If you are looking to increase your ranking in Google search while also expanding a presence on Google Plus please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I have several packages available for businesses and websites.
Google Plus and SEO. There are hundreds of threads on social networks, every day, trying to dissect if Google is assigning a value to Google Plus activity. I am going to attempt to explain it in a much different way. Rather than drilling down into the nuts and bolts of search let’s look at it from a business and real world perspective. In the real world, not online, I receive phone calls every day asking me if a business should increase their activity on Google Plus as it compares to Facebook and Twitter. My answer is often a resounding “YES!” Not always, but most of the time. Here are some of the reasons why Google Plus makes sense for businesses looking for SEO help.
Google Plus is Owned by Google
I am shocked at how many people do not know that Google owns a social network. I live beside a college campus that is renowned for its journalism department. Over 90% of the journalism students do not know Google Plus exists or don’t care to use it. Journalists that are looking to get their name out there for their content are unwilling to use a social network owned by Google. I will just shake my head and create that article another time. Yes. Google owns Google Plus which is the social layer to all Google products.
It stands to reason that Google would digest the information submitted to Google Plus must more closely and easier than from other social networks. In fact, Google spiders struggle greatly when it comes to crawling and indexing Facebook posts and Twitter Tweets. Every now and then you will find a Tweet indexed in Google search but almost never will you find an individual Facebook post. Facebook walled off their content and they have no desire to allow Google to crawl all the status updates and Facebook Business Page posts.
Recently, Matt Cutts created a YouTube video that explained the Google algorithm assigns no value to Tweets and Facebook posts. There are many reasons for this but you can simply watch the video here. If Facebook and Twitter have little to no value in Google search why is it that businesses continue to feel they will help them get business through search? I honestly don’t know the answer to this. The only reason that makes any sense to me is a business sees their competition doing it so they simply assume they must be doing it as well.
In my personal opinion, I think most businesses would benefit from using Google products which, in turn, would help them rank in Google search. While a Facebook Business Page might have 100,000 fans it is nearly impossible to reach all of those fans with the Facbeook EdgeRank algorithm. Recent studies have shown that Facebook posts that are not promoted with money reach less than 10% of fans. That page that has 100,000 fans is really reaching less than 1,000 of them. Compare this to Google search. On any given day there are tens of thousands of Google searches for keywords related to almost all businesses. These searchers also want to purchase the product or service unlike browsing on Facebook or Twitter. If you want to work with someone with a large Google Plus following that understands how Google is using the social layer contact me at email@example.com.
Google Cannot Crawl Facebook Posts
This was briefly mentioned earlier, but it is important to understand why Facebook and Google do not get along. Facebook is in the business of making money. I know Mark Zuckerburg says he wants to connect the world but when the Facebook company IPO’d on the NASDAQ it went from a fun and exciting social network to a money generating machine. He now has shareholders to please so he cannot simply “play” around with his social network that claims to add over one million users daily.
When Facebook started to grow quickly in 2006 and 2007 Mark Zuckerburg realized he had a cash cow on his hands. He also realized that keeping all the uploaded data to himself would make the business much more valuable. He now has the ability to either sell this data or charge a premium to advertisers. We have heard all the rumblings of the NSA getting Facebook data but that is an article for another time. The way Facebook makes the majority of their money is through advertising.
Facebook charges businesses based on impressions or clicks. Every time you log into your Facebook account and there are advertisements someone is paying for that real estate. Even if you don’t notice them or they are never clicked there are still companies that are shelling out hard earned cash for Facebook ads. With Facebook being the only company seeing this information they are able to set the price per impression or per click. Bing has a relationship with Facebook as it pertains to search but Bing (Microsoft) does not see all the advertising data.
The Google/Facebook relationship is so poor that Google decided to make their own social network in 2011. In June of that year Google launched Google Plus in hopes of better understanding how people share data online. Even though many major media outlets still claim Google Plus is a ghost town it is doing exactly what Google wants. Anyone that has signed up for a GMail, YouTube or Android account now has Google Plus. Whether they know it or not they are using Google products which helps the Google company improve search results.
Google Plus Improves Search Results For Users
One of the most important reasons Google created Google Plus was to improve search. By improving and personalizing search for each and every Google user the company has the ability to charge more for advertising. Focused ads on the front page of Google search are worth much more than ads that are only somewhat relevant. Any time a user goes to YouTube and looks for a specific type of video they are telling Google the types of content they like to consume. When users search on Google they are telling the company what is important in their lives. If they update a Google Plus post they illustrate things that are fun and entertaining.
All of these actions help Google as it allows them to provide search results that are tailored to a specific user. All privacy issues aside, this is something every major Internet company is trying to do. Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter and Yelp all encourage users to log in so they can better understand what the user is looking for on that specific web entity.
We are seeing more and more websites incorporated the Login with Google button on their website to accompany Facebook and Twitter logins. As far as SEO, I do not suggest any of these types of buttons for comments because it makes an iFrame on your website. This iFrame cannot be crawled by Google spiders therefore all those valuable comments are not part of the text of the page. There are plenty of great WordPress commenting clients including the one that comes with any WordPress theme. If you own a website that gets a ton of comments it is “SEO smart” to use a commenting client that can be crawled by Google spiders.
The flip side of this is the personalization of Google search when individuals sign in with the Google button. When signed in they will see search results that are altered by those they are following or have circled. If you are a publisher that is in thousands or tens of thousands of circles you may want to consider an option to leave a comment with a Google Plus profile. This will allow you to build your following while also getting more searches from Google organic search.
Should Your Business Be Proactive on Google Plus?
If your business is looking to add customers or clients then it should be active on Google Plus. Businesses and companies that offer services to the public can greatly benefit but the SEO value of Google Plus and all of its products. There are some businesses that would benefit more from being on Facebook and Twitter but most of those business are selling impulse items that people do not need in the moment. Think of the “As Seen on TV” items or something to help them make life a little easier. If you are looking to increase activity on Google Plus and you would like some assistance reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facebook and Twitter do not work all that well for services people must have in the moment. Users that have been in a car accident are not going to jump on Twitter or Facebook to look for a car garage or a personal injury lawyer. If your sink is clogged and water is running all over the floor you are not going to scour Facebook for a plumber. You are going to go to Google and search “plumber with 24 hour service”. The plumber that has been active and engaging on Google Plus may be the first one that shows up due to the fact that you are signed in and you followed a few plumbers the last time you had an issue with your sink.
As we continue to progress in the social media era of the Internet I firmly believe Google Plus is the place for businesses to sink time, effort and money. In my opinion, Facebook is the white pages and Google Plus is the Yellow Pages.
Google Plus Communities and Their SEO Value
A major part of Google Plus that many new users do not know about is communities. Google Plus Communities allow users that have similar interests to congregate in one area and discuss their desired topics. There are Google Plus communities for specific Android smartphones, video games, TV shows, professions and even websites. I have seen a number of Google Plus communities get some momentum and grow quickly. I currently own two communities with over 10,000 active community members.
The great thing about communities is any member has the ability to submit new content. From an SEO standpoint this is enormous. Think about owning a website in which there are 10,000 authors that have the ability to submit content at any time. I think anyone that has been on the Internet for more than 10 minutes can agree that this much content is extremely valuable.