The internet marketing world seems to have been partly divided between two main areas:  social media and SEO.  It makes you wonder why these areas have been so distant when the ultimate goal for both seems to be connecting people with the quality content they are looking for.  These two worlds are beginning to overlap more and more.  Search engines are beginning to realize that the quality sources they are looking for are verified through social media. E.g. likes, shares, +1, follows, etc.

If social media is where people talk about what they like the most and search engines are trying to determine what people want to find it only makes sense that these worlds would collide.  Why wouldn’t search engines take advantage of this endless resource for quality content?  Not only are they colliding but I predict that they will continue to overlap even more.  As far as I can see the best platform that allows these worlds to meet is Google+.

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Google+ is almost a mix between LinkedIn and Facebook.  It’s a little more professional than Facebook and more social friendly than LinkedIn.  Here are a few easy tips on how to increase your SEO specifically through the use of Google+

  •  Link your website to your Google+ account.  The more Google+ followers you have the higher your website will rank in search results.  Let me explain.  You must have your website linked to your Google+ account.  You can create this link by adding a Google Badge.  Once your website is linked to your personal Google+ account your website will appear higher in your follower’s search results.  Let’s say that I have my own bike repair business with a website that is linked to my Google+.  If any of my Google+ followers search something about bike repairs my website will appear higher in their organic results.  The catch with this is the person searching must be logged in to their Google+ account for that connection to be made.  It essentially acts as a quality link in Google searches’ algorithm. 

Below is an image created by Kristi Hines showing her results testing this theory.  She compares search results for people in her Google+ circles with those who are not logged in.  You can see that her freelance writer page appeared higher if the person searching was in her Google+ circles.

0112kh-search-results-logged-into-google+-vs-not-logged-into-google

 

  •  Google Authorship.  When you create content online you will appear more professional and reach your Google+ followers if you have set up Google Authorship.  Your Google+ image will appear next to your link and searchers will be able to click on your name to see any other content you have posted.  You can see how doing this will increase your chances of spreading your blog posts and making it easy for people to post it to their Google+ accounts.  I did a simple search for “blog platforms”.  You can see the 3rd and 4th results have established their authorship.  Their pictures appear along with links to their Google+ accounts.  Perhaps you want your business to benefit from this same type of exposure, if so Google Publisher Markup is your solution.

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I clicked on the 4th option from above and it lead me to the below screen.  This shows all the articles that he has written and also makes it extremely easy to link to his Google+ account and add him to your circles.

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  • Add the +1 ButtonThe more +1’s you have the better authority your page will receive.  It is really easy to add a +1 button to your website homepage.  You simply add some code to your landing page.  When a page has been “+1”ed it will show it in the organic search results. This is a form of social verification and will make your link look more legitimate. Whether or not +1’s make your website appear higher with the Google algorithm I can’t say for sure.  However, I would speculate yes seeing as how they are both the same company.  Google will want to reward those sites that are using their social media.  That’s just my opinion.

If you do not have a very large presence on Google+ these three things will probably not do very much to increase your SEO at first.  However, as you increase your followers on Google+ I predict that these little bits of advice will work wonders for your SEO.  If you want help leveraging Google+ for your personal account or business, feel free to contact us.

Jamie Bates