Google Plus One IconGoogle Plus has many features that don’t exist on other social networking platforms and it comes with the opportunity to verify your Google Authorship and the associated benefits. In part three of this series, we’re going to talk about Google Plus and search engine optimization.

Before we dive in, let’s review a couple of definitions. Since Google Plus is a social network and Google is the search engine behind it, it seems appropriate to review it before moving on.

Search Engine Optimization

  • Driving traffic to websites from Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
  • Optimizing a variety of variables such as content, website structure, as well as internal and external links (just to name a few) to increase the visibility and position on a SERP.

Social Media Marketing (Networking)

  • Driving traffic to websites from Social Media Platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
  • Generating and promoting content that provides and encourages readers to share it with their networks and drive traffic to your website.
  • Creating and exchanging user-generated-content (UCG) e.g. product reviews and comments.
  • Building Brand Awareness

Now that we’ve defined SEO and social media marketing lets move onto talking about how Google + and SEO are tied together.

Things to Know about Google Plus and Search Results

  • Google Plus content is treated like any other content on the web. It’s indexed (and indexed quickly).
  • Google Plus posts increase your opportunity to show up in search results.
  • Google Plus Authorship can provide you a higher visual profile in search results.
  • If someone is following you on Google+ there’s an increased chance they will see your posts in Google’s search results.
  • Google Plus content has staying power – it gains page rank and has a much longer shelf life than your average Tweet (I’ve come across Google Plus posts that are more than six months old in search results).
  • Google Authorship and the Google plus social layer are closely tied together and provide important social signals to the search engine. The more engaged you are with a quality network of people, the more often you may appear in search results.
  • Featured links in Google Plus posts pass Page Rank to the site it’s linking to.
  • Inbound links from websites pass PageRank to your Google Plus post and can help to increase it’s Page Rank.

In order to take advantage of Google Plus as a part of your SEO strategy, you need to have a genuine presence on the network. It’s not enough to set up your personal profile, verify Google Authorship and put things on auto-pilot.

Sharing content on Google Plus means more than slapping together a blog post and automating the the process. It means taking the time to provide a thoughtful introduction to the post you are sharing, whether you’re sharing one of your own or someone else’s. One of the great things about Google Plus posts is that they can be formatted and optimized for SEO by including keywords in your page titles and appropriate hash tags.

Interacting with others will increase the likelihood that your content will get “liked” with a Plus One, shared with others in the network, and show up in Google’s search results. It’s a great way to build and manage your reputation as a subject matter expert.  Next up will be some basic tips for how to succeed on Google Plus.

Until next time.

I invite you to join me on Google + here.

Update: Unfortunately I accidentally deleted my primary Google Plus account – I’m trying to recover it, but it’s not looking good. In the meantime feel free to circle me here and if my other account is restored I’ll sort things out then and make sure we’re still connected.