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What you need to know about the implications of Google+ for Search Engine Marketing

By Chris Soames 26 Jan, 2012
Essential
Google Plus marketing

Our round-up of the best advice on how marketers should respond to the Google Search plus Your World integration

Most are dubbing the latest changes to Google's search engine as some of the largest since its launch. The integration of Google+ with the the new Search plus Your World  certainly has the industry buzzing again. As Google's social network grows beyond 90 million users with 60% engaging daily, its influence on personalised search is growing fast and will bring new dimensions to SEO.

Dave Chaffey covered off the initial launch of Google Search plus Your World here if you're looking for an introduction on how it integrates communities, relationships and people into its mainstream search results.

Recommended posts on how to harness Google Search plus Your World

Since its launch, how companies should respond based on the implications for SEO and PPC have been a hot topic. There's been a lot of great advice, so we thought we'd give a round-up of the "must-read" advice in case you haven't caught some. I discussed this with Dave and these are the ones we think most useful:

Google, Plus Your World (learn more)

Google's positioning of the service - for reference if you haven't seen it.

Our summary - the digested read

If I could summarise the advice in one paragraph ...

"Generating amazing content or engagement tools to expand your network will lead to your ultimate success or demise on Google+".

Use these assets to create a purpose and grow your following on Google+. The larger that following the more likely your site / business will be aided when it comes to Search.

Here's a little more detail:

Considerations for SEO - It all starts with your brand page

The first thing you have to do on Google+ once you have your own account is to create your business page, head over to https://plus.google.com/pages/create to do this.

Consider the quality of information you have on there, upload engaging photos, videos and invite friends to join to. Really consider the name of your page, early signs are that the name influences rankings of the page a lot.

Promote your Google+ brand page

Place a Google+ badge on your website and in your emails. Ideally have a purpose for it, the first place to find out about offers, see the latest product before anyone else... The place where competitions are hosted... The world is your oyster, but a purpose gives people a reason to join! To track your follower growth or for competitors go to SocialStatistics.com.

Be active

Engage with your audience, join discussions around different brands and personalities. Don't just broadcast, but do utilise content you have that can aid conversations by sharing it. Outside of publishing amazing content on Google+ this is arguably the most important task you can be doing.

Set up as a publisher

For larger brands, verification can protect your brand:

"Verification badges helps users to confirm the authenticity of a profile or page. This way when you find a profile or page about a celebrity or popular business, you can be sure that the profile or page actually belongs to them".

Source: Google

With this in mind, you need connect your website to Google and vice versa, this will allow you to take advantage of Google+ Direct Connect as well as appear an approved page;

"Google+ Direct Connect lets you quickly navigate to a Google+ page (and even add that page to your circles) when using Google Search. For example, if you searched for the query '+youtube' or '+pepsi,' you could be immediately taken to the YouTube Google+ page, or the Pepsi Google+ page, and given the option to add the page to your circles".

If you go through the process outlined here, after-which you only need 1,000 people in your circles and your page can be officially approved. You can use the Rich Snippet testing tool to make sure you have tagged your site properly with the publisher tag as per the instructions at the URL above.

One you have tested using the rich snippet tool, have a 1,000 people etc you can the submit your request to have your page verified here.

Configure Authors

If your website contains a blog / news area that has the concept of an Author ensure you go through the authorship programme. You can find out more here, but essentially it will display your author information within search results pages which will mean a more eye catching result. It also means users can browse all content form a particular author, even if they contribute to multiple sites.

If you utilise WordPress for your website you can checkout this great guide from the Yoast team for help integrating this tag.

Integrate Google +1 share button to your website

Google Plus OneYour website is your hub, central to all your activity online and usually where content is first published. Don't forget about the traffic and customers that visit your website, ensure they can share your amazing content via the Google +1 button just as you would Twitter and Facebook.

Other resources for optimising / learning about Google Plus

By Chris Soames

Chris Soames is a Smart Insights blogger and consultant, he has worked in digital marketing for over 6 years with the last few years managing international web strategies for a leading travel brand. Now the Commercial Director at First 10, an Integrated marketing agency, he helps clients get clarity on their marketing strategy and create campaigns engineered to engage with their consumers to help drive sell-through. Most of all, Chris enjoys working with talented people who want to create great (& commercial) things not just tick boxes.

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