Published On: March 9, 2012
The hype over Google+ has fallen significantly but there’s a new twist on how Google is spinning the social media platform. Do a casual search and you’ll notice Google+ author profiles displayed next to selected search results, +1 recommendations on search queries, and even Google +1 buttons on image display ads. The integration of Google+ in search is subtle but on the rise, and it will have a significant impact on how pages rank in Google. Google’s shift towards becoming a social search engine means new SEO strategies will need to address social presence optimization as well as traditional in-site search engine optimization.
The new and improved Google search algorithm takes into consideration social metrics such as the amount of Google +1’s a website receives, along with data it can gather from leading social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. With the knowledge in hand about how Google+ influences search results, here are three actionable strategies you can implement today to help optimize for socially-informed search engines:
Google+ users tend to know each other from the area they either lived, went to school in or worked around. Provide them with interesting information about the surrounding area, and they will be more than glad to share your website with friends and family. For example, if your business is located around the Los Angeles area, you can publish and share an article about the “Top 10 L.A. Restaurants for Meals Under $10”. Providing content that focuses on an informative and relevant topic around a geographic area is a great way to get Google+ users’ attention.
People sharing information on Google+, Facebook and Twitter are more likely to share sites that have useful and timely information about the community they care about.
Users browsing and sharing facts online are looking for credible, authoritative sources of information. You can participate in the conversation by providing your expertise and insight about your business on Google+. The best way to understand this strategy is by looking at some examples: let’s say you own a local vitamin shop that also has a website. Create articles about the various health benefits of each vitamin supplement and post them to your store’s website. Share these articles on blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Over time, these pages will gain traffic as they rank for long-tail keywords and benefit from increased social popularity. The same dynamic happens for any type of business. A yoga studio’s website can engage and gain more +1’s by creating and sharing information about different health benefits of yoga, news about yoga and any upcoming yoga related gatherings around the local area. Car dealers can use a blog or publish regularly written articles to establish themselves as the local resource for news updates and information about a car brand. Local business owners and restaurants each have the ability to start a newsletter to help nearby residents find and enjoy upcoming events. Become the hub of information around your field or industry, and you will attract plenty of Google+ fans.
Friends, family and employees are usually happy to discuss and share your website. Your loved ones can then share your site with others they know, and you can help this process by continually giving them valuable information to spread around. Find interesting news, online tools, and appealing discounts around the Internet and publish them to your website. Updating your site with new, useful info around a focused topic will give friends and family something valuable to share.
The game is now changing dramatically as Google's search engine integrates with the g+ social network. Simply having keyword targeted heading tags, descriptions and content is no longer enough for a full search optimization strategy. Google was once all about machine-learning and creating algorithms to crawl, index and rank websites. But now that it has integrated social as an influential factor in personalized search, you’ll need these three strategies to increase your social and overall SEO presence.