Last June, Google transformed the social network and SEO scene by launching its very own social media platform called Google+.
From the start, many SEO professionals knew that Google+ would have a relative impact on SEO, but While Google+ is still in its infancy, the social network has introduced some creative changes that look to revolutionise search.
Google+ and Social Signals
A social signal is used to define the way in which an audience is engaged in a social media marketing campaign and over the last year, there have been many statements publicised by Google regarding the connection between social media signals and rankings. Google representative Eric Schmidt conformed this when he boldly stated that, “the social signal, the people you ‘hang with’ is actually a ranking signal.”
With this in mind, Webmasters and SEOs have been tracking social media signals much more closely. In Google’s eyes, the most important Google+ social signal is the +1s that a landing page or a piece of content receives. Google +1s is crucial from a marketing viewpoint, but they are also starting to impact the way a search engine will position a piece of content.
It is widely believed that Google is steering towards personalisation of the search results. If you are a member of Google+ you may notice precise items appearing when browsing by a particular keyword. So, if an individual who is a member of the same network has given a +1 to a relevant landing page, the page will show up in the top SERPs.
Search Plus your World
At the start of 2012, Google publicised “Search, plus Your World” which was the brain child of what is now referred to as Google’s social search. What makes this particularly innovative is that Google will not only understand content, but also people and relationships. Below are three main features that are being developed.
- Personal Results: This great feature enables you to find Google+ photos and posts of yourself and those shared precisely with you, that only you will be able to see in the SERPs.
- Profiles in Search: This creative feature allows you to directly discover people you know or would like to follow.
- Pages and People: Here, you can discover people’s profiles and Google+ pages associated to a particular topic or area of importance, which means you can follow them with just a simple click of the mouse.
Generally, SEO has changed dramatically within the last few years and now Google has incorporated a more personal touch to search. This means that achieving long-lasting and sustainable optimisation results will include social networks and social media signals.
Many SEOs will have noticed that Google+ has become involved in the geo-targeting of search results. This happens when a company is given an opportunity to create their own local pages. A user will then notice that a Google+ local page will appear within their SERPs for a specific service/product in a particular location.
Local pages are discovering integration in multiple Google products such as the search, Google Mobile and Google Maps features. What is exciting is that each one of these features comes with huge traffic potentials.
This means that social signals, particularly the ones linked to Google+ are becoming increasingly important. Overall, Google has executed some extremely innovative changes that will only make SEO more interesting and the results generated from these changes all the more worthwhile.