Two Google+ SEO Guides You Should Read

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’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

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.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Google+ | Google: SEO | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Ji Yoon Han

    I just got into Google +, so all this information is very new to me. But, it’s still interesting to see how the search result can be affected by Google +. I’m subscribing you from Social Media Theory & Practice class with @dr4ward at @NewhouseSU. #newhousesm6

  • Content Axis

    I am also using google+ and its very easy to use and very beneficial too and i got one point by using that any page or brand value is more instead of profile of a person at google+. It is very trying to beat up facebook and other social networks.

  • Gail Kent

    Terrifically helpful post; bookmarked and can’t wait to make time for reading.
    My Plus accounts seem to have scrambled my photos/info with another person of the same name and I’m terrified to delete the plus account and start over. Should have done my reading before setting up so powerful a site.
    Gail Kent (of Gail Kent Studio)

  • Shari Thurow

    Hi Matt-

    Here’s what my preliminary studies are showing about Google+ — that searchers don’t like these listings and don’t want these search listings appearing in search results.

    I’m sure the Google PR department will release “studies” showing the opposite. Doesn’t change what I observe. In the industries I am studying, users don’t care about Google+. They don’t want the listings in search results for informational queries. They are particularly irritated when a Google+ listing appears with little or no content in it to warrant a top position.

    Maybe Google should limit these listings to people who are logged in and clearly opted into the social media area.

  • Larry Carillo

    Thank you for the article Matt! I found it very useful and helpful in regards to updating my Google+ personal page and company page!

    Larry Carillo

  • Matt McGee

    You’re welcome, Larry. :-)

  • catkins10

    Thanks for these resources, this is the week to catch up with Google+ and as usual your columns are full of great info.

  • palla ramarao

    I’m still finding a way to post automatically my blog posts to Google+. Every time manually posting is a headache. Also Google+ has lot to catch up on Facebook and I think both are on separate tracks, with Google+ taking some keypoints and going ahead.

  • cutey

    It seems daft to me, that people are targeting Google+ just in the hopes of SEO benefits, as a social network it brings nothing new to the table.

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