10 Dead Simple Tips to Take Advantage of Google+ for SEO

Posted by Cyrus Shepard

It's no secret. When engineers built Google+, they constructed an SEO juggernaut to dominate search results above all other social platforms. Although Facebook and Twitter are essential to marketing efforts, both restrict Google from accessing much of their data. This limits their SEO effectiveness.

Not so with Google+.

Here’s an experiment: If you use Google+, perform a search for your name and check the domain distribution of first 100 results. The graph below shows what happens when searching my own name.

Google+ SEO Dominance

Even though I use Twitter and Facebook far more often, Google+ dominates the search results. Google+ even beats SEOmoz and my own blog. Multiply this for 100's of millions of people, and you can begin to comprehend the scope of Google's platform.

Fortunately, there are several ways to take advantage of this SEO domination for your own benefit.

1. Follow your profile links

Consider this: at SEOmoz you must earn 200 Mozpoints before earning a followed profile link (submit good comments!) On the other hand, Google+ not only allows you to link to your other profiles across the web, but you can embed followed links directly into your bio with the anchor text of your choice.

Google+ Followed Profile Links

The value of a link from Google+ is, in theory, like any other. It depends on the authority of both the page and domain. My own profile shows the following metrics:

  • MozRank: 1.91
  • PageAuthority: 49
  • PageRank: 3

If you can raise your visibility by getting more people to engage with you, share your posts, or link directly to your profile, the more valuable your profile links become.

2. Embed post links

Like profile links, Google+ also allows you to insert followed links directly into your posts – as many as you want. Simply insert the full URL and Google will automatically format it as a link.

The value of these links increases the number of times the post is shared, linked to and +1’ed.

For example, check out this one sentence post from Alexia Tsotsis, which has a PageRank of 3 and is cached by Google every couple of weeks. (Even though PageRank is not highly correlated with rankings, for Google+ it’s often the only metric available.)

Followed Post Links

If your post goes viral or is reshared by high-authority profiles, the value of those links increases.

3. Optimize your G+ title tags

The first sentence of your Google+ post becomes part of the title tag, which is highly correlated with rankings and greatly influences click-through rates. Choose your keywords carefully and consider that the first sentence will be the first thing most people see.

Check out how this simple post from Danny Sullivan ranks for its title.

Danny Sullivan Google+

A widely shared post with a good title has an excellent chance of ranking for its given keywords.

4. Unlimited editing power

Edit this postGoogle+ is just like your own mini personal blogging platform. This means you can fully edit any of your posts at any time. Not so with Facebook or Twitter. Facebook gives you only limited editing abilities. Twitter, after you tweet, only lets you delete.

This is important if your Google+ post goes viral and you want to make updates or changes. If need be, you can also update the title tag and any attached media as well.

You may not own the platform, but Google+ gives you a broad amount of control over your own content.

5. Index new content lightning fast

If you share new content on Google+, chances are that Google will index the page very quickly.

Rumor has it that new URLs are crawled almost instantly. This makes complete sense as part of the purpose of Google+ was to replace Twitter when creating Google's Realtime Search.

In the old days, if you wanted a website indexed you filled out a webform and waited several weeks. Today, it's as simple as pressing a +1 button.

“Google+ is the new Google Submit URL box.”
- Rand Fishkin, GROW 2012 Source

Share your new content on Google+, as well as your other social networks, for quick indexation.

6. Stalk Connect with influencers

Google+ lists 17 different notification triggers that can help you connect with influencers in your industry.

Depending on the individual's account settings, these notifications can take the form of an email, phone SMS, or the omnipresent red Google notification bar.

Google+ Notifications

17 actions that trigger notifications:

  1. Mention them in a post 
  2. Share a post with them directly 
  3. Share a post and you're in a circle they subscribe to 
  4. Comment on a post they created 
  5. Comment on a post after they comment on it 
  6. Add them to a circle 
  7. Suggest new people to add to their circles 
  8. Tag them in a photo 
  9. Tag one of their photos 
  10. Suggest a profile photo for them
  11. Comment on a photo after they comment on it 
  12. Comment on a photo they are tagged in 
  13. Comment on a photo they tagged 
  14. Start a conversation with them
  15. Send them an invitation or update an event
  16. Remind them about events
  17. Any activity on events they created 

Several folks have introduced themselves to me on Google+ by "gently" using the methods above.

Be warned: the few who crossed the line into spamminess have been banned from several inboxes forever.

7. Optimize your author pic for more traffic

Last spring, I performed a series of tests with my Google+ author photo that led to an increase in the click-though rate for my websites.

Google+ Profile Photos

If you successfully implement the author tag and have a catchy photo, it often doesn't matter if you rank 2nd, 3rd or even 4th. With an eye-catching pic you can often grab free traffic away from even your competitor's #1 ranking.

8. Test drive a G+ social media dashboard

Google Analytics has progressed greatly with social media reporting, but if you live and die by social traffic you want to bring the information front and center.

Adam Singer created an awesome social media dashboard that you can use for free. At one glance you can view all your essential metrics from Google+ traffic and all other social networks including:

  • On Site Social Actions, i.e. Google +1's
  • Revenue per Visit by Social Network
  • Overall Traffic Stats by Social Source

Bonus: Install this dashboard for free in your Google Analytics account by clicking here.

Social Media Dashboard

9. Check your CircleRank

My favorite new tool is CircleCount. Try it now by pasting in your Google+ URL to chart your daily follower growth, the virality of your posts, and even see your "CircleRank" score compared against all other Google+ profiles.

Circle Rank

CircleRanks of note:

The election is over. Brittany won.

10. Be an awesome (Late) early adopter

Even with it's explosive growth, only 1 in 4 people use Google+ once a month. The rest log in even less, although this number is growing fast.

None of these tips matter unless you actually use Google+. Out of the 400 folks I've circled in my Google+, only about 75 actively participate. No surprise, these tend to be the more savvy SEO and media types.

There's still time. Folks are catching on. Yes, early adopters win the day.

You can do Google+ in less than 10 minutes a day. This means creating a few simple habits to fit it into your workflow.

  • Press the +1 button to spread share worthy comment
  • …  add comments on the truly great stuff
  • Add +1 Buttons on Your Own Content
  • Engage / Comment / Reshare / Start a Hangout / Create an Event
  • Circle Great People
  • Make it Easy for People to Circle You…

Follow Me On Google+

Top-notch resources:

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Google+ SEO
  2. Author Rank
  3. Google+ SEO & Authorship
  4. Why Every Marketer Now Needs to Employ a Google+ Strategy
  5. GPlus Cheat Sheet

The first 3 belong to AJ Kohn, the authority's authority when it comes to Google+.

What's your favorite Google+ tip? Please share in the comments below.

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October 16, 2012  Tags: , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing

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