The entire search engine optimization industry largely runs around a single company: Google
. Google products and ever-changing algorithms largely dictate best practices for search engine optimization, and the Google handbook is almost constantly changing, as
well. It is currently imperative to have a notable presence on Google+ if you want to have a meaningful presence on Google Search, Google Ad Words, and dozens of other Google products used for marketing.
One of the best aspects of visibility on Google+ is the highly malleable nature of the platform. Unlike other large social media networking sites such as Twitter, even a small investment in a Google+ Business Page can substantially increase online visibility, especially for local practices.
Content posted on Google+ can be visible to Google Search users in certain instances where a website may not be since each Google+ post is assigned a unique URL. Content in Google+ posts may be highly relevant to certain search terms and rank well as a result.
Hashtags are also frequently used in Google+ posts. In many ways, it can be seen as increasing twofold the chances for visibility. The potential for meaningful blended search results is one way to leverage time and resources without sacrificing the quality of content.
The local carousel
The “local carousel” approach to local SEO
is an emerging trend, and it has impacted search traffic for numerous sites. It is important to note that ranking factors are very different in this approach than they are in organic search results. "Search Engine Journal" recently reported that Google considers factors from Google products to be most influential in rankings. For example, the number of +1s a Google Business Page has is currently considered the most important factor in site rankings. A similar study conducted by Digital Marketing Works in 2013 also suggests that Google reviews are the most influential variable in determining site rankings on Google Search.
Google+ offers businesses an easy way to gain more positive social cues. As suggested by the studies above, social cues are highly influential in rankings on Google Search. After all, top rankings and high visibility on Google have been the core of SEO
Other opportunities for audience engagement
Most marketers understand that different forms of content can contribute greatly to overall audience engagement. A Google+ Business page can best be described as a highly integrated platform, rather than a standalone social media network. However, Google+ still offers businesses unique branding opportunities to post images and video. Google+ has almost all of the attributes marketers look for in a social media site, but this platform offers a little bit extra.
Google handbook takeaways
A few key points to remember include the following:
- Google+ Business pages can provide more opportunities to create visibility and achieve better rankings on Google Search.
- Google+ offers the ability to post unique and engaging content.
- Google+ is starting to become necessary for businesses that want to have a presence on Google in 2014.