How You Can Use Google+ to Improve Your SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | May 14, 2014

Google+ has been slow to attract users (and advertisers), but it’s growing steadily. And it has a lot going for it in terms of SEO — namely, that it’s run by the #1 search engine and integrates with many Google products. That makes Google+ more attractive for users, and may also make the underappreciated social network more attractive for SEO purposes.

If you’ve been waiting to begin using Google+, either for personal or professional use, there are several reasons you might want to go ahead and take the Google Plus plunge:

Unlike some social networks, Google+ content is indexed by Google, just like any other content on the web. That means the content you post there is searchable and will gain PageRank. Google+ content also gives PageRank to other content and, it seems, can keep its high position on SERPs for over a year. And in turn, links from regular websites can pass PageRank to your Google+ posts.

It’s important to note, however, that links in the body of a Google+ post are “nofollow” links — but the featured link in a Google+ post will pass along PageRank.

Google+ authorship and authority

If you’re a blogger, have you already set up a Google+ profile? If you haven’t you should: Bloggers who use the rel=author tag to link content to their Google+ profile tend to achieve a higher PageRank with their posts than those who don’t take advantage of Google authorship. That means you get a higher visual profile in search results.

Also, when you use the rel=author tag, your Google+ profile photo will appear alongside your search results — a bonus which also helps attract reader attention. And Google+ tracks how many people interact with your content.

Bottom line: Using Google+ gives your content higher authority, and makes a more appealing search result. It just makes sense for bloggers to showcase their content there.

Social Media Optimization (SMO) and SEO

Search and social media have always been considered to be separate, parallel tracks — but they are increasingly coming together, and Google+ is the catalyst for that union. Social media optimization (SMO) expert Joshua Berg says that social signals help filter out the “noise” of search results and improve their quality. He predicts that search and social media will eventually work together to provide the most useful search results — and that has been Google’s goal all along.

Google+ links to a lot of other Google products, including Drive, Android, Gmail and YouTube. So it’s really not difficult to get started sharing content that will soon be seen by many users. (And that also means that more users will be drawn to Google+ for its ease of use.)

If you take the time to learn to use it effectively, Google+ gives you a new way to get noticed and gain authority. So use your Google+ authorship profile to link to high quality content, interact with the people who are posting the most useful information, and soon many other users will be reposting your content.