A Google Plus Primer On Links & Rank

There are a lot of questions bouncing around about Google+ links and their impact and effect on rank. I will share what I feel confident about and also give you a road map of must read articles that once read, will really help you to feel more comfortable with what we do and don’t know about Google Plus, link building and sharing, and search rank.


First, for the link builder, the obvious. You post a URL in the “Share What’s New” box, below and share it with “Public”, or with one or more of your Circles.

The Google+ Share Box


You’ve now technically “built links”, because those URLs will appear on the timeline of whoever you shared them with.

So what does this do for the URL that was just shared? I believe it depends on who did the sharing, who is in their stream, and any existing link graph Google has for the shared URL.

If it’s a brand new URL, that could lead to a crawl, and if the URL was of quality in the first place, that will lead to natural attraction of links, tweets, pluses, etc., just like any other site/URL would.

What about Re-sharing of URLs? Great question. I think re-sharing of URLs will help surface the content in the SERPs, but it’s too early to tell just how much, and if it will be just for people with Google accounts who are signed in.

What about the text you include with the URL?  Interesting thought. Quasi anchor text? semantic relvance? Both? Neither. What if they couple together Google Bookmarks with G+ shares?  That could be useful, too.

This much is true. Google will have a massive amount of private URL sharing data that they didn’t used to have and which nobody else will have, so we have to expect this will affect SERP placement of those URLs somehow. But maybe not for a while, as we all find our way with Google+ decide how we will use it.

For example, I use Twitter like a news feed of what I want to read, as I only follow people who I know write something worth reading.

On Google+, I behave differently right now, as I’m still excited at the newness of  it. I posted a picture of my 8 year old shooting a water gun at me, which I would never do on Twitter.

But this will change for all of us as we get more comfortable (or bored) within the Google+ environment.


The obvious: You want your content (URLs) in sparks.

What remains to be seen is just how much control you will have on making that happen. And Google+ is letting a lot of crap in there right now. I saw a press release for a link building company in India in the Spark I created for link building and, well, have a look:

Incredibly NOT high value content I see in my Spark for Link Building


That’s in my Spark? Seriously? Pour water on it, it’s crap. Enough said.

Profile Links

The "Links" section from my G+ Profile

To the right is the Links section from my Google profile, accessible with Google+.

This really can’t be used for any meaningful link building for clients, but you can promote your own links.

I suppose I could add a list of client URLs, but I’m not that stupid. My clients don’t like being known that way, because they rank high, and because they’d rather keep people from nosing around their link profiles.

I’d suggest you add URLs here with extreme caution and discretion.

The Reading List

The remainder of this post is a reading list that I suggest will help bring some clarity to the fog that’s currently surrounding Google Plus and search rank.

I’m not saying all of these are correct or incorrect. They just provide perspective and detail I found useful.

I know after I had read these I felt much less worried that I was missing something important.

  • Google+ 101: A Quick Introduction to Google’s Social Network

Nice post from Wendy Boswell at websearch.about.com that defines the Google+ terms: Circles, Streams, Hangouts, the Google+ toolbar, Profiles, +1′s, and Sparks.

Yahoo Site Explorer Postscript

I commented over on the AdGooroo blog (which you should be reading, BTW) about Yahoo Site Explorer shutting down. Here’s a quick summary.

“While I’m sad to see YSE go, any of you who have attended my conference sessions at SMX over the years have heard me say that it was only a matter of time before the engines reduced and removed our ability to extract linking info. The link: operator was not an SEO birthright, it was a gift. Now that it’s gone, third party data analysis tools like Link Insight become an even more crucial part of the web marketer’s arsenal.”

I know Bing is going to have linking data, but that’s only for verified sites, meaning the third party arms race for linking data really is underway.

For those of you who didn’t know, I’ve been helping AdGooroo as they make substantial investments in their crawling infrastructure and capacity. I expect they will formally announce a enterprise-grade backlink explorer for Link Insight later this year.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Link Week Column


About The Author: has been creating linking strategies for clients since 1994. Eric publishes the strategic linking advice newsletter LinkMoses Private, and provides linking services, training and consulting via EricWard.com.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


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  • Leah Kinthaert

    Thanks for compiling all this info, it has been a little overwhelming to deal with yet another new social media site and it’s great to have some guidance.


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