The hype around Google Plus has been fostered mainly by the implementation and integration of its “+1” feature into virtually all aspects of Google. It is very comparable to Facebook’s “Like” feature, but differs in some regards. Until recently, many people did not understand the purpose of this action, as it does not directly share or spread content whenever a user engages in a +1. Recent algorithm changes in Google have given the impression that +1s can in fact affect your search engine optimization process, and this has left many people asking the question: do Google Plus 1s really affect SEO?
The primary benefit to having a solid performance when it comes to +1s is the boost you will receive in social searches. Whenever a friend has +1′d your page, for instance, their friends and anyone in their circles will be more likely to see that result whenever they search for a similar topic or interest. Google has increasingly placed an added amount of value on search preferences from friends and acquaintances whenever you search for a given query, giving you even more reason to be constantly pinging the servers of Google with new updates.
Effects on Broader Search Results
Many may be asking: how does this impact regular search results? The correlation seems to be clear: items that are +1′d more often have both a higher click through rate and a higher percentage chance of being shared with others. This leads to more traffic, and ultimately, a more positive association between select search results and your website by Google. Upon understanding this, it makes sense to have both a strong social media presence and a website that fully integrates concepts like Google Plus sharing directly into each piece of content. Failure to do so will lead to a loss of potential traffic – and your loss is someone else’s gain.
Most of the benefits you will gain via +1s are indirect in nature, but will provide a good barometer of your site’s current health. If you suddenly see an increase in the content being shared via Google, then you can take some comfort in the fact that your content is being well-received and is pinging the servers of Google and other major search engines. It can also be reassuring to know that any social media strategy that is accompanied with your regular content marketing is having a positive effect.
The summary of analysing Google Plus suggests that there is a correlation between improved SEO and the increased use of +1s by readers and fans. As Google continues to move more and more toward a social search strategy in order to keep up with tactics used by search engines like Bing, these social indicators will become more and more powerful in driving your site to the top. For now, though, you can expect the biggest gains in this approach via the social network itself – sharing and +1′ing select content through Google will at least gain you more prominent featuring in search results for those using the social platform.