With the ever-changing landscape of SEO, the focus keeps on swinging back to Google+ and how it can affect your rankings, traffic and overall web presence for the better. As we've said before, it makes sense that the masters of search would steer us towards their social network of choice and it has recently been showing more promise for marketers and businesses alike.
The dashing Rand Fishkin (complete with vampire attire) conducted a Whiteboard Friday that delved into some findings Moz.com had made after monitoring their profiles, content and search results relating to their Google accounts. He had been watching his personal content and how search results displays when he's signed into his Google+ account.
How Does Your Google+ Account Affect Your Search Results
While the manner in which it happens may not be defined and it hasn't been officially declared, the results speak for themselves. When signed into your gmail account, the results that are fed to your search results are vastly different to those served when you're not logged in. It seems that these amended results are shown irrespective of how recently the content has been published.
The correlation between your Google+ account and search results can be seen in the following areas:
- Content that you have created becomes more prominent in the search results for those people who are linked to your Google+ profile
- Content that people in your Google+ circles share will become more prominent in your search results when you're signed into your account
- Any content that has been +1d by those in your circles will be displayed more prominently in your search results
- No matter how broad your search queries are, you'll still be served refined results based on the content shared and appreciated by those in your circles
Basically, these findings are saying that the content circulating with your circles and communities on Google+ has it's own system of ranking based on how it has been received by those in your circles. It's like a pocket of mini search engine results within the greater Google web.
What Does This Mean For Search?
It means there's a lot less work that needs to be put in to get the same kind of results, if not better results within communities that have greater stick and influence. The only trick is getting the right kind of people to add you to their circles. In Rand's words: "What this means for marketers, particularly SEOs who are using search and social and content together in their marketing, is the audience on Google+ is becoming more and more valuable to us. These are search-savvy, tech-savvy folks who are potentially reachable, and reachable without the classic kinds of ranking signals."
As with any avenue of exploration in search marketing, you'll no doubt get the spammers coming out in full force to take advantage of this new system, but it's highly advisable that the content you share is of great value and will be seen as such by your circles. If reams of content are being spewed into the Google+ ether and they're not getting any +1 love, it's likely that Google will pick this up and place it further down in the search results in a bid to serve the most valuable experience to Google subscribers.
So How Do You Get People To Encircle You?
Getting noticed on Google+ is more than simply adding people to your circles and hoping they'll add you back - even though this does work in some instances. You need to be active on the platform, start reading what other people write and post, +1 stuff that is relevant to your business or brand, comment on posts that are relevant too. The key here is to add value to your social community. Add insight to posts where you have expertise, propose alternative solutions, ideas or additional sources on topics that are being discussed. Open up in communities where topics within your niche are being discussed. Getting noticed requires effort, but the results will be worth it.
These results aren't specific to Google+ either; they're being presented to anyone who has a Google account. Even if you have only exchanged emails with a particular person, you can still be fed content they share on G+ and vice versa.
While this is really awesome news and it opens up a whole new world of planning relating to your content marketing and scheduling, it's important to note that older content seems to feature less. Proper planning needs to be put in place to ensure you're maximizing on the benefits of Google+ and the influence received from your circles.