So you’ve got 1,000 “likes” on Facebook and one million followers on Twitter… time to pop the champagne corks and celebrate making social media work for your business. Or is it?
Just wait a minute…
Google has launched Google Plus… dubbed by many as the “Facebook killer”. And to make matters even more complex, it appears Google Plus and SEO will go hand in hand. Confused? That makes all of us.
What is Google + all about?
Google Plus (usually written as “Google+”, or if you’re really cool: “G+”) is a social networking and identity service from… Google. That’s the easy bit.
It basically brings together all of Google’s previously established social services, like Google Buzz and Google Profiles, and combines them with a bunch of awesome services, like:
- Google Hangouts: Where you can have group video chats with up to 10 people at one time.
- Google Circles: Kind of like Facebook friends, but you can organise people into groups that you want to share particular things with.
- Google Sparks: Acts as a front-end to Google Search by allowing users to identify topics they’re interested in to share with others.
There’s more – like options for messenger and streaming, but let’s cut to the chase…
So… how does Google + affect my business?
According to our good friends at Mashable… Google Plus is on track to have 400million users by the end of the year – if you’re keeping score at home that’s about twice as many as Twitter. In other words, this is a big deal.
In November, it launched Google Plus Pages which is so similar to Facebook pages that you might think that’s where Google got the idea from – anyway it allows businesses to set up their own profiles.
On top of setting up a profile, you’re going to need to work that little Google Plus One button into your website. This basically allows users to save content they like, while promoting it on their Google Plus profile and making it easier to find in the future.
Adding it to your site isn’t too difficult either… just use Google’s +1 code generator or check out the +1 WordPress plug-ins that are available. For more details on how to work Google Plus into your WordPress site, check out this: cool article OR call Loud Cow and we’ll install it for you.
What’s all of this got to do with SEO?
Google Plus and SEO. Ahhhh. All I want is to spend some time in the paddock and now they make my head spin with this.
Those cheeky so-and-sos at Google have integrated Google Plus with SEO by pouring social results from Google Plus into natural public search listings – it’s called Search+.
Think this is a step forward and natural progression? Well it seems that way… except it does hint at a little bias when Google chooses to completely leave out Facebook and Twitter from these results and only incorporate Google Plus.
Still, that’s market domination for you. I’m not complaining. I’m a Google lover from way back. They dominate because they’re goooooooood!
This is a potentially huge development however, because it makes it so important to get people to share your content. Personalised results will make it harder to determine rankings and with Google Plus results often appearing before public listings, it’s going to be more difficult to get customers to find you. The trick used to be to write quality, relevant content. Now it’s even harder because that content not only has to be found but shared. Sheesh.
So what can you do?
Simply put you can’t expect to rank highly on Google any more without having some relevance in the world of social media – and with Facebook and Twitter ignored by public search, Google Plus is now the key for SEO. So if you haven’t already created your brand’s page… what are you waiting for?
Oh and to make sure you get in as many important searches as possible, you’re going to have to treat your Google Plus page like your own website – and that means working those keywords in, oh so naturally.
Of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Once you have your Google Plus business page you’ll need to get into as many circles as possible so you can reach people outside your immediate network. You’re going to need to be relevant, well found and well shared if you’re going to make this work for your SEO strategy…
…and if you are using guest blogs as part of your SEO strategy, then make sure they are linking back to your Google Plus page with the rel=“author” tag to get you noticed.
I guess the point is… Google Plus and SEO are already hand-in-hand. So don’t get left behind.
In the world of social media and search it seems: all animals are equal… but some are more equal than others.
And how bad am I?
Very bad. Because I still don’t a) have a Facebook page and b) a G+ badge on my site …yet.
BUT I have seen the awesome results already after implementing and administering these things for clients. The traffic is telling the story. And the moral of the story is you have to get out there and be lurrrrrved. I can also see in Google webmaster tools the effect G+ is having on CTR. Pretty awesome.
It’s a shame I’m so bl**dy shy:(
Out for now:)