How Google+ and Authorship Fit Into Your SEO & Social Media Strategies
Want to know how you can leverage Google Plus for SEO? How about using Google Authorship for SEO? Google+ works very much like Facebook, but it has a few extra additional features, such as Authorship, that positively impact SEO and take social media one step further. Your company may be overloaded with social media options already, but Google+ is one that cannot be ignored due to its high SEO impact.
Of course, this social media website is owned and managed by Google, the most powerful and widely used search engine in the world. If given a choice between a posting on Facebook and the same posting on Google+, which one do you think they will rank higher? And which post do you think will get indexed in search results first? It only makes sense that Google will gain quicker access to data from Google+ and go ahead and favor both indexing and ranking posts from Google+ over other social media platforms.
That’s Right, Google+ Offers Search Optimization Perks For Any Website
It isn’t disputed within the SEO community, we tend to all agree that Google favors its own products when it comes to how they play into Google Search. This holds true for Google+, and you can bet having an active Google+ is going to increase your website’s search engine visibility. Here are a few ways in which Google+ correlates to Google Search and can be used to improve search engine rankings.
SEO Perk 1: Instant Google Spider Crawling & Indexing
Before you can achieve great rankings, you gotta at least be in the search index. New websites or new webpages must get crawled by a Google spider and inserted into the search index before ranking in search results.
Many SEO’s agree based on testing that Google+ posts almost immediately trigger a Google spider to crawl any links included in the post. So, if you are trying to get some fresh content crawled and indexed, so that it will be included in search results, link to it from Google+ for the fastest results. Although other social sites like Facebook and Twitter are heavily crawled by search spiders, Google+ will get your links indexed the fastest. Because your postings are on a site owned by Google, your responses to others posts and the content that you upload receives instant detection on the Google Search Engines. You can respond to someone else’s web posting and have it appear immediately in the search rankings.
When Should I Use Google+ For Crawling and Indexing Purposes?
- Launching A Website – It makes sense that you would want to let your followers know when you launched a new website. So go ahead and share a link to let them know, and this will also signal Google to crawl and index your new website.
- Publishing or Updating A New Webpage – Again, send a signal to followers and Google about the new information on your website. In this case however, only share links to the pages you want to rank in search results. Meaning, it isn’t necessary to share terms of service or contact pages, just share the landing pages you want customers to land on and learn about your product or service.
- Publishing A New Blog Post – Blog posts should be keyword relevant and increase your long-tail search traffic which should account for 80% of your search traffic. With this in mind, get your new posts crawled and indexed immediately by sharing them on Google+.
SEO Perk 2: Google Authorship Enhances Search Snippets and Rankings
Have you noticed more and more search results containing the author of the webpage’s profile picture to the left of the URL in the search result? These are webpages with Google Authorship configured, which effectively tracks content created by a Google+ user and displays the Author next to his/her content in search results. The main benefit to this enhanced search snippet is an increase in CTR or Click Through Rate to your link in search results. Basically, users prefer these enhanced search results and tend to click on them more often than the results without author pictures displayed.
Here is one of my “slick snippets” showing the enhanced search result snippet that I am talking about.
Pretty seductive right? You know searchers are gonna click that guy every time.
Moving on… Remember how I said 80% of your search traffic should be from long tail searches, through your blog? Well, if you want these pretty authorship search result snippets, you better be blogging. Although you can get authorship on your pages and not just posts, I still highly recommend you write high quality blog posts to increase your author rank and further the SEO benefit from using authorship.
Because in an interview between TechCrunch and former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, it was explicitly stated that author rank is factored into the organic search algorithm:
“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
So, you should see Google Authorship as a big opportunity for increasing your web traffic. It can increase traffic in multiple ways, from improved rankings and improved result snippets with higher CTR.
Getting Started: Implementing Google Authorship & Testing Results
I generated my example search result, that you saw above, using Google’sStructured Data Testing Tool, which you should also use after you go through theAuthorship implementation process in order to verify successful integration. Getting all of this configured is possible no matter what type of website you are running, WordPress, Drupal, etc.. but the process will change depending on your platform.
I’ve tested these two below, one for WordPress and one for Drupal, on sites that I installed Google Authorship on and they have worked seemlessly for me.
