Google+: You Won’t Believe This One!
Have you started using Google+ yet? I stumbled on something interesting today that I wanted to share with you, from the intricate and perplexing world of SEO and SMO (social media optimization). It has to do with the importance, relevance, and significance of Google+.
I know I preach about Google+ a lot on this blog and you might be thinking, “oh here we go again…” but trust me when I say trust me that Google+ is a huge player in social media marking, content marketing, and SEO.
If you’d like to read my rants proclaiming Google+ as a key search engine ranking factor, just go to the site search field at the bottom of the sidebar on the right had side of this page, and enter “Google+” for my list of articles on that subject.
There has been a lot written about what factors affect search engine rankings and whether or not social signals are a significant ranking factor. Personally I truly believe that social shares, likes, comments, retweets, etc, are very significant ranking factors for all search engines.
How can they not be? Google is a referral engine, not a search engine. The algorithm wants to serve up the most popular and relevant search results for your given search query. What better way to do this than to consider ranking relevant content that is being shared via social media?
Some reports say that Google+ +1’s are the number one most important search engine ranking factor. For real. Just click the previous link to see a couple of charts and infographics validating this point.
What I stumbled on today further emphasized this point – in a way that shows that Google+ and +1’s may not be the #1 ranking factor, but they are certainly significant to users. Here’s why.
Website Tech and Google Rankings
Before showing you the evidence of the claims above, let me qualify them first. Turns out Moz hooked up with Builtwith for a study designed to examine the technology used on big websites and Google rankings.
They wanted to find out what technologies these large sites were using and more importantly, they wanted to know if and how those technologies influence Google search rankings.
“It’s very important to note that the website technologies we studied are not believed to be actual ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. There are huge causation/correlation issues at hand. Google likely doesn’t care too much what framework or content management system you use, but because SEOs often believe one technology superior to the other, we thought it best to take a look…”
Most Popular Social Widgets Used on Big Websites
This stat and corresponding chart below floored me. More websites display the Google Plus One button over the Twitter Tweet button!
Wow huh? Now let’s not get carried away, this doesn’t mean that people are actually clicking the +1 button more that the Tweet button. In fact with more than 58 million tweets per day on Twitter, it’s quite likely that even though there are fewer Tweet buttons on large websites, users are still clicking them more.
But clearly Google+ is on the rise if more websites are featuring the button.
Moz says: “Sadly, our correlation data on social widgets is highly suspect. That’s because the BuiltWith data is aggregated at the domain level, and social widgets are a page-level feature.”
That IS sad because there is a positive correlation between social share website integration and increased search engine rankings. The connection is small at this point so they were unable to decisively claim there is a relationship.
Let’s not focus in the above. I think it’s very important to note and discuss the significant relationship between search engine rankings and social sharing.
“While we don’t know how or even if Google uses social metrics in its algorithm (Matt Cutts specifically says they don’t use +1s) we do know that social shares are significantly associated with higher rankings.”
So the above charts may not prove, inconclusively, that there is a significant relationship between social sharing and boosting search engine rankings.
What they do illustrate, quite clearly, is that using Google+, publishing fabulous relevant and use flu content, deploying a website with full social integration, and social sharing capability, you stand a better chance of having your content shared, which will increase exposure of your content, likes, shares, mentions, and retweets, which will all lead to higher search ranking position for your websites pages.
The entire philosophy here at VPDM has always been: your digital marketing needs to be all about a strategic inbound marketing plan consisting of content, search, and social.
If you’re looking to boost your search engine rankings and internet presence in 2014, reach out and get your FREE one hour consultation or website marketing and SEO audit, on us!
Would love to hear your thoughts on Google+ and website technology in the comments below.