On Tuesday, Moz released a study confirming what we in the SEO field have long suspected. Their results show that the number of Google +1s a post receives is highly correlated with search rankings.
As pictured above, the number one factor to high search engine rankings is Page Authority. Coming in second is Google +1s. This is the second study to find similar results (seeSearchMetrics results). However, Google’s Matt Cutts responded that Google +1s don’t contribute to a higher ranking. So what’s the answer?
Moz has since updated their post to specifically point out that “it is not the +1′s themselves that are causing the high rankings of posts but the fact that most +1′s on a site result in a shared post on Google+, which creates a followed link back to the post. It’s instant organic link building.”
It appears from the study that Google+ posts have some SEO benefits unlike other social media platforms. Moz noted a few of those benefits:
- Google+ posts get indexed and crawled almost immediately
- Posts pass along link equity and accumulate PageRank
- Posts have similar characterizes to blog posts
- Don’t forget about Google Authorship
Using Google+ to Rank in Search
If you don’t have a Google+ page set up for your business then it’s time to get into the game. Just like Facebook and Twitter, Google + offers the opportunity to create a business page to promote your business, organization or a specific product. Below are a few tips to remember when setting up your business page.
- Create Your Page. The first step for most business is to build out their Google+ page. Make sure your profile is complete with relevant and engaging information. Your profile will also appear in Google search results making it easier to gain brand visibility.
- Link to Your Online Profiles. Google+ offers several locations to link your profiles so people can connect with you on other platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Google Authorship. Authors posting interesting content that gets shared and plus ones, will lead to higher authority. There is growing evidence that Google+ authorship improves your personal authority and search performance as well. Follow theseinstructions to set up Google Authorship.
- Connect your Business Website to your Google+ Brand Page. Take advantage of linking your website to Google+ and vice versa. This will allow people to build relationships with your business and help Google determine the relevancy of your site. See these instructions to set it up.
- Add a Google+ Badge to Your Blog. Make it easy for people to follow you, engage with you and share your content. Here are some of Google’s easy-to-create badges.
- Participate. Start building social relationships on Google+. Follow people & businesses, comment on posts, join communities and share great content. You can start by following us.
- Posts. Google+ treats your posts like a blog post so make sure you’re posting high-quality, share-able content with your network. This is also a good way to attract natural links back to the original content. A best practice is to make sure your posts are public to help spread them far and wide.
- Hashtags. Using hashtags in your posts will help people find and join conversations about your topic.
While Matt Cutts debunked Google +1s leading to higher to search rankings, it’s still wise to create a Google+ page for your business. And take Matt Cutts advice, “rather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content.”