Every two years, the folks at the SEO consultancy Moz put together a scientific correlation study analysing what goes into web pages that have a high ranking in Google. This year, the team decided to do something a little more specific by measuring the correlation between Google +1s and higher rankings.
The findings? Well, we’ve said it before, but here’s the extra proof that it’s really time to consider that Google+ page.
After Page Authority, Moz found that a URL’s number of Google +1s is more correlated with search rankings than any other factor.
This isn’t necessarily ground breaking news in itself. Back in 2011, Moz found a high correlation between Facebook activity and higher page rankings. As we all know, correlation is by no means a synonym for causation. Google claimed the relationship was caused by overlapping factors including links and high quality content, and there was no direct relationship to Facebook and higher rankings.
With the most recent Google+ findings however, Moz argues there are legitimate reasons to suspect causation between posting on Google+ and achieving a high ranking.
Why is this? As Moz puts it, Google+ is essentially “built for SEO.” Sharing on Google+ has several extreme advantages to other social networking sites – all posts are optimised for semantic relevance (meaning Google can better understand the type of content you actually want to read) and pass on link equity (the number of incoming links going to any given web page on your website). Further, posts are crawled and indexed nearly instantly whereas, due to Facebook privacy settings and data sharing restrictions, many posts have a tendency not to be indexed by Google at all.
Rather than go into too many specifics on why Google+ is a strong point for SEO, however, let’s focus on the how. How should you be taking advantage of Google+ for SEO? We summarise Moz’s strongest points below.
1.Let your Google+ sharing network grow, grow, grow baby
Follow people that are relevant and interesting to you, comment on interesting posts, and share your own great content. Forget what cynics have said in the past, it’s time to actually start using Google+. Because as great as it may be for SEO, it’s nothing without an audience.
2. Post content on Google+ that is worth sharing
This goes with any social network, but it still needs repeating. Post content that is interesting, original, and invites the reader in. Don’t just share links, add several lines of engaging commentary so your audience can have a lead in to what they’re reading.
3. Connect your website to your Google+ brand page
If you’re running Google+ for an organisation, the best way to make your audience aware is to post a link to it on your company’s website. Follow the instructions here.
4. Provide links to your other online profiles from your Google+ “About” page
Google+ should be a centre point for your online presence. Make sure your audience is completely aware of all other sites where you have provided content, or sites you think align with your organisation and want to share.
5. Make it easy for people to add you to their circles
Create your own badge and make it easier for others to add you to their circles.
6. Make sure your posts are public!
Another one that should be a no-brainer. You want to make your audience as wide as possible, so you want to make sure that all audiences can see the content you’re posting.
As goes with anything you post on the Internet, the most important thing you can do to have your content read is to produce, well, great content. There are always tips and tricks to help ensure great content reaches its highest potential but, without a strong base, SEO will take you little to nowhere.
Here’s to happy posting. By the way, have you added us to your circle yet?