Google+ & How It Can Affect Your SEO Ranking

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Digital marketing is a slippery subject and something that is in a constant state of flux; It almost feels like you blink and a new social media platform has just launched. It’s difficult not to be skeptical about change, but part of embracing the digital world means learning to be open minded about the potential success of new innovations.

That being said, Google+ is one of those platforms that you should become acquainted with. Here are a few quick stats for you: In the fall of 2013, Google+ saw a 58% jump in users and now has over 300 million active monthly users, reported USA Today. Although it won’t necessarily be the next big SEO problem solver, it can still be an instrumental way to improve your organic ranking.

Google’s new algorithm, Hummingbird, was launched in early Fall 2013 and although a full understanding of how the algorithm works isn’t available (Google is very secretive about these subjects), what we do know is that it affects content marketing through a more visual process; it employs the use of maps, geo-tags while simultaneously promoting Google+ users. Search Engine Journal explains that it has been incredibly influential, affecting 90% of searches worldwide. While the Hummingbird algorithm itself might not be the sole reason for having an overwhelming impact on searches, as “data retrieval, artificial intelligence, and how data is accessed and presented to users” may also factor into the equation, it is still safe to say that with such a rapidly growing user-base it’s a good platform to harness, cites Search Engine Journal. And, along with the fact that Google draws information directly from Google+, unlike with Facebook and Twitter where there is crawling involved in the search, explains Search Engine Watch, it’s kind of a win-win situation: “Whilst Google have argued that plus ones do not influence search results, it does seem likely that Google+ is increasingly helping Google SEO to produce more accurate results,”  says Social Media Watch. For example, when searching for articles, the organic results from Google will often place a Google+ user on the top of the list; therefore, a person with a Google+ account may have a higher likelihood of their article appearing above others’! Of course there are many exceptions, particularly when your search is quite specific, fewer Google+ promoted articles are bound to appear, but it is still beneficial.

So, what to take from this: Businesses should take advantage of the Hummingbird algorithm Google has set in place and become active on Google+. And although this may seem tedious, particularly because it has a smaller audience than platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, it is still entirely advantageous to simply have a business page set up with a location and a website to boost SEO potential and leverage themselves over other business who haven’t yet done this.

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