When talking about Google+ and SEO, you’ll get mixed opinions from SEOs on whether Google+ helps SEO or doesn’t help your SEO. The truth is that any SEO that says Google+ does not help your rankings is not up to date with SEO in my opinion, or doesn’t pay attention to what happens within Google search results. Google+ can definitely help your SEO in multiple ways. Below is an example of how Google+ helps your SEO and three strategies that you can use to let Google+ help your SEO.
Here is the exact reason Google+ helps your SEO. In the first screen shot I do a search for “Affiliate Marketing” while logged out of a Google property. (Being logged into a Google property means a Google owned site or service like Google+, Gmail, Adwords, etc…) In the second screen shot I do the same search but while being logged into a Google property. In the second image you’ll see my site and picture show up.
When I type in “Niche Marketing Firms” with a modifier instead of the word niche like SEO, Affiliate or Search Engine or even things like Affiliate Marketing Tips or Advice, the results come back even more customized with more images of people I know, companies I’ve worked/work with and whose sites I have clicked on a Google+ link or shared in my circles. Because people I know, who are in my circles or articles and sites I have clicked Google+ on are showing up instead of the results when I’m logged out, I now have exposure to these people and can bring them back into my site in the Organic rankings. To me this means that Google+ definitely has a direct impact on your SEO and ability to rank. Try it and have some of your friends do the same searches and see what happens.
Now that you have seen how Google+ helps SEO, here are three examples of ways that you can use Google+ to boost your SEO while users are logged into a Google property.
3 Examples of How to Help Your SEO With Google+
1. Guest Blogging by finding the right influencer in Google+, not Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn.
When people talk about influencers for social media and PR, they are looking for people with large followings that are active, don’t follow the people following them and can drive traffic and sales. When thinking about influencers to help with your SEO and Google+, you need to think about it the same way, but take out Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc… Try to find people who post a lot to Google+, have your target audience for your site and have an active following within Google+.
If their posts on Google+ get a lot of +’s and comments, they have an active Google+ community. Go through a few of them and see who the people that click on Google+ are. If they are your target audience, then you have now found someone who can help boost your SEO with Google+ by bringing in relevant visitors. Try to become friendly with them and get them to share your posts within their Google+ circles. If you don’t want them to share your posts or they don’t want to, a better option may be to invite them to guest post on your site and make sure you have a Google+ icon visible from the post.
Once the Google+ influencer has written their post, either hope that they will share it on Google+ or ask them to share it. As people click through and hopefully hit the Google+ icon on your post, you can also have your website’s Google+ icon visible. By doing this you can get them to click Google+ for the post which may help the post to show up for relevant search queries within the organic results, but if you can get them to click the Google+ button for your main url and website, you can hopefully begin to show up for other posts when they search Google, show up when their friends in their circles do a relevant search and also start to look like a more trusted source by Google with the increase in +’s and votes.
2. Adding in the social extension to your PPC campaigns.
This one is easy and was covered in this post about Google Adwords and How to use Adwords Extensions. By adding in the social extension to your PPC campaigns and linking to your main site, you can hopefully increase the clicks to your Google+ page for for your url. With the increase in Google+ votes for your url, you will now hopefully start to show up more as these people who are already searching for services similar to you find your main url easier in organic searches. Google is giving you a way to buy SEO rankings for people searching for your products when they are logged into Google, as well as build your brand, so why not do it? This is one of the biggest overlooked SEO and adwords mistakes that I find and should be something that your Social and SEO teams should be pushing your PPC company to do as well.
3. Having a like gate with a Google+ option and driving traffic to it (as well as with paid ads through other social channels).
This one is more grey and black hat, but as far as I know it is not completely black hat or frowned upon..however this will more than likely change. Many people use gates to get social shares, visitors and newsletter sign ups. What a lot of people don’t do is use Google+ as a gate. By adding this in you can get the Google+ vote on your site’s url, help yourself to show up more in logged in Google searches for SEO and instead of a Tweet or Share on Facebook which is a one time thing, because they liked your page, you can continue to get repeat traffic from an interested visitor for search terms you didn’t rank for before if the page is showing up when the person is logged into a Google property.
There are a million ways to use Google+ to help boost your site or pages in the search engines for SEO. You can buy ads on other social sites and have them like you on Google+, you can use PPC to do the same thing or even add on to your current campaigns with the social extension. Using like gates or even having a Google+ influencer write a post for you and share your site are also ways that you can increase your Google+ votes to help with your SEO. Some of these will definitely turn black hat in the future and some are grey hat right now, however I don’t think they are 100% frowned upon and black hat yet (except for like gates). Use them with caution because eventually they will turn 100% black hat for SEO, with the possible exception of an influencer sharing your posts or site. That goes under guest blogging and PR or even building a brand. Having Google+ be part of it isn’t for SEO, it’s because that is where their community is and is active.
*Photos purchased from Deposit Photos or created by Adam Riemer Marketing.