5+ Ways Google Plus Impacts your SEO Strategy

Social Media, not mentioning it’s influence on marketing strategies, plays a significant role in the modern SEO strategy. Google+, as a part of Google’s ecosystem and one of the key players on the social media market out there, in terms of SEO plays a much bigger role than a simple social media platform.

Maybe you’ve got an impression that Google Plus is abandoned, with hardly any users. In comparison to other social platforms the numbers don’t look spectacular, but still using Google’s Social Media will give you a few benefits beyond communication and content distribution.

1. Authorship Markup

The way the online marketing strategy is being managed these days has changed vastly. A legitimate business in order to be successful needs more than a brand. It needs a human face. A frontmen, who will be the person behind the brand he’s trying to develop. The times of business anonymity have come to an end. Transparency about the brand brought up a new way of building trust and credibility around the brand. Let’s use an example. What company found on the Internet, is one that you never have heard about before and would choose to do business with? The one with brand which doesn’t ring the bell, or the transparent one about the team and whose data is visible near the search term you were looking for?

I suppose that the typical choice would be the second option. When a new visitor comes to your website, you should make him familiar with your offer, but the trust and consideration to make a purchase starts much earlier in the process. There is a higher chance that the new visitor on your website will convert, if he had contact with you, as a face of the brand earlier – for example articles, as proof of your work and experience.

Being the face of the brand also will give you personal benefits, beyond your brand’s exposure and credibility. Personal branding will score you recognizability, authority in your niche and highlight your role as a writer. In regard to the search engine, it will:

  1. Give better visibility – standing out in comparison to your competitor’s results in SERPs
  2. Eliminate plagiarism – minimizes the probability of stolen or duplicated content
  3. Build your Author Rank

Claim authorship and connect it with your content

  1. Go to Google Plus, login with your Gmail data or create a new profile
Google Plus Account
  1. Add a recognizable photo
Google Plus Profile Photo
  1. If you have an email under the same domain and your name, as same as the one you’ve added in the Google Plus is attached to every piece of content, you can connect your content with your email under https://plus.google.com/authorship
Google Plus Authorship
  1. You can add your authorship by adding a url address to your content
rel author
  1. After this you should edit your profile’s contributor section
Google Plus Configuration
  1. After you’ve added a custom link to your contributor section, you can check if your profile is connected to your content properly in the Structured Data Testing Tool
Structured Data Testing Tool

You should take note that your Google Authorship could not be visible in the search engines results page immediately, but if you followed the above steps correctly, it will appear after some time.

This process could be easier if you’re using a blogging CMS, like WordPress, where it’s greatly simplified thanks to plug-ins.

2. Publisher Markup

Publisher markup is similar to Authorship markup. The difference is that it is used to promote not an author of the content in SERP, but the company instead. You can configure it in a similar way as well, but the configuration takes place on your business page profile.

The advantage which your website gives is higher visibility in SERPs and therefore could affect click through rates. For example, if you search for a business with a branded keyword, Google may display a large box to the right of the SERP, which will include the business’ vital info, such as address, phone numbers, hours of operation, website link, and photos. Additionally, Google seems to give higher rankings to pages with configured publisher markup. Adding a Publisher link to you web page is effective in terms of your company’s branding, as it is only shown to the users when they’re looking for your brand. In terms of SEO performance, which aims to drive traffic to your website for non-branded keywords, it would be much less effective than Authorship markup, which would appear next to any piece of content you publish on the Internet.

Configure Publisher markup and connect it with your website

  1. Set up your business page on Google Plus
Google Plus Publisher Markup
  1. Go to the links section of your profile and add your website’s url address
  2. Put a url address to your Google Plus Business Page like in the example below
Publisher markup configuration rel publisher
  1. As in the case of Authorship markup you can test your Publisher Markup configuration with Structured Data Testing Tool

3. Hashtags

Hashtags, popularly known from Twitter, are used to organize public conversation. Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google Plus have joined the hashtag revolution and provided users with the hashtag feature.

Using a hashtag before a particular word can signify a topic. It makes it easier for other users to participate in common conversations around the topic and it helps with social media distribution of your content as well.

How to use hashtags on Google Plus

Every time you share a post on Google Plus, you can add one or more # symbols to highlight the contents relevancy to the topic. The hash tag will appear in the upper right corner of your post.

Hashtag Google Plus

If you click on the hash tag button the new area will appear above the post, where hashtag-related posts will be available.

Google Plus Hashtag related posts

Posts with multiple hashtags will have more than one hashtag button. Such posts will allow you to explore other posts, if your topic touches wider subjects.

Trending topics will be displayed on the right hand corner of the Stream.

Google Plus Hashtag Trending Topics

Although hashtags are added automatically on Google Plus, you can add them manually as well, which will let you maintain bigger control over connecting your content’s subject to the particular topic.

Hashtag settings Google Plus

How do you find interesting topics? Its simple. Just type a word with a hashtag before it to find information you are currently interested in.

How to use Hashtags Google Plus

4. Communities

My first impression about Google Plus was that it’s design is more neat than it’s blue-branded competitors, yet it’s abandoned and hardly any of my friends are available. In terms of effective online marketing strategy, it’s important to be where your users are, or at least might be. Google surprisingly turned out to be quite a crowded and productive place.

Google Communities are similar to Facebook Groups or, if you’ve been around a little longer on the Internet, the impression of Internet forums seems to be quite proper.

Like forums on the Internet, Google Communities are topic orientated boards where you can share thoughts or news, discuss the topics and meet other guys, that are passionate about the SEO industry.

Interaction with Google Communities

The Google Communities are available on the menu, which can be found on the left side when you hover on the Home button, on upper menu.

Google Plus Communities Menu

Once you’ve got into the Communities menu, you can sign in to the communities of your choice or the ones Google Plus recommends to you.

If you’re keen on on SEO, I would recommend these communities. I’m spending some of my time there too.

Google Plus Communities SEO

5. Social Signals As a Ranking Factor

Social Media is fun. Sharing, discussing could be a great and productive experience. Being present on the all social media platforms could be time consuming though. Why add another social media platform to the list? Google Plus, as a part of Google’s whole ecosystem. Besides the fact, that it is quite a good piece of product, it helps you boost your SEO efforts.

Social signals are one of the factors, which are taken into account by search engines while generating rankings on the results page. What exactly are social signals? Every time you like, tweet or give a +1 to content on the Internet, you’re providing a social signal to the search engine. Many likes, tweets and +1 around the post can tell you that the stuff’s good and it’s worth reading. Search engines can interpret the content’s quality in the same way.

Social signals became more important, beyond quality and proper keyword optimization. Ranking factors based on social media interactions are non-technical way how to determine pages popularity, not based on the number of backlinks and domains authority.

Search Engine Marketing should be every strategy, as search engines help effectively businesses grow worldwide. People and companies who will make smart use of Google Plus, will naturally score better results in search engine rankings, thanks to social signals.

Score higher rankings, based on social signals

  1. Create a content, that deserves attention
  2. Make the content engaging
  3. Communicate with your readers – ask questions, encourage the debate
  4. Encourage your readers to share

What’s your opinion about Google Plus? Did it improve your SEO performance?

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Marathoner, traveller, SEO/SEM practicioner. Feel free to contact me on Twitter!

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Comments (3)

  1. Keller 11 months ago Reply

    Hi Krystian,
    This in depth article is awesome, thank you for sharing it!
    Google Plus and Authorship are so important for your SEO strategy. Taking time to set up and optimize them is definitely worth it. Thanks again for these helpful tips.
    -Keller

  2. Dileep 7 months ago Reply

    Great stuff. I am implementing these soon..

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