Once you have installed your plugin or module and followed Google’s steps in the Authorship implementation guide you can use Google’s Structured Data Tester to check if your implementation was successful. Below is a screenshot I took after I successfully setup Google Authorship on a website.
Successfully Installed Google Authorship! Way To Go, Keller!
Here is the link again to Google’s Authorship implementation guide. It will walk you through connecting your website and Google+ account to implement authorship in search results. And here is a link to Google’s Structured Data Tester again
Comment on this post if you are having trouble getting Google Authorship to work and I will do my best to help.
SEO Perk 3: Google+ Posts Use DoFollow Links, Passing Link Equity
DoFollow links are desired over NoFollow links for SEO purposes. This is because NoFollow links do not pass Page Rank or link equity to your website, whereas DoFollow links DO pass link equity improving your sites SEO. One big difference between the main social media sites is their use of DoFollow/NoFollow for outbound links. As it turns out, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all use NoFollow tags on outbound links in posts, whereas Google+ uses DoFollow links on outbound links in posts. Additionally Facebook even hides some data from Google, preventing certain posts from ever being crawled.
Using the free MozBar from Moz you can visit a Google+ Page and see all of the green highlighted DoFollow Links I am talking about. I circled in red a recent blog post from our web design site to show that linking to your site creates a DoFollow backlink.
The fact that Google+ utilizes DoFollow links passing Page Rank to your website is a big SEO advantage over the other social networks. It makes Google+ a great opportunity for getting high quality backlinks that will boost your website’s rankings.
Not Sold On Search Benefits Alone? Google+ Circles May Benefit Your Social Strategy
Social media is a terrific traffic channel, heck depending on your industry it may even drive 90% or more of your website traffic, but even for those “boring” industries a substantial source of traffic can come from social media. In addition to being an important traffic source, links to your website from social media are becoming more important for SEO. So, indirectly social media activity can also increase your website traffic by increasing your website’s keyword rankings.
As frustrating as it may seem to take on yet an additional social media platform to manage, there are some unique social elements to the Google+ platform that may entice you to give it a shot.
Here are a few of these unique social elements which you can use to optimize your social presence on Google+.
Start Using Circles To Share Links With Targeted Groups
In one simple action, Google has solved the problem of Facebook sharing. With Google, you can build multiple “circles” of associates, business contacts, family and friends. Then, when you post a submission, you can choose which circles will receive your content and which ones will be left in the dark. You can choose one circle, all of them, or a combination in between.
Segment Your Followers Into Circles of Customer Groups
This is great if you target multiple demographics or have any split in customer segments which may need to see different pieces of information. Use Social Circles to categorize your customers into groups by your product or service offering to only share content that is relevant to each customer group. Retain more followers by consistently providing only what they want to see, and not blasting their feed with content that isn’t relevant to them.
Also Segment Followers Of Colleagues And Industry Related Groups
The use of circles make your online interactions more private and selective, which is a great tool for online marketing strategies. You can now write content specifically designed for communication with other leaders in your industry, sharing this information with only these select individuals. That is right, in addition to customer groups, you may want to make some other circles of people such as industry leaders you are trying to network and connect with. You can often find opportunities for guest posting and link exchanges with folks through social media, including Google+.
Now You Can Be Selective When Sharing Content
Now that you have your followers segmented into customer, competition, and colleague groups you can begin to provide special content of promotional offerings geared toward your individual client base and opt to omit your other competitors from seeing these postings completely. You can also tailor content specifically to other industry experts you aim to connect with as well as promote your own company for new job postings or other organizational efforts.
Increase Your Google+ Engagement With These Tips
As you can see there are many reasons to get active on Google+ if you are trying to increase traffic to your website. Google+ offers many SEO related benefits that will help make your website more visible in search engines by increasing your rankings. Google+ is also the second largest social network with some unique sharing capabilities, so it can be a great addition to your social media campaign.
So, if you haven’t already gotten started with Google+ now is the time. The first thing you should do after you sign up is follow me 😉
If you are looking to improve your website’s visibility in search engines and to increase profitable search traffic, customer conversions, and revenue and would like help with things like optimizing Google+ for SEO, then apply for our SEO services. We would love to help you optimize your web presence to increase your traffic!
Have you been using Google+ to improve your website’s SEO or to increase traffic from Social Media? Do you have any questions about creating or implementing your Google+ traffic strategy? Please ask questions and share your thoughts in the comments below!