Google + is now welcoming businesses into their social network with the launch of Google + Pages. With this update, the social network moves towards greater integration with Google’s search engine. So if, like most businesses, your website traffic is predominantly driven by Google search, ignoring Google + may lead to a lot of missed SEO opportunities for your website.
The official page states explains,
“For businesses and brands, Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you. Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face. All you need to do is start sharing, and you’ll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello.”
Like the Facebook Business Pages vs Profile Pages, there are some differences as explained by Google:
From its launch, Google + has played a part in SEO.
Google has stated from the beginning that, “Once these pages/profiles arrive they will probably operate in a way that’s pretty similar to Facebook Pages, but with some Google SEO benefits. They will be indexed, “followable” and individual updates or posts can be +1′d — much or all of which will be fed back into search results and rankings.”
Prior to Google + Pages, Google + already had the following SEO benefits
1. Most social sites place a ‘no follow’ attribute to outgoing links from their site, this tells search engine crawl bots not the follow the link. This minimizes spamming for SEO purposes. On the other hand, outgoing links from Google + have the ‘follow’ attribute for plenty of link juices to your website.
2. When someone clicks on the +1 button on your website, it prompts Google to crawl and index your website usually within an hour. Add the +1 button to your site and share it on Google plus to get it crawled faster. The more +1’s the better.
3. Your Google Plus profile is also shown in the search results. This is your chance to capture a free listing on the search results. The best part is you can include clickable links in your Google + profile result on the search engines. Just like PPC Advertising, you can direct potential customers to specific sale and promotions pages or any page you want to specifically promote.
Google have implemented a few new features to entice businesses to join their social network. First, with Google Pages, businesses can integrate the +1’s on their Pages to the +1’s on their site, which should increase the quality of your website in the eyes of Google search.
Secondly, Google + pages will now appear in the search results. Considering most traffic to websites is driven by the search engines, creating a Google + page is a great way for claiming a free position in the search results.
Thirdly, Google is also giving searchers easy ways to add brands to their circles. Google explains,
“Maybe you’re watching a movie trailer, or you just heard that your favorite band is coming to town. In both cases you want to connect with them right now, and Direct Connect makes it easy—even automatic. Just go to Google and search for [+], followed by the page you’re interested in (like +Angry Birds). We’ll take you to their Google+ page, and if you want, we’ll add them to your circles”.
Direct Connect feature leverages off Google’s dominant search engine to offer potential customers an easy way to connect with your business.
In the near feature we will see advertisers link their Google+ Page to AdWords campaigns. This will show you the total +1’s you’ve received – adding +1’s from your Google+ Page, website, ads, and search results. Google explained that “your +1’s will be shown with your brand wherever it appears, including search, ads, Google+ and your website.” This further enhances its SEO benefits.
You’ll be able to link your Google + Page to your Adwords accounts by going to “Ad extensions” >”Social Extensions”.
To help companies get started, Google has created its online guide to show them how to create a page, promote it, and measure its effectiveness.
While you may not be ready to take on Google + for its social benefits for your company, the SEO benefits alone should have you carefully considering jumping aboard. In a sense, ignoring Google + is ignoring Google search. With the addition of Pages will undoubtedly expand the reach of Google + once the new Direct Connect feature is set and more businesses create pages.