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How to Build a Dominant Google+ Presence

This guest post is by Ryan Howard of Complete Web Resources.

Google+ is the hottest game in town when it comes search engine placement gains—at least for the time being.

We’ve run multiple tests and so have a few other agencies we know, almost with unanimous consent that preferring Google+ for the hours you dedicate to social media offers the greatest ranking benefit.

In this post we’ll discuss the top 5 ways to make Google+ work for you.

When we talk about Google+ (Google Plus) there are a few different areas we need to address. That is to say, there are a few different ways that you can eke out some positive signals to aid in your search engine optimization promotion program, build your trust with Google, and move you up in SERPs. They are:

  1. Google+ shares
  2. Google +1 counter
  3. Google Circles ads
  4. Google+ company page
  5. Google authorship.

Google+ shares

This is the best way to get Google’s attention. At least, we’ve seen the greatest gains from this effort in particular.

A share means that someone shares your link on their Google+ profile by posting to their wall. Good quality content that you post to your Google circles or on your blog will do the trick.

One thing that we’ve been doing lately is to host funny images on our site and then share them on Google+. When people +1 the posts, or reshare them, we get credit, since the image is hosted on our site. In addition, if people navigate to the image itself, we’ll get more site visits.

Here’s a video I made to show exactly how to host images on your site to get traffic.

Google+ counter

This is the little widget that you add to your site so that visitors can +1 your content when they are there.

Adding this widget will let people vote your site up with +1s. When they do so, Google will give them the option to post their vote on their individual Google+ profiles, which gets you a link on their profile and also exposes your site to all of their followers. Plus 1 votes are also a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm.

The addition of the +1 counter widget is very simple and excellent documentation on it can be found at the Google Developers site. You can alter how the button looks, change its width and annotation, and try some advanced options as well.

Pro tip: Under the Advanced options dropdown, be sure to enter your website’s URL in the “URL to +1″ box. This will make doubly sure Google properly counts all of you +1s.

Once you have the +1 tag and script written into your code, the counter widget will display on your site wherever you decide to place it. It’ll look like this:

Google plus counter

It shouldn’t be too difficult to get your friends to help you get started with +1′s. Don’t overdo it, though. Going from 0 to 100 in a day will surely send up a red flag in the Google Search algorithm.

Google circles adds

In addition to shares and +1s, you also want your personal profile to link to your website, and having a more powerful profile gives you more clout (or Klout).

You’ll want to add excellent content to your profile to keep people engaged and interested, commenting on your posts, and so on. But you’ll also need an audience to reach. Here’s how to get started.

First, add all of your gmail contacts to your circles—hopefully they’ll follow you back. That’s a great start.

After that, we want to add more shared circles, which will cause people to add you back. Here are a few recommended searches to help you find more shared circles:

  1. +CircleCount
  2. Public Shared Circles
  3. In the Google+ search bar, type “shared a circle with you” (leave the quotes) which will bring up circle that have already been shared publicly.

Having a built-out profile with a good profile image will help you get more people to add you back. No one wants to add a profile that looks empty or spammy.

Google+ company page

As a Google+ user, you can also create and manage a company page tied to your site.

From your profile, click your small profile image at top-right. The dropdown that appears will allow you to add a page. Otherwise, you’ll see the link to “View all of my pages”. Click that to go to the Page add screen.

Here are a couple screenshots of the initial setup process:

Google plus company page

Google plus company page 2

Setting up a Google+ page is very similar to setting up a personal profile. You’ll want to be sure to include your URL so that the page links back to your site. Also, you’ll want to add an icon on your website that links back to the Google+ page.

The main difference between a page and a personal profile is that you can’t follow individuals as a page unless they follow you first. You can, however, follow other pages. This will make getting page followers a bit more difficult, but the solution is quality content and regular posts. Keep the content that you post relevant to your business. We like to add snippets from our website blog, funny internet-related images, and so on.

Google authorship

Google authorship ties all of these elements together and really connects your Google profile with your website. Search results that have an individual’s image next to their blog, post, or website are all utilizing Google authorship. Google even lets you sort results by only selecting things from that author.

The technical integration of Google authorship requires an entire post of its own, and the best and most easily followed guide we’ve found is How to Set Up Rel=author.

Are you making the most of Google+?

That concludes our survey of the ways Google+ can help your site earn additional trust signals in the eyes of Google’s search algorithm, and improve your site’s visibility. We covered the following methods for promoting your Google+ presence.

  1. Google+ shares
  2. Google +1 counter
  3. Google Circles ads
  4. Google+ company page
  5. Google authorship.

These really are the top five. You should have each of them working for your Google profile, and linked to your website where possible. Following these steps will not only increase your reach into additional markets, it will also give your website a nice boost in the SERPs.

Ryan Howard is Head of Search for Complete Web Resources a WordPress digital refinery and search strategy firm.

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Comments

  1. Justin says:

    Great post, Ryan. I’ve shared it on Google+.

