Why You Need Google+ for Your SEO Strategy

You’ve heard the rumors that Google+ is slated to take over Facebook, so it’s crucial for local brick and mortar businesses, and even though it doesn’t “seem” like a social media platform, it actually is. However, few people (and even fewer businesses) make the most Google+of Google+. You probably filled out the brief profile information and otherwise forgot about it. However, Google’s Hummingbird update is putting more and more weight on social cues for search rankings. It only makes sense that Google is going to prioritize their own products, which is why Google+ might be your secret weapon for boosting SEO.

During an SES Denver panel discussion, “Insights Into Future Search Trends,” social signals and SEO were a hot topic. According to one panel presenter, Merry Morud, “In the old days of SEO, link building was the ultimate, but with social, SEO becomes democratized—more of an aggregate of symbols and authority.” Basically, how searches are ranked is enjoying a revolution. In the near future, Google+ might trump Facebook when it comes to improving your rankings. “Google+ is not a joke. It’s not going away,” warns Morud.

“If you are not active in Google+, start now. Google gets its purest social signals from Google+, and they can often impact SEO more than Facebook.”

Farewell to Facebook?

Facebook certainly has its place—and likely will for several years—in the marketing realm of businesses. However, for pure SEO it might be taking a backseat. Advertisers are noting that Facebook recommendations are counting less and less when it comes to search social signals. All those Facebook ads are leading to accidental clicks, especially in a mobile ready world, which means bad data. Morud says, “For social ad placements in mobile, Facebook creates desktop, mobile and Right-Rail ads but they heavily weight for mobile views.”

When you have uneven weighting, it leads to a surplus of accidental clicks. The disparity between website visits and clicks is growing. Morud calls it “fat finger syndrome,” but you certainly don’t have to have sausage fingers to be an offender. One mobile guru at the panel, Cindy Krum, says she’s encouraging advertisers on Facebook to test their ads on actual devices before going live. A lot of ads just don’t work on mobile platforms, such as the recent “Design Your Own Loafers” ad by Stuart Weitzman. It was supposed to be interactive, but “Facebook mobile couldn’t handle Ajax and Javascript,” reports Krum, so users just gave up.

Google+’s Open Arms

Given Facebook’s propensity for problems, is it any wonder people are heading over to Google+? “Facebook is getting too busy. People are outgrowing (it). Google+ being ad-free is going to be a plus for them,” says Morud. Add in the fact that social signals are seriously driving SEO rankings these days, and advertisers just can’t ignore Google+ any longer. “Google is going to make social signals from Google+ so important, they can’t be denied,” warns Morud.

Is 2015 going to be the year of Google+ as SEO king? It’s quite possible—and those who don’t jump on the bandwagon might be left in the dust. Social signals and SEO go together like high rankings and good links. You can’t have one without the other.

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