There is no doubt in my mind that Google plus (G+) is a powerful tool for marketers, SEO, social media managers or anyone who is involved in their digital image, it has it’s challenges particularly as most people are accustomed to a couple of “main” social media sites and are skeptical as to why they should be using another when it is more or less twitter and facebook rolled into one.
G+ is a very active sharing community, with many people in my circles publically sharing very often – pictures, blog posts and videos are the most common I have found. Interestingly enough, there aren’t many people sharing just a short paragraph of an event or an experience they’ve had such as they would often do on twitter and facebook. This works for me and my work as I can easily share pictures of cars we have specials on, blog posts and general car pictures. As I typed this I noticed the glaring similarities with Pinterest.
+1 and shares
Users of G+ are very quick to +1 and share content they’ve seen on their feed, it’s a fair assessment to say that you don’t have to work as hard for the-all-important-shares with G+; which again works for me. Shares, +1, likes, retweets and all the rest of it are meaningful to SEO so it’s important to have engagement from people. If you compared our Facebook likes and G+ +1’s then in a few months our G+ will have dwarfed it.
G+ and SERPs
This is where the golden egg can be found. If i search for our primary keyword in incognito on google we will be 9th (At time of writing). Now, if I sign in to my personal Google account (Which has +1’d and followed our G+ page) then we are 4th, 5th and 7th! The 4th and 5th positions are taken up by recent google+ posts and the 7th is our normal result. Amazing stuff! This meant that we are 30% of the first page for that keyword under those circumstances.
I believe Google has possibly changed the algorithm slightly or dependant on something I can’t figure out yet as when I logged into my girlfriends account (Who has +1’d and followed) then we were 2nd!
What does this mean for SEOs?
Pretty simple really, you need to be working on your G+ profile for your business. We are a fairly small company and the effects have been encouraging. However, the people you need to be followed by need to be relevant because coming up 4th, 5th and 7th for people who will not be purchasing or who will not be interested in your products is a wasted effort. Get to know the climate for your industry and get your name around in relevant communities, your G+ page needs to be nurtured just the same as other marketing channels you are using.