  2. Mark says:

    Thanks for this awesome info. This website is full of helpful articles :)

  3. Samuel says:

    Google+ does help your search rankings in a way. If you are looking to get traffic from Google, then don’t hesitate to join Google+.

    The more shares you can get through google+, then the better your article will do!

  4. I have been an active Google+ user, but admit I need to step my game up a little bit. My problem is either convincing my existing Twitter/Facebook contacts to getting on board or just finding new people to connect with. For me, Twitter is still the easiest outlet for me to use. Perhaps it varies by mission, user, or community though.

    Either way, I’m still using it and always looking for ways of getting more out of it.

  5. Larry says:

    Well, call me fail, but I can’t seem to get the company page option to show. Seem to recall this was only available to some G+ users and not to everyone.

    Google Authorship has been one of the biggest assets for me. I’ve seen an increase it click throughs from SERPs since adding authorship.

  6. William says:

    Hi,

    I like your post. Very informative. Ill be checking by again soon.

    William
    Helping Others To Succeed

  7. Ben Troy says:

    Is there a specific procedure on how Google shows Google+ page descriptions in SERPs? I have seen different variations.

  8. Shaleen Shah says:

    Hey, thanks! Some of the things you’ve mentioned sounds new to me so I will give it a try. Just how active are people there on G+? I’ve been reading less than stellar reviews lately.

    • Lynkez says:

      Hey Shaleen Shah! Just log into your Google+ account and get to invite friends. You as well can import contacts from your yahoo or Gmail accounts. I have a G+ account and guess what…it works for me really great right from marketing products and services to chatting.

  9. Google Authorship is a great way for bloggers and writers to be more visible online, plus it lends a degree of credibility to articles because it proves that they were written by an actual person instead of being generated by machines.

  10. Jeremy says:

    Great points, especially about searching for public circles to find. I like that google plus has advance privacy in using circles so it’s easy to connect with new people and make new friends. I find most people on google plus are very friendly and open to great conversation!

  11. Liz Krane says:

    Google+ has an *amazing* community and I’ve found it’s well worth getting involved in, regardless of any SEO benefits! Don’t worry about converting your existing friends into Google+ users; just use it to make new friends. Get involved in discussions, help manage a community page for a topic you’re passionate about, meet people from all over the world in video hangouts. It’s a really fun place to be. :)

  12. Will Smith says:

    I am also following the same technique for this thing. I am getting good result as well from G+ for my business promotion.

  13. Thanks a lot for this post. I have been a user of Google plus, but I never use it often. After this post, I am definitely going to make frequent visits and good use of it.

  14. Thanks a lot for this post Ryan. I actually didn’t know this much about Google plus. Thanks!

  15. Reed Nixon says:

    Thanks for the information.

  16. I can’t still understand why Google make it and how high impact with new algorithm what I can make a simple plus bandage with no click (need more stuff explain), btw do anyone want me joint on cycles?

  17. Salman says:

    These are some of the great tips to maximize the usage of Google+ and boost SERP rankings.

    A Great share Ryan !

  18. Ferb says:

    I don’t think I use Google+ but It’s great to see your tips. Google+ Circle ads is something that I haven’t seen before and definitely try it out. Another point I’d like to talk about is Google Authorship, I don’t know why I can’t add rel=”author” to my author box and I can see the important and benefits of having a Google Authorship.

  19. Richard says:

    Tips are great. But, G+ have never worked for me. Still, each day I get more of Facebook likes rather than Google Plus.

  20. Great post! I was wondering in the presence of facebook and twitter how would google+ influence our way of blogging. This post made me clear. Thank you!

  21. Something to consider as our PR rank just hit the floor, what is the best wp widget to use for adding google + to blog posts, anyone know?

  22. Mark says:

    Some great info!

    Not really ventured over to Google+ yet, had a play around in the past and wasn’t to keen, this post has just tempted me to have another go! the pros outweigh the cons for sure.

  23. Ehsan Ullah says:

    Thanks for the guide on Google+. Well, I’ve been doing all those 5 things on Google+ and I’m doing good with it. Being active on Google+ and getting good author rank is must in order to get good rank these days.

  24. I have tried this for my website and the blog but the description was changed and my ranking fluctuated a bit so I remove it from my website and place it on my blog section only.

  25. D Lee says:

    I have not really messed around too much with Google + but after reading this article, I will get busy with it ! Thanks !

  26. Mike says:

    This is really great Post. Google+ is something like that we cant avoid any more to our business. Google is giving some thing more importance to Google+ in SERP. Google Share and Google +1 will really improve SEO if you guys clearly note about this in webmaster tool.

  27. This is awesome. I’ve really got to get to work on my G+ presence. I’ve actually really warmed up to using it over the last couple months and have noticed that the ppl on it tend to share more useful info than on fb. It’s kin of like twitter meets fb

  28. Bobby Bentz says:

    I love Google+. I mostly use it from my cell phone and the mobile app is so easy to use. I also havn’t had any friends complain about getting their accounts phished as they have using facebook.