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Love it or hate it, Google+ is here to stay so you may as well start trying to use it to your advantage. The overriding argument for getting on G+ is that, put simply: “It’s Google.”

Think how much of your traffic comes from search. Don’t you want to do everything you can to ensure that you maintain and improve your search rankings?

We’ve previously looked at how G+ and +1s impact SEO performance, and while there doesn’t yet appear to be a direct correlation between the two, there is evidence to suggest that sites with strong social profiles experience a strong uplift in organic traffic.

At Social Media Marketing 2012 Site Visibility’s Kelvin Newman took a closer look at the relationship between G+ and SEO.

He suggested that G+ was created as a way to help Google improve search results by giving it a better understanding of which websites are high quality and relevant by adding social proof.

At its most basic level, if something gets shared more then Google can probably assume it’s better content, though there are obviously exceptions to that rule (see Samantha Brick).

Furthermore, Newman said that off-site SEO is influenced by three overlapping factors: author rank, social shares and links. G+ now forms part of both author rank and social shares, so it’s clearly important for brands to be involved.

So if you’re convinced of the benefits of G+ or starting to come round to the fact that it might be important, here are four simple actions you can take to make the most of G+:

1. Add author snippets

If your site hosts blog content or articles then it’s important that the people writing that content signup to Google’s authorship program.

This is done through G+ and allows authors to get more enhanced listings (such as a mugshot and links to other articles) in the search results by using the rel=author mark up.

It’s fairly simple to implement and results in higher CTR for your articles as it makes them more prominent and adds social proof as users can see how many G+ circles the author is in. 

Newman points out that it’s a great way of increasing search traffic as if you can’t improve rankings you can still capture more clicks by using rel=author to boost CTR.

For more information checkout our step-by-step guide on how to implement rel=author.

2. Download Do Share

Do Share is a Chrome plugin that helps to save time by allowing you to schedule G+ posts.

It’s a useful tool for busy page admins as they can plan their updates throughout the week without having to spend time everyday editing and uploading content.

3. Add another sharing button to your site

It’s an obvious point and the benefits may be minimal at first, but adding a G+ button to your site is really a no-brainer. The chances are that your site already has social sharing buttons, so adding a +1 button isn’t going to take much effort.

Newman said that +1s are another way of showing social proof in SERPs as its shows that someone has vouched for that page.

In the long run this is likely to become more important and could even have an impact on the user’s behaviour on site, such as their propensity to buy or signup to something.

So don’t be put off by low numbers of +1s at first, as it’s all relative and it’s likely that your competitors also have low numbers.

4. Mark up using the Open Graph protocol

The Open Graph protocol aims to bring consistency to the way webpages are shared across social networks by bringing together a number of different technologies so developers only have one thing to implements.

It is recognised by both Facebook and Google and Newman said that it basically tells social networks what are the most important pieces of content that should be displayed when a link is shared. 

Site owners can then choose which title, image and text to display to make their content appealing to other users, thereby maximising traffic from social shares and improving your social footprint.

David Moth

Published 29 October, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1686 more posts from this author

Comments (6)

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Nick Stamoulis

"It's Google."

Right now that's a pretty good reason to get involved in Google+, even if you only spend 2 minutes a day sharing content. Google must be looking at the content getting shared on Google+ (since they don't have access to Twitter or Facebook). Why not put a little effort in to Google+ and see what happens?

almost 4 years ago

Dean Marsden

Dean Marsden, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai Ltd

The Author Profile bit is going to be so important in the future. If you haven't heard about Google AuthorRank yet then you need to!

Google+ is going to be a big part of the organic results, so its important you implement these actions, it will only take a short while.

almost 4 years ago


Neil Dutton

We've seen an SEO benefit from Google+ even though our business is just a few weeks old. Thanks for these tips, will investigate!

almost 4 years ago

John Swinburn

John Swinburn, Digital Campaign Manager at Benenden Health

Just seen the open graph protocol paragraph and went Eureka! Have been suffering from the automation of social shares using the wrong tags. Must investigate...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insight

almost 4 years ago

Oliver Ewbank

Oliver Ewbank, Digital Marketing Manager at Koozai

Great post the Author Profile will be massive moving forward. I think as always the golden rule will be to push great content to your users and the circles will grow organically.

almost 4 years ago


Romona Foster

Thanks David! As I am still trying to understand all things Google+, this post will be very helpful.

almost 4 years ago

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