Google+ Is the Future of SEO
What is Google+?
Many people may be surprised at the new relevancy of Google+. Just a year ago, Google+ was a failed social media site that attempted to be everything that Facebook was and more. Google+ simply never secured a following because Facebook had such a heavy lead and was such strong competition. Despite the increase of Android phones and Google's hold on the search engine world, Google+ just was not exciting. Since then, however, everything has changed.
Why is Google+ Important for SEO?
Google has integrated Google+ directly into their search engine results. At the same time, Google dropped most highly SEO-optimized pages down to the very bottom of their results, pushing up authoritative content. With the emphasis of Google Hummingbird on creating answers rather than returning pages, it seems that Google is moving towards the direction of providing content rather than simply displaying it.
As a side effect to this new venture, Google+ listings now get added to the top of search engine rankings. Even more worrisome, articles written by those that have a Google+ account will automatically get clicked on first because they display a special formatting alongside an image. The only way to get visibility in Google--the leading search engine on earth--is now to have a Google+ account.
The Effects of Google+ on SEO
Companies are now finding that their Google+ account is being found before their company website. Having a fully formed Google+ account is imperative for businesses. Moreover, companies now find that their Google+ account needs to have followers, needs to be ranked highly and needs to be updated. It may very well be that Google+ is going to supersede ordinary SEO tactics entirely, especially as most of the traditional search engine optimization tactics have become obsolete.
Do No Evil
Google claims that one of its primary tenets is "Do No Evil." Do you think these Google+ updates invalidate that?
Getting the Most Out of Google+
- Gain followers through your other social media accounts.
- Ensure that all of your company's information is on Google+.
- Make sure that visitors can get to your company's website through your Google+ profile.
Where Google Panda and Hummingbird Fit In
It's not a surprise that the search engine optimization industry has been hit so hard this year. Both Google's Panda 2.0 and Hummingbird radically changed the SEO paradigm. Google Panda pushed lengthy, valuable content to the top of search results while Hummingbird dropped extraneous results in favor of returning actual answers. The end result? Short content that wasn't unique and content that was based around keywords became virtually invisible. Many websites lost their ranking entirely virtually overnight, allowing sites that did have a Google+ presence to suddenly be catapulted into the light. This offers an excellent opportunity to gain traction for new sites, but it can be a little distressing to those that already had their SEO all worked out.
The Long-Term Strategy
Google+ will likely become the major social media site for commerce and function as a sort of Wikipedia for individuals and businesses. Having a Google+ presence has suddenly become incredibly powerful, and those that were already established on Google+ will have an advantage for the time being. Whether or not other sites will gain ground over the next few years cannot be predicted, but it's not likely that anyone will be able to dethrone Google as the leading search engine. Consequently, the changes that Google makes to both its own search engine algorithms and the way it treats Google+ profiles need to be tracked and followed.