Google Plus SEO: Is Your Business Reaping The Rewards?

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Google Plus

If you or your business aren’t taking advantage of Google’s own social network ‘Google Plus’, then perhaps now is the time for you to take a closer look.

Google Plus is a relatively new addition to the social media market, having launched only two years ago. As of December 2012 it now has over 500 million registered users!  Google Plus, (also referred to as ‘Google+’ or ‘G+’), separates itself from the likes of Facebook and Twitter, being accessed by an overarching layer on your browser, within the Google search engine and integrated within your Gmail account.

If you have a Gmail account, then you automatically have a Google Plus profile set up for you, so it may be a case of taking advantage of what you have rather than setting up an account.

Google Plus Is Good For SEO

If gaining access to around half a billion users isn’t incentive enough, then it’s worth considering that Google is now integrating Google Plus presence as an SEO ranking factor.

Due to Google’s dominance over the search engine market, it can determine what factors contribute to its SERP rankings.

In recent years Google has begun to integrate and use social media activity as an important ranking factor for websites.  Having an active social networking presence acts as a signal that your website shares interesting and useful information with others, which will then help boost your rankings.

It’s hardly surprising that Google is now shifting the focus on to its own social network, the amount of +1’s a site has is now calibrated in Google’s own ranking algorithms. It makes perfect sense from Google’s perspective to increase the importance of its own social networking site ahead of its other competitors.

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”  – Erik Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google.

The focus on Google Plus is likely to increase in the coming years as Google is effectively attempting to monopolize the entire web market, including social networking, that has recently been dominated by the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

How Can Businesses Take Advantage?

This is the question that many businesses and bloggers alike will be asking, and the answer is relatively simple.  All you have to do is improve or develop your presence on Google plus.

Gmail has more users than any other web-based mail service (including the likes of AOL and Hotmail).  By clicking the ‘+You’ sign you’ll be transferred to your Google Plus account, which is likely to be somewhat dormant if you haven’t used the service before.

Google Plus - You

When you’ve established a presence on Google Plus the process is pretty straight forward, undertaking a social media marketing campaign often consumes valuable time and resources but through doing so you could actively improve your site’s ranking.

It’s worth mentioning that you could also theoretically let your followers do the work for you, simply by having a Google Plus account and having G+ buttons on your site or blog, your followers can increase your presence on the site. The amount of pluses you have is counted and monitored by Google, essentially its encouraging you to share information through its own social networking service, rather than through its competitors.

There is even Google Plus Local which can help get more people to see your local business.

Aside from the potential SEO benefits, Google+ does have other “plus” points (if you enjoy a pun).

Google Authorship 

Google Authorship is one of the fundamental benefits of using Google plus, particularly for bloggers. By linking your information to your Google+ account (via HTML tagging) Google can add a picture to your information on its own SERP ranking, this may seem like a minuscule addition but research has shown that it can increase your Click Through Rate by around 20%.

Google Plus SEO

This is how your search results will look for your site when you have set up Google Authorship correctly linked with your Google Plus profile.

Check out our ‘Google Authorship Guide‘ to see how to get started and get your picture in the search results.

Google Communities

Google Plus is tailored towards individuals and businesses, it’s more business orientated than Facebook and more informal than the likes of Linkedin. One of the best ways to target an audience and other businesses that share the same interests is through the Google Communities service, users are encouraged to share and discuss relevant information through this service.  It’s a bit like Facebook groups, but a lot more visual.

So there we have some of the potential benefits of Google plus, if you haven’t looked in to the service yet then it’s not too late, it could bring substantial rewards to your business or website. It can even help improve your SERP ranking, getting you ever closer to that illustrious front page, which is a potential goldmine for businesses as far as traffic and revenue is concerned.

Are you using Google Plus yet?  If so, how are you finding it compared to other social sites?  If you’re not using it yet, why not?  Please let us know in the comment section below.

About Richard Owen

Richard is content manager and blogger at Mint Online Marketing. You can learn more by following him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

  • Richard

    Hope you enjoy the blog guys, many thanks for posting it.

    • Hi Richard,

      Thanks again for the great post! Think a lot of people will like reading this.

  • Hi Richard, nice post. Google+ is slowly becoming my network of choice. And the fact that it can have a positive affect on your sites rankings only goes to emphasis how strong a player they are going to become this year….

