The conventional wisdom where Google+ and online marketing goes is this: Even if your audience isn’t active there, it’s almost mandatory to have a profile and be active there because of the way Google is showing more Google+ content in its regular search results.
It’s still early days for Google+ and the potential search/SEO benefits of being active there, but there are two recently published guides that go a long way to helping explain what Google is doing and how search marketers (and their clients) can take advantage.
On the Conversation Marketing blog, Ian Lurie yesterday published a lengthy article called Google Plus Box Ranking Factors Report. In it, he investigates (with help from a few dozen industry peers) how Google+ profiles show up in the Related People and Pages from Google+ search results of Google’s “Search Plus Your World” feature.
Here are some of the takeaways:
- Fresh content matters: Google+ profiles with no posts within the last 72 hours don’t show up in the “Related People/Pages” section of Google’s search results
- Pages can matter more than profiles: Brand pages with a few thousand followers/circlers can appear in “Related People/Pages” ahead of individual profiles with a million or more followers/circlers
- +1s matter: Lurie says that profiles/pages that get a lot of +1s on their posts tend to show up more often in the “Related People/Pages” results
- Comments and reshares don’t matter as much as +1s in helping to influence who/what shows up in “Related People/Pages”
- Reach/follower count matter a lot
On a similar note, AJ Kohn recently published an article he called The Ultimate Google+ SEO Guide. This article is almost a month old now, and that may explain why it draws some different conclusions about why certain pages and profiles show up in Google.com’s “Related Pages/People” section.
In addition to looking at how Google+ pages and profiles rank there, Kohn also investigates possible ranking considerations when searching inside Google+ itself, i.e., what factors influence the search results if you type “SEO” into the Google+ search box and want to look for relevant users. Some of the takeaways on that topic are:
- The search term must appear in one of these sections of your profile: Introduction, Employment, Education or Places. For example, Danny Sullivan didn’t show up in Google+ searches for “SEO” until he added that keyword into the Introduction section of his Google+ profile.
- Using the keyword in more than one of those fields helps.
- The “Occupation” field isn’t used.
- There’s already a fair amount of spamming of these profile fields happening.
Kohn’s article also examines possible reasons why certain Google+ content shows up in the “Search Plus Your World” results on Google.com.
Together, these are two Google+ SEO guides that I think you’ll want to read and bookmark. Here are the links again to save you the hassle of scrolling up.
And if you need more on this topic, I’ll add that there’s a panel dedicated to SEO for Google+ at our SMX West conference, which is less than two weeks away.