Recently Google started using Google+ as a factor when generating search results and the company is calling the initiative “Search Plus Your World”. How does this fact affect you? Almost 85% of people use Google for a search engine, so businesses should be mindful of any changes Google makes – and have someone monitoring these changes for them.
Google’s Search Plus Your World is aimed at making searching the internet more relevant to you – more personal. Not only does it recommend search results for a person based upon what that person has searched for before, but Google also includes items from the person’s circle of friends if they also use Google+. These items could be pictures, relevant links to content friends have shared, and brands/people related to that person’s search. All of this personalized Google+ content appears beside a Google + profile picture of the user or that users’ friends. This Google Plus content also automatically appears at the top of the page if a user is logged into their Google account, driving organically generated Google search results further down the page.
These naturally generated Google search results used to be the results that were important to get through solid Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. A top one, two, or three ranking was invaluable in getting traffic to a business website. While it is still important to aim to get top-ranking organic results from traditional SEO methods, it is now equally important to concentrate on Google+ (and other social networks) as part of an SEO strategy. Here is why:
1. Hard to find. If your business is not in Google+ rankings, your business will be hard for customers to find. Because Google+ rankings appear at the top of the page, customers and potential customers will have to sift through Google+ rankings before they even get to the public listings for that keyword. Even if you rank high in organic search results, your listing might be below the fold because of Search Plus Your World. If you work to get your business to show well in Google+, then your business is more likely to show up at the top of the page where it will get noticed most often.
2. Become a friend of Google+ Search. Create a brand page for your business within Google+. If you need help doing this, you can contact us here at EricWagner.org. Google does not factor Twitter or Facebook results into their social settings the way they use Google+, so brands need to create Google+ pages and use these pages like another website or an extension of your own. Then your business page needs to be introduced to as many people in social circles as possible. The more influential these people are, the more your business page will show up in the Google social search. This function works similar to the Facebook “like” system.
3. Tag guest blogging posts. Good SEO strategies integrate guest blogging. If your business provides guest blog posts in your industry, then this content needs to be tagged with a rel=”author” html code that leads back to your Google profile so that your business gets credit in the Google+ formula.