Like Apple back in the early days, Google+ has its fair share of skeptics. Recently, a report from RJ Metrics was published indicating that, although Google+ has seen some solid user growth, engagement still lags far behind Facebook and Twitter.
Google claims the report is skewed because of a small sample size and only publicly shared data is included. However, numbers aside, Google has made it clear that Google+ will play an important part in its continuous process to improve its search algorithm so that they can provide quality search results for their users.
If you’re a blogger, this is important. You cannot overlook the importance of social media and Google+ in your efforts to get more visibility and higher rankings.
Here are 3 reasons why you should consider Google+ as part of your social media and content strategy...
Google is now using social media as part of its social proof strategy applied to content. This is done for two reasons:
- Proof that a “real” author is writing: Because when a Google+ account is associated with a blog, Google knows that a “real” writer is associated with producing the posts and not an affiliate or spam website where the owners are largely anonymous. Here’s a great post on Joost de Valk’s blog Yoast on how to get your Google Authorship visibility.
- Social proof - are your readers loving your blog: With the emphasis on social media actions such as sharing blog pages through twitter, facebook, or even email. Or by determining the number of people who retweet and like your articles...Google has begun to give value to Facebook and Twitter shares in search results, but obviously in order to self-promote, Google+ shares will continue to be weighted more favorably.
Reason 2 - Impact on Personalized Search
As the web has become more and more personal, Google has started to reorder search results based on recommendations in your given social graph. For instance, if you search pancake restaurant in Google, you may now see a connection from someone in one of your circles who has +1’d a given restaurant. That particular restaurant may rank higher in the search due to the number of pluses they get.
As the difference between a standardized search and a personalized one continues to grow, an increased reliance on your social circle (or community recommendations )and a less reliance on link popularity will begin to dominate search results.
Also, your Google+ profile picture has began to appear in the search results of your blog posts, allowing your posts to stand out even more. Although, the value of social sharing is still in its infancy, its impact will continue to rise as does Google+’s user base.
Reason 3 - Influence
One problem that could arise for Google’s new +1 approach is that spammers would ultimately take advantage and be “+1ing” poor content. However, over time as Google begins to analyze their +1 data, they’ll be able to find individuals who have more influence than others, and weigh their results accordingly which would combat this problem.
These changes won’t occur overnight, however as more and more people hop on the Google+ train, search results will change accordingly.
In short, getting people to naturally +1 your content will get you more organic traffic from Google.. at very little cost to you. As Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land put it, “...+1 becomes the new Page Rank.”
It turned out to be senseless to bet against Apple back in the 80s, will you do the same with Google+?
It is Google we’re talking about here.