    People should be getting involved in Google plus sooner rather than later I feel.

    Thanks for the post, well put together Matt.

    • Hi John,

      Think you summed it up nicely. Google+ is only going to get bigger/stronger in the coming years, so people ought to get involved now. It certainly isn’t going to go away, as some people suggested when it first launched.

  • alexwhalley

    Good summary of Google plus there Richard. There is a lot of conflicting reports on whether Google PLus is the way forward but I for one am with you – it’s a great social platform to engage and build an audience. The fact that Google own it and you can generate positive SEO with authorship is the icing on the cake
    Shared on… Google Plus 🙂

    • Hi Alex,

      I’m a big fan of Google+ myself, much prefer it to Facebook. All it needs is more people to start using it, which is happening. Give it 1-2 years and I can honestly see it challenging Facebook for top spot.

  • Mark Powlett

    Very interesting to read. I have already been on and made sure that I added a photo to my authorship. Lots to think about and I think we all need to pay more attention to google plus ! thanks

    • Hi Mark,

      Well it’s certainly not going to go away, that’s for sure. Google has clearly invested a lot of money and time into making this work and it looks set to start making a challenge to Facebook’s crown.

      The fact that it has SEO benefits is even more beneficial to businesses, so it’s worth spending some time on.

  • Clair Trebes

    Ok this post title got me excited before I even read it 🙂

    So here’s the thing ….. I never really played / experimented much with Google + until I had to take ownership / responsibility for my family’s offline business (ssssshhhh please don’t tell my social media community this)

    So I had to develop a web presence that was non existent AND rank for SEO (which I am still learning a lot about day in day out)

    Social Media is my area of expertise, so without actually “reading” much I kinda figured if I get an account for EVERY google based product there is for my family business and verified / used them and linked them, then surely it would help my seo crusade when searching for the company name …..

    So guess what? IT WORKS …… using google’s social products has got my family offline business to No1 on google for the name quite quickly and without much fuss – admittedly a lot of other non google seo factors have helped, but I believe it’s the difference that got me from No2 to No1 spot – I can see clearly google weights their own products, so if you play to their tune and be active on their products (G+, Maps, YouTube, Google Local) then it will without a doubt help your quest for SEO rankings!

    Cool Post sharing it across the interweb now, as I KNOW THIS WORKS!!!

    Clair

    • Hi Clair,

      You should be on their next advert 🙂

      I don’t think anyone would argue that Google is THE #1 search engine in the world, so it makes sense to work with their products in order to rank. You are a perfect example of this as you have managed to grow your online presence pretty well over the last few months.

      Thanks for sharing this Clair 🙂

  • Kapil Jekishan

    Right on the money Richard! Love the overview of my favourite social media network right now. The information you can obtain through some of these communities is second to none and especially some of the expert commentary. Just shared this! Great work Richard and Matt

    • Hi Kapil,

      I’d probably say that G+ is my favourite social site at the moment as well. Love the layout, the way it works, the fact that in integrates with everything seamlessly. I honestly think Facebook should be worried (if they aren’t already).

  • Andi Leeman

    Read this post twice now, I need to get it in my head that I need to focus on G+ more, today I have started to implement a few changes and slowly I will be getting into G+ as my main social network.

    I am still not a huge fan of communities over the Facebook groups but that could be down to lack of use. If G+ can have a big effect on your rankings and exposure it would be foolish to not focus on it more and build it up.

    For me as a writer and blogger Google authorship is a biggie, face recognition is very important to humans and constant repetition and reminder of who you are is good for you as a brand.

    • Hi Andi,

      The great thing about our situations is that we can have the best of both worlds. We can use both Google+ & Facebook (and of course all the others) for our business and get the benefits.

      For me, Google+ is one of the big three (along with Facebook & Twitter) that every business and website should be on. They are the ones with the most engagement and with the most people using them.

      The second tier would be social sites like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, Stumbleupon, etc. that you “could” manage without.

  • Hi Hasan,

    We welcome all guest writers to get in touch with us via the proper channels. Let us know your post idea(s) and we will inform you of our submission guidelines. Get in touch via http://onlineincometeacher.com/write-for-us/

    • Hasan

      Thanks Matt. I’ll contact with you very soon.