In our attempts to improve SEO rankings we do miracles and try everything we can think of. Of course, even if we could, it makes no sense to try absolutely everything. What makes the most sense, is to try something that does have great effect on our SEO rankings, yet is not known to everybody and their brother. G+, Google's social network meets these requirements – seems to do miracles for rankings, while most people, (except those who try everything), who do employ social networks for SEO, concentrate their efforts on Facebook because it is more popular than G+. However, it turns out G+ pays more for our efforts than Facebook and the other social networks. Here is why.
Why Google Plus Is So Important for SEO
While Google denies any direct relationship between Google Plus content and activity on one hand and SEO rankings on other, very often good ranking sites have good Google Plus activity. While in theory this could be pure coincidence, the results speak for themselves. Here are some reasons why Google Plus is especially important for SEO:
Google owns it and no matter if they admit it or not, as empirical evidence shows popularity on Google Plus is a huge factor for good rankings.
Some links are dofollow and they help to improve rankings. Not all links are dofollow but unlike on other sites, at least the so called "shared" links (the links under your post) are dofollow, so take advantage of that. Additionally, when you post something interesting that gets reposted, you earn multiple links to the same page.
Links from Google Plus get relevant anchor text - the title of the post is the anchor text (which obviously is much better than "Click this", "Here", or other generic anchor texts) and the best is that this anchor text sounds natural and won't hurt your rankings.
Ultrafast indexing of all pages is another benefit. While it is true that Google is fast to index any site that gets frequently updated, the advantage of Google Plus over Twitter and Facebook where all or most of the content is hidden from search engines is hard to beat.
As you see, the benefits of Google Plus for SEO are really noticeable. So, even if you are skeptical about the whole this social media hysteria, the case with Google Plus is different and it will pay to give it a try, if you haven't already done so.
How to Use Google Plus to Get Better Rankings
Google Plus isn't very different from any other social site, though it certainly has its specifics. Here are some basic tips how to use Google Plus to the fullest.
1 Join Google Plus/Become Active
Obviously, if you aren't on Google Plus yet, the first step is to join it. This is easy to do and we won't bother with details how to do it. Once you join Google Plus, have a look around to see who of your friends and acquaintances is there, join their circles and add them to yours. You can start posting right away but it's better to first read what other users have posted, comment on it, share it, and only after this start posting.
2 Start Using Google Authorship
Google Authorship is another service from Google you will find on Google Plus that helps you stand out from the crowd. In addition to being a valuable tool to protect your content, it also helps with SEO. When you add your articles under your Google Authorship profile, your name appears in search results. This might not bring you traffic per se but it certainly helps to build your online reputation.
3 Post Good Content
It goes without saying but you need to post good content only. Content with low quality will not only damage your reputation but it might not get noticed at all. On social networks, the benefits come when you are noticed because in this case it is more likely for your content to be shared than poor stuff. So, the basic rule with other social networks applies here as well – it's better not to post any content than to post junk.
4 Spice Your About Page
About pages can be very boring and you might want to skip yours but this is a huge mistake. With Google Plus, About pages are very useful because here you can add links to your sites, your profiles on other social networks, or simply links to pages you find interesting. All this effort is not in vain, so do it.
5 Pay Attention to Your Profile
The About page is not the only element to pay attention to. In addition to it, you need to make your Google Plus profile top-notch. As you probably know from your experience on other social networks, your profile and the information in it is vital for your success there. This is why you need to fill all the relevant information and keep it current.
6 Make Yourself Accessible
Social networks are not for people who are afraid or unwilling to communicate. If you are on a social network, this means you don't want to keep your presence there private but you want to expand your circle of friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. In order to achieve this, you need to make yourself accessible, i.e. easy to add to other users' circles and make your posts public. This might not guarantee your success overnight but when you are accessible and your profile and posts are interesting, this seriously increases your chances to get noticed.
Google Plus is a real jewel for SEO. Though many experts, including Google executives themselves, dispute its advantages, Google Plus has helped many sites achieve good rankings in their niches. Certainly, this is not a guarantee that it will work for you as well but it is worth trying. The wisest you can do is try with one site, for example and see how it works. If Google Plus works for you, then you can expand its use to other sites you optimize. And of course, don't expect miracles – if your other SEO efforts are poor, even Google Plus can't compensate for this.