Gee-up your SEO with Google+

Gee up your SEO
Gee up your SEO!

So, since starting Digital Eyes Media we’ve been preaching about the way Social Media & SEO can combine to amplify your on-line presence. There are lots of factors which we’ll of course we’ll be blogging about but I wanted to concentrate on one of the obvious ways of combining them & this comes in the form of Google+.

Google+ or G+ is a social media platform which combines features found across the other popular social media platforms. Apart from the normal ‘social’ aspect it has some pretty nifty features too! You can video conference on it using the Hangouts feature; you can connect with communities on it; you can edit comments or respond to the comments people make on your posts; you can upload images and videos directly. However, useful as the features might be, you can and possibly do these things through other means already; so why would you feel the need to operate on Google+ as well? (Some of these features actually started on G+ before the more traditional platforms!)

An obvious answer to this question is that G+ offers the features on a single platform so once someone becomes your contact on G+, you don’t have to look for them across a range of other platforms. However, this is by no means the only reason, because there are a few more points to consider.

It’s now coming up to 2 years since the start of its launch and it’s grown to the point where it has more ‘active’ users than Twitter in that time. ‘Active’ users are those who have logged in during any given month. G+ is constantly changing on the technology front too. In May alone, 41 new features were incorporated into it which is an impressive rate of upgrading by anyone’s standards.

One of the most popular features of G+ is Circles. This allows you to group your contacts into categories and target which content you share with which group. You can choose to share some messages only with your established customers or to direct some promos straight at a group of potential customers. This capability is extremely useful for businesses which do more than one kind of business or use their connections on G+ as an email list & provide the most relevant content for a targeted audience. Another example would be freelancers who might appreciate the convenience of being able to make business and personal posts on the same account.

Another great feature is the Google authorship program which has to be linked to your G+ profile. This involves adding the rel=author tag to your website/blog. By doing this it could have a dramatic effect on the way your content appears in the Google search engine results. So, if you have ever searched something and got results like these:

Add authorship

Notice the authors profile picture, link to their G+ profile, some details & more importantly link to their content!
Click this link if you want help doing this on your site.

As you can tell we LOVE the features on G+ but, putting them to one side for a moment: let’s think about another vital consideration for your business which, I mentioned at the beginning – Search Engine Optimisation!

Google runs the most popular search engine out there with around 65% of all searches made on it. In the last couple of years it’s been taking account of social media site contents in its algorithms for site rankings. If you look carefully at your own search results you might already be able to see examples social media recommendations in them. There is a general feeling among SEO experts that algorithms will probably be devised with Google+ in mind. It would be counter-productive if Google were creating sites that its own search engine couldn’t explore properly, so the expectation is that Google search will trust Google+ social media content as long as it’s of reasonable quality.

At the moment people are signing up to Google+ rapidly, but are not spending the same amount of time on it per month as they are on Twitter or Facebook. Will this change? No one can be 100% sure (Google themselves probably aren’t sure exactly either!) but would the biggest search engine in the world give more weighting to its more committed users than those that don’t share their content on the platform??? How else would you leverage your position to get people to spend more time on your network?

However, I’d recommend business owners to take a look at Google+ and get used to using it because if the balance of use time does start to tip, it would be a good idea for you to have an established presence on there before your competitors jump on the bandwagon!

Oh, and remember to add us to your Circles!

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