As a small business owner, you probably hear a lot about the value of incorporating social media into your SEO strategy. However, it’s important to know that while most social media networks can add value to your business in some way, not all are created equal. In this post, we look at the particular and unique SEO value that Google+ can provide for small businesses.
Google+ is part of Google
Being so closely connected to the biggest search engine on the planet means G+ can provide you with some particular SEO benefits – that is if you know how to use it properly. Google has incorporated some of its search technology and methods into its G+ platform, which means that factors such as internal and external linking, and posting high-quality content, can give your profile a particular boost.
The value of sharing trusted content
According to first-hand research done by G+ expert Mark Traphagen, sharing posts by trusted authors may actually result in your own profile ranking higher than the original post in some Google searches. This may happen even if the original author has a much bigger following than you do on G+, providing a pretty awesome way to leverage off the expertise of quality authors. This feature is explained in more detail in this article.
The importance of G+ networking
Further experiments done by Mark Traphagen showed that G+ even has its own PageRank. In the same way that links are used as a major factor in Google web ranking, it has been found that linking within G+ itself can improve the rank of a G+ profile. Thus it makes sense to network as much as possible with high-profile G+ users. In addition, when a trusted website links to a G+ profile, it can also have the effect of boosting that profile’s rank.
So in other words, when it comes to Google, it appears that the value of quality inbound links applies to G+ just as it does for websites.
Other benefits of using Google+
The SEO value of Authorship:
We’ve written previously on the value of G+ Authorship, but to reiterate briefly – when you create high-quality content on a site and link to it through your G+ page, it tends to get indexed more quickly by Google than it otherwise would. In addition, your profile image appears in SERPs – a feature which has been shown by research to improve click through rates.
Circles, Hangouts and Ripples:
G+ has a number of other features you may find useful – including the Circles feature that divides your followers into interest groups enabling you to better target posts, and Hangouts, which can be great for group conversations and establishing networks.
And if you are all interested in influencer marketing, you may get some benefit from G+ Ripples, which displays how your content is ‘rippling’ through your network as well showing who is actually sharing it.
So to sum up, when it comes to G+, external and internal quality links and the sharing and posting of trusted quality content appear to have significant influence on SEO, possibly far more so than social signals such as +1s. Therefore, if you want to get real value out of Google+ for your small business, networking with high-profile users, sharing trusted quality content, and establishing yourself as a trusted authority in your field can all go a long way towards improving your online presence and your Google search engine ranking.