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How Google+ Is Influencing Your Page Ranking

What this means is that sharing links to your website on Google+ is definitely going to have a positive impact on your page ranking even if nobody on Google+ is reading your status updates.

Since its launch in mid 2011, Google+ has been competing for user time with the giant of the social media world, Facebook. Early predictions that it would grow to compete with Facebook for membership have now been shown to have miscalculated the number of social networks users have time for, and so the search engine giant has amped up the competition between Google+ and its rivals. Search engines are now giving more weight to social media links to web pages, and in the case of Google, their +1 is given some priority over Facebook likes and tweets in an effort to attract more users to their social network.

For quite a while now we have known that social media links like shares on Facebook were having a positive impact on page rankings with as many as 61% of search queries1 having social links affecting their SERPs. In 2011, Facebook emerged as one of the major link contributors to the higher ranking pages in the search engines. The reason for social media links’ impact on page ranking is most likely because a link that is shared by someone on a social media site has been chosen by a human and not an algorithm as having genuine value (at least enough to make it worth sharing with their friends), and so these pages were probably of a higher quality than unshared pages are likely to be. Google is certainly cognizant of this fact and has moved towards making stronger links between social media and search by apparently giving links shared on Google+ an even greater weight in its algorithms.

What this means is that sharing links to your website on Google+ is definitely going to have a positive impact on your page ranking even if nobody on Google+ is reading your status updates. While sharing links on Facebook and Twitter is aimed at generating direct traffic to your website, doing so on Google+ is more about SEO than generating leads. Google+ has so far only managed to attract 150 million users in its first year of operation while in the same period Facebook has added more than 200 million new members2. The new kid on the block isn’t keeping up with the social media giant as a social network, and so it is retooling itself to be another Google SEO tool like the +1 button that is conterminous with it. In an article on the Google Official Webmaster Central blog, Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead for Google, placed +1s second in the list behind natural links as an influence on SEO3.

To take advantage of this, the first thing that businesses need to do is start a Google+ page for their company (if they haven’t already). Seventy percent of internet marketers have indicated that this year they want to learn more about Google+, while 67% say that they intend to increase their use of Google+ in their marketing campaigns4. Adding a +1 button to your company website and including one along with the other social media buttons is also something that every corporate website should be doing now so that it is easy for visitors to give your SEO a little hit of positivity when they like your post. Google+ may not have taken the social media world by storm, but it will certainly be one of the tools that Google uses as it continues to work towards dominating cyberspace and competing with Facebook for online advertising revenue, so it will continue to be worth spending some of your internet marketing time and money on developing a brand presence on the site.

References:
1.http://www.seomoz.org/blog/facebook-twitters-influence-google-search-rankings

2.http://therealtimereport.com/2012/02/24/social-networking-stats-twitter-hits-500-million-pinterest-grows-in-europe-rltm-scoreboard/

3.http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/five-common-seo-mistakes-and-six-good.html

4. 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Michael A Stelzner, Social Media Examiner

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