Google has implemented a major search change that is certain to radically change how companies approach search engine optimization. Google Search Plus Your World personalizes results based on the Google+ profile of the person that is logged in. While Google touts this new algorithm as an improvement that will lead to more personal results, critics say it sacrifices true SERP relevance for social media integration and promotion of Google+.
Regardless of opinion, we can all see how this changes SEO. Rather than the standard old SEO practices, Google Search Plus Your World merges SEO with the practice of social media optimization. Companies need to fully comprehend this major change and alter their SEO strategies to stay relevant and continue achieving those high rankings. Here are some tips for keeping up in this new “World.”
You Need a Google+ Page
Google+ is the major driver of the changeover to Google Search Plus Your World. Since Google+ related results are given higher priority in the new system for logged-in users, some say that Google only changed their search algorithm to promote their fledgling social network and get more people to sign up. True or not, Google Search Plus Your World is making Google+ an integral part of SEO and SMO. It is now imperative for businesses looking to improve SEO in this new world to sign up for a Google+ page right away.
Use your Google+ Page Like it’s your Site
Since logged-in users will see results from a company’s Google+ page before their actual site is returned in the SERP, it’s crucial for companies to get in the habit of using their Google+ page and to understand that the old SEO rules still apply. Old SEO practices like keyword usage are still very important to SEO, it’s just that they have migrated to Google+ pages. Businesses need to get help from their SEO firm when creating and managing their Google+ pages in order to maintain adequate usage of keywords and associated terms. It’s also important to remember that Google’s penalization of sites that employ “keyword stuffing” is still in effect, so those keywords must be used naturally and not forced or overdone.
Google’s ranking system changed recently to give priority to pages that generate fresh content regularly. That rule still applies with Google Search Plus Your World, but that frequent new content needs to be on the business’ Google+ page. Company Google+ pages should add information, articles and posts as often as possible to improve their SEO with this new system.
Participate in Discussions
A web site is a one-way communication like TV or radio and businesses are comfortable with that. They have gotten used to the practice of broadcasting their message and constantly promoting. Social media has changed this and companies with Google+ pages need to change, too. Instead of constant shilling and promotion, companies need to emphasize the “social” aspect of social media. This will ingratiate them with clients, but that’s not the sole aim of this tactic. Google Search Plus Your World gives SERP priority to pages that are active in discussions. This means that being social by commenting on non-page items and participating in conversations will do more for a company than just making friends. It will generate traffic.
Grow your Circles
Companies need to do all they can to increase the number of people and companies in their circles. In SEO terms, circle membership is akin to backlinks. Just like more quality backlinks leads to higher SEO for a company website, being in more circles generates much higher SEO with Google Search Plus Your World. Also, the more people a company has in its circles, the bigger the audience will be for its message.
Google Plus Search Your World is a major change whose impact will be felt in larger degrees as more people sign up with Google+. Since it refines search results based on Google+ data, it is vital for businesses to establish relevant, active Google+ profiles. From there, standard SEO strategies should be diligently practiced, but on the Google+ page in addition to a company’s site. These tactics will help ensure continued effective SEO in this new Google “world.”