SEO as we knew it is dead. Or at least it’s dying. The good news is that Google+ is evolving to present an entirely new (and much more natural, too) form of SEO meant to help searches find the most useful content available. There are a number of reasons why content marketers should be utilizing Google+, including the ability to start meaningful discussions in Google+ Communities and Hangouts. But the biggest upside to Google+, and a major reason to keep the social network in your online marketing repertoire, is actually related to SEO.
Google+ does a lot of great things for content marketers looking to step up their SEO game. Let’s not forget that Google is the world’s #1 search engine, so the integration of said search engine and their social network makes sense, doesn’t it?
If you’re not on Google+ for SEO already or aren’t sure how to use it yet, maybe these notes on how Google+ helps SEO will win you over to the Plus Side.
Personalized searches make Google+ for SEO a must-join network because it adds a level of, you guessed it, personalization to the online search experience for content marketers. Internet surfers are much more likely to click on a link that appears next to a real person’s face as opposed to one that is only text. Personalized searches and “author rank” foreshadow the very near future of SEO that will put extra emphasis on the individual as opposed to keyword rankings or other traditional SEO factors.
Take this search result for example:
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Immediately, the eye is drawn to the links that feature an author image. Seeing the author next to the content legitimizes the content and increases the likelihood of clicks.
By developing a strong following and understanding of Google+ for SEO, a content marketer can increase their reach and influence in Google searches. In addition to author pictures in SERPs, content shared on Google+ may appear higher in some cases. For example, articles shared by a Google+ account that a searcher follows will appear higher in search results than articles by authors that the searcher is NOT following. Also, when a content marketer +1s content on Google+ and is followed, that content they +1’d will also appear higher in SERPs for their followers. As you can see, developing a strong following on Google+ means increasing your authority through organic searches. Not only will those users following YOU see your content higher in SERPs, but also for the followers of users who +1’d your content within Google+.
A new buzz term being used often in the content marketing industry is the concept of “author rank” which is mentioned above. Author rank represents a shift by Google away from focusing on the SEO-quality of a website or blog and instead paying more close attention to the individuals who post to it and keep it updated.
Google+ in SERPs
Not only will your Google+ followers see content you’ve shared higher than others in SERPs, Google+ posts that you make can actually appear as well! This is a very big deal since neither Facebook nor Twitter individual posts appear in SERPs at all. Google+ content marketers have the upper hand in SEO over content marketers who do not use Google+ for SEO, since daily updates on Google+ have the potential to reach people who are seeking new information in that marketer’s expertise.
Additionally, Google+ profiles now show up in search results on the right-hand side along with recent posts. By integrating their search engine and social network so deeply, Google is blurring the lines between social media marketing and SEO.
As Google continues to evolve it’s search algorithm and undoubtedly continues to integrate Google+ into it, content marketers must hop on the train. SEO isn’t dead, but it is certainly changing. Guest posting, keyword stuffing and other once commonplace SEO practices are going by the wayside in favor of a more conversational and personal search experience involving Google+. By utilizing Google+ for SEO to its fullest potential, content marketers ensure that they will be ahead of the SEO-curve as it continues to evolve.
Have you noticed a Google+ boost to SEO from actively sharing content? Share your experience below or Tweet us!