Google Plus is a social media platform, similar to Facebook, which was launched by Google in June 2011. If you are in charge of driving traffic to a business website, chances are you’ve heard of G+ and heard it’s important – but what’s the big deal, really?
Google Plus – More Than Just a Facebook Rip-Off
The most common misconception about Google Plus is that it’s simply an attempt to mimic Facebook. That’s true to some extent, but Google+ is actually more important than Facebook in many ways, even though it has far less regular users.
Not only is Google+ a social network, it’s interlinked with search results in some very important ways. The creation of G+ was not simply an attempt to move in on Facebook’s territory – it was also a move to improve the quality of search results.
Why Your Business Needs Google Plus
See, Google+ has given Google a lot of very useful information about website owners and content publishers. Most importantly, it can give Google some very strong indicators about who to trust. Being trusted by Google is a good thing – it means they will be happy to rank you, knowing they are delivering a good search experience by doing so.
Because Google relies on algorithms for its rankings, this issue of who to trust has been a big challenge in recent years. It has been relatively easy for someone to simply game the mathematics of the algorithm and create the appearance of being trustworthy.
Google Plus makes that much harder to mimic – which is great news for quality businesses who really are trustworthy. It means all you have to do is get set up on Google+ and start following the right strategies.
Google Plus in Search Results – Local SEO and Google Authorship
Google+ is starting to play a big role in search results – and therefore rankings and traffic – in two major ways.
First, there are Google+ Local business pages, which show up in search results for location-specific searches:
There’s also Google authorship – where you link up a Google+ personal profile to your website content, so Google knows it’s authored by a trusted authority:
Google prefers to rank content by a person it ‘knows’ is an expert in the marketplace, rather than an anonymous source.
Google+ and The Future of SEO
You can see that G+ has some big effects on how search works, and that’s highly likely to continue into the future. In order to establish an effective long-term search engine optimisation strategy, you really need to consider how you’re going to include G+ in your activities.
Being an Authority: The Key to Long Term Traffic
As mentioned, the whole idea of the Google Authorship concept applied through Google+ is to give higher rankings to web pages authored by trusted individuals. Of course, in order to get those benefits, you need to actually be seen as an authority by Google.
This can be challenging and involves some effort in terms of content creation and distribution, but it also makes your website much more resilient against future changes in Google’s algorithms. That means not only high rankings, but rankings that last long term and provide you with consitent streams of new customers over a long period.
Need help using Google+ to turn your website into an authority in your market and reap the rewards in terms of traffic and customers? Contact us for a free assessment.
Tom McSherry is the founder and chief strategist of Premium SEO NZ. Tom has been in the digital marketing industry for 8 years providing digital copywriting and optimisation services to businesses in New Zealand and around the world. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.
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