Google +1 is all the rage right now in the search engine optimization and social media marketing world. It is even having a big impact on YouTube! However, many people are confused about the ins and outs of the new social phenomenon, especially when evaluating it ‘s impact on SEO strategy. In an effort to clear things up we will evaluate
How Google + Effects Search Engine Optimization
First, let’s define the 3 different ways to engage with a Google +1 button.
- +1 from Search Results
- +1 from a Web Page Button
- +1 from a Google + Profile or Business Page
You can also simply post a link to your Google + page or profile.
Now that we know what we are talking about lets look at each of these Google + functions a little more in depth and explore their SEO implications.
+1 from Search Results
When you +1 a URL from search results it does two things. First, the +1 acts similarly to a backlink, in that it adds credibility to the website and allows it rank higher in non-personalized Google search. Secondly, it also allows it to rank higher in personalized search. To be clear, your search results in Google are personalized in almost all cases. The only way to remove personalization is to log out of Google, clear all of your history, cookies, etc. But even then in most cases Google will still attribute a location to your search based on where they see your IP address.
So let’s get back to the question at hand, how do +1s from search results affect SEO.
Well, first that webpage will rank higher when you are not logged in to Google. But secondly, when you are logged into Google you will now see the items that you have +1ed higher in search results. For example, consider you did a search for social media marketing and then +1ed the SEO Inc. Google result. Next time you search for social media marketing you will see that SEO Inc. result higher than before and in most cases on the first page. But it doesn’t stop there. This +1 will also affect the search space for everyone in your Google + network. Essentially, this means that if your good buddy who is in your Google + network performs a search for the same keyword they will see the result you +1ed on the first page of Google, or at least ranking higher than before. Another important point is that your buddy will be visually informed that you +1ed that URL. This of course greatly increases the change that he or she will click on that search result.
It is important to note here that at this point when you +1 a search result it does not automatically show up on your Google + page. However, it does show up on the new Google +1 tab! We will talk more about this soon.
+1 from a Web Page Button
Now when you +1 from a Google + button on a webpage the same concepts remain but there are a few subtleties. Unlike the Google + button in search results, the Google + button that you have the ability to install on your webpage allows the user to also share the URL on their Google profile, However, they must make a selection to do this.
At this point you cannot use the button to share directly to a business page; however, you can still take care of this manually. Furthermore, by performing a +1 on a webpage it will register as a +1 on your account and have the same effect on logged in search results and non-logged in search results for yourself and the people in your network.
+1 from a Google + Profile or Business Page
When you use the +1 button on an actual Google + page or profile there is something that must be considered. In this case you are not +1ing a URL. Alternately, you are +1ing a post on a Google + profile. We have confirmed this through testing. This does not mean that this will not change in the future, but this is the way that the functionality works at this point.
So let’s take a moment to play out a scenario to better understand this. Say I take this post on The Many Ways Google +1 Influence Search Engine Optimization and post it to my Google + business page and profile. Let’s say that the post is +1ed 20 times on my personal page and the SEO Inc. Google + page. These +1s will not count as +1s for that URL at this point, they will only count as +1s for that post. Now this does not mean that those +1s do not have value. In fact they do. Think of them as getting 20 likes on a Facebook post.
The New +1 Tab
Google has just released a new tab on Google + that displays the items you have +1ed. What you will see is that this tab only shows website pages that you have +1ed and does not show individual posts you have +1ed from a Google + page or profile. It is important to note here that this has a massive impact from an SEO perspective. Each of the items listed on this +1 tab are now backlinks! Here is an example of my page. You can bet we will be doing a full follow up post on this release 🙂
The most important points to take away from this blog are that
- +1 from search results help rankings in regular Google search and personal Google search and add that URL to your Google + profiles +1 tab.
- +1 from a web page button modify regular Google search and personal Google search and add that URL to your Google + profiles +1 tab
- +1 from a Google + profile or business page only help the popularity of that post in Google +.
Please keep in mind all of this functionality is very new and it is changing daily. Please leave questions or comments below.