.
We all agree keeping on top of yet another social media site is a daunting task. However, out of all the sites you may ignore, Google+ can no longer be one of them. It is clear that Google intends on keeping Google+ around and integrating it into all things Google. At this point in the game, it’s time to start viewing Google+ as more of a search-engine optimization tool and less of a social media site.
Brooke Snow joined the SEO world and Anvil Media, Inc. back in 2010. As a digital strategist at Anvil, Brooke is responsible for the creation and execution of various client online marketing strategies, specializing in Local SEO as well as in various industry verticals including hospitality and education. As an alum of the University of Oregon School of Journalism with a major in Advertising Brooke started her career at more traditional advertising agencies managing client work ranging from interactive web projects to print and collateral.
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