Google+ came into being in September 2011, not too long ago, after a few failed social network attempts from Google. Some of you might remember Buzz? Or not. It really wasn't that significant, but Google+ has been pimped and preened to be the social network that challenges the likes of Twitter and Facebook. Although there haven't been a significant amount of converts, there are those who juggle their social media antics between all three platforms, but there are also those who swear that Google+ is essential to the positive development of your SEO strategy.
The Numbers Are There
You may be surprised to know that exactly one year after the official launch in September 2012, Google+ had welcomed over 400 million users to their platform, with over 100 million of those people being active on a monthly basis. A far cry from Facebook's 1 billion, but then Facebook has been around a lot longer.
How Is Google+ Making Magic for SEO Efforts?
Quite simply, Google is looking to extract all the personal information they can get from your browsing habits in a bid to create an online experience that fits in with each individual. In doing so, they can continue to serve the right kind of information to users.
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google enforces this by saying, "The power of individual targeting -- the technology will be so good it will be very hard for people to watch or consume something that has not in some sense been tailored for them. [Currently Google] cannot even answer the most basic questions because we don't know enough about you."
It appears that Google are aiming to get this information by convincing the masses to follow a few persuasive leaders. Getting these leaders and influential people into Google+? Not too difficult if you think about it... Google hold all the best cards when it comes to search engine optimization. They're determining the game as they go along, and naturally they would want to sway the results in their favor. This is where Google+ comes in and trumps Facebook and Twitter. They can offer something tangible to influencers in the form of results.
Google+ And Your Rankings
Whenever you +1 a website, it shows up in your search engine results pages because Google is choosing to feed you information that's based on your preferences. This creates a chain reaction, as is the norm with social media, and soon everyone on Google+ is being fed information that relates to their previous actions. Now think about how well these circumstances will bode if one of these influencers were to +1 your website. Everyone in their circles would be privy to this information, view it as valuable and follow suit, which in turn could completely alter the status of your ranking on Google.
The short and the skinny? If this is anything to go by, in order to amplify the ranking of your business, you need to get your fans, followers and clients onto Google+ and you need to add them to your circles and vice versa.
Building Authorship Rank on Google+
Did you even know there was such a thing? Well, there is. With Google+ you can enhance the visibility of your name as a blogger, content producer or industry professional by creating an authorship markup. This is basically a way of tying your profile as an author to your Google+ account and measuring your validity as an author and trusted source within your niche. Google has developed a way of ranking you based on certain criteria, so that users can find the best source within the market for whatever it is they require information on. But if you don't have a Google+ account - you can forget about this little gem, it doesn't tie in with any other network or website, except Google+.
In order to make this author markup work for you, you need to carry out the following four steps, as according to Mark Hughes from trafficdigital.com:
• "Add a link from your blog (usually in the author profile section) to your G+ page with the markup: rel="me"
• Add a second link from your blog to you author profile page with the markup: rel="author"
• On your profile page, add another link to your G+ account with the markup: rel="me"
• Finally, it's time to verify that you are who you say you are - link to each blog you contribute to from your G+ page: click 'Edit Profile' > scroll down to 'Contributor To' > add link back to the all relevant sites."
If that's not incentive enough to start working on your Google+ profile, then we don't think there is much more that will entice you. Are you a Google+ supporter and user? What do you think of the above tips and would you use them to affect your rankings?
Image courtesy of: www.johnhaydon.com