What many people forget is that Google+ is owned by Google and Google is the largest search engine on the internet. It would be silly for them to go to all this effort and for it not to have an impact of their search engine, which means that you should be using Google+ for SEO.
Google have had a few motivations for setting up Google+ (or G+). One of the biggest yet least talked about reasons is to change the way in which they find, order and display websites on the results page of their search engine.
In the past Google put a lot of weight on links to assess where websites should be on their search engines. The more links a website had pointing to it the higher up it came on the search engine results pages. This was soon altered to reflect the influence of sites that were doing the linking. It meant that a link for a highly trusted site such as the BBC had much more value then a link from an individual’s blog page. It also introduced ‘followed’ and ‘no-followed’ links. Simply put ‘no-follow’ links have no influence on search engines whereas ‘followed’ links do.
Every link on your new G+ profile and business page is a ‘followed link’. Simply by having a G+ page with links that point back to your website you are helping your website climb the Google rankings.
There are a number of places that you can place links on your Google+ page. You can put a link on any of the text that you write in the ‘about’ section of your page or profile. Any link that you put in the ‘suggested links’ section on a company page is also a followed link.
By putting a link in every section you will be able to get some valuable ‘followed’ linked back to your site.
In the ‘about’ section there are a number of places where you are able to write something about your company. This is a great place to put highly relevant information that you want others to read, added to Google gives a lot of weight to this information so it is worth spending time getting this right. If you have a couple of really important terms make sure that you put those words in bold, again this is another signal to Google telling them what is important.
In an attempt to further improve its search results Google has now indicated that it is going to move away from using followed links and start using ‘trust’ factors. This means that it is going to start looking not only at how a website is linked to (i.e followed versus no-followed) but also who has written the piece of content that the link comes from.
This is a major departure from the last 15 years and means that Google needs new tools. This is where Google+ comes in. Google is going to use the information that it can gather from G+ to see if the author of a piece of content is trustworthy.
Linking your new content to your Google+ profile
To do this you need to link your new content such as blog posts to your G+ profile. This is easy to do and instructions are here.
Whenever you write a new piece of content make sure that you include the byline, for example “by Reuben Chown”. Then on your personal G+ profile make sure that your site is both linked to on your profile and also verified (instructions on how to do this are on the link above).
This will tell Google that you have written some awesome piece of content and you want to take credit for this. Do it enough and your reputation for writing good content will increase and over time content that you write will rank higher in Google’s search result pages.
In addition any results that come up that include your content will include a small version of your profile picture. This creates trust between the person searching and your website as they can see that a person has written the content, not a robot. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how important it is to have a brand that people trust.
Linking your website to your Google+ business page
The other advanced use of Google+ for businesses is the rel=’publisher’ attribute. This is a piece of coding that goes on your homepage and links to your G+ business page. The aim of this is to tell Google that your business is reputable and that you produce good content. Again your G+ business page should include a link back to your site to verify ownership of the site. Detailed instructions on how to do this are here.