Considering the fact that it came from arguably the world’s biggest web enterprise as of today, there were high expectations when Google+ was rolled out. Unfortunately, the search engine giant’s social media counterpart started out slow and many doubted whether it can get into the same level as Facebook and Twitter in terms of popularity.
Now, all uncertainties are gone as Google+ emerges from the social media quicksand and occupies the spot as the second most popular social network in terms of the number of active users, dethroning Twitter in the process. Facebook still tops the race while Twitter drops down to third place. This data is according to the most recent report by GlobalWebIndex.
Addressing a Small Controversy
There’s an inside joke among search engine marketers that Google+ is “the social network of SEOs.” A number of marketers are still dubious that Google+ has trumped Twitter in social media popularity.
Why? This is because an “active” user is defined as someone who logs into his or her Google+ on a regular basis. There are a number of online marketers who believe that it is very easy for Google+ to be the second most popular social platform because it is integrated to the bigger Google sphere – you log into your Gmail account, you’re automatically logged into your Google+ account. You log into YouTube, you’re automatically logged into your Google+ account. Many contest that because internet users are surrounded with multiple Google web properties which are interlinked, saying that Google+ is now the second most popular social network may be misleading.
Google+ Can Boost Search Rankings
Google has built an empire. It is what it is. One cannot blame Google because it uses its other more popular and established web properties to promote the others. Despite all the questions and doubts about this recent report, one thing is certain – a strong Google+ presence means higher rankings in Google’s search engine results pages. While there are still questions about the potential of Google+ as a social network, there is absolutely no hesitation on how it can affect a site’s organic ranking in Google search.
Tips on Boosting Organic Search Ranking with Google+
Below are easy-to-implement tips on how you can take advantage of Google+ to enhance your Google organic ranking:
Use high potential keywords on your Google+ profile. Just like how you optimize meta tags, use high potential (in terms of traffic and conversion) search terms in the different sections of your Google+ profile which include the introduction, the employment section and the bragging section. However, don’t forget that Google+ is still a social platform and stuffing your profile with keywords may bring down engagement. Use keywords sensibly and appropriately. You may also use these keywords as anchor texts. Just make sure that it follows Google’s anchor text diversity guidelines.
Ask your network to add you to Circles that are labeled using your targeted high traffic keywords. Again, it’s about keywords targeting. There’s really no way to know how the people in your Google+ network name their Circles, but you can “subtly request” that you be added to those that are labeled using your targeted high potential keywords. For example, if you’re an online retailer of women’s apparel, you may post a status such as: Do you have a Women’s Fashion Circle? Add me up and let’s talk about stylish wardrobe ideas.
Link your content to your Google+ profile. Make it a habit to link every piece of content you published to your Google+ profile using the Google Authorship tag. This increases the social activity around that particular blog post or article which gives it a good chance of ranking high in Google SERP. Recently, marketers have discovered that in Google Local, Google+ users are considered as “most helpful” and their reviews of a particular business are usually ranked higher than those of non-Google+ users. Who knows, maybe this will be the case in Google search soon.
Update Your Google+ posts whenever necessary. Google loves fresh content and this is one area that Google+ clearly has an edge over Facebook and Twitter. In Facebook and Twitter, if you want to edit or update a status or a post, you basically need to delete the existing one and publish a new post. In Google+, you can update your posts to your heart’s content! Whenever there are significant updates to a previous post that generated a high level of engagement, be sure to edit to generate more conversation, more social activity and ultimately, higher rankings.
Is Google+ the Social Media Dark Horse or Black Sheep?
Well, there’s really no way to answer this question in a definitive manner. While Facebook has been lording over the social media space for quite some time now, the world has seen the rise and fall of many social networks and the next big thing is always around the corner. Google+ may or may not rise as the premier social platform in terms of popularity, but as of the moment, it can definitely affect your organic search rankings in Google and if only for this reason, you have to beef up how you use this social space.