What You Need to Know About Google Plus and SEO

Google Plus and SEO

It’s been around since the early days of Google Buzz, but Google’s +1 button has always been a mystery to content producers and users in the sense that while its purpose is known – you approving of  content,  making it similar to Facebook’s “Like” button, the benefit is not common knowledge. Unlike Facebook’s Like button, Google +1 doesn’t share the content on the user’s social stream, so what do we get out of the +1 button?

Personalized Search

Google launched “Search plus Your World” service last month. If you are using Google+, you will now be able to search across information listings that is private and shared only to you instead of the public web. Search plus Your World is like a sub-search engine that gives higher rankings to sites that have received a large number of +1s from your network.

Google + Benefits According to Google

According to Google, Google +1 allows people to help Google sort out the web but having a lot of +1s does not necessarily push the content higher on the search result. A +1 acts as a seal of approval. For example, if your search includes a link to a site that has been given a large amount of +1s by people in your Google Plus network, the listing will show your friends names and indicate that they have +1-ed the site. It is the same behavior as a Facebook Like button.

How it Relates to SEO

A site that has been +1d by a user’s trusted acquaintances will have a higher chance of getting clicked. The potential for the link to be shared on other places is also greater. It is the number of clicks that improve the search rank of a content.

The increase in sharing is also a huge boon for SEO. According to SEOmoz co-founder and CEO Rand Fishkin, a recent experiment of their company revealed that there is a correlation between the number of shares a link received and the number of retweets that include its URL with the search rank of the page.

The Take Away

Based on what we now know, the Google +1 button is a very powerful SEO tool, however indirectly. It still requires some traditional SEO methods such as URL structuring, relevant keywords, and link building but it does help.

In a way, Google +1 should be treated as a new SEO tool that will complement your existing practices, instead of an end-all-be-all solution.

Share this to share your insight with others. It’s completely up to you though.

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  1. Shane Atkins Reply

    If someone +1s a post and they aren’t in your circle will it effect the Google ranking?

    1. Douglas Idugboe Reply

      Being +1d is primarily more of a social search recommendation service than an SEO strategy. However, the more “votes” your content gets through +1, the more personal “social” networks have the potential to see your content and click through to use your content. The indirect effect is, your content potentially is perceived as relevant to the core values and connections of that network or similar networks.

      If someone +1s a post and isn’t in your circle, will it affect your ranking? It all depend on the relevance and popularity of your content. All, independent of you, except if your content is relevant and/or popular within your circle, resulting from the volume of +1s received across your circles. Outside of that, legacy search engine result rules still apply.

  2. Dave Faulkmore Reply

    If i work hard to a bunch of +1s or reroute the $2 a day intended for African starving children to facebook ads and get 1,000 likes on each post which one will get me closer to that trip to Thailand?

    1. Douglas Idugboe Reply

      Don’t you think you’re the best person to answer [email protected]:disqus? Because, I really don’t know.

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    Google+ made a major impact on the SEO industry and Google +1 button is a very
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  4. Donna Saliter Reply

    Oh dear! I can’t read the article. The social share block is in the way on the left side of the content, and moves along as I scroll down. FYI I’m using a MacBook Air 13.”

  5. Steven Wheater Reply

    The social share block is covering a lot of the content when viewed in Google Chrome.

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    Do you think, “Google + Benefits According to Google” still works?I thought Google long ago announced that they were obsoleting this thing in order to bring in uniformity to all the web users.

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