What does Google+ Your Business equal? It’s probably still too early to tell. But in the days of the Panda Algorithm, quality content is king.
Ok, admit it, every once in a while you Google yourself. While going through search engine optimization strategies and hearing about what new practices will make Google’s algorithms twitch, you’re likely to Google your own business, and in a moment of vanity, perhaps you like to see what comes up in the search results when you type in your own name.
I probably Google myself once a month. Aside from my responsibilities as an online strategist at Groove Commerce – I like to flex my scribe muscles and do some freelance writing and blogging for a number of publications around Baltimore. From Sports to Television Criticisms, I like to keep myself busy outside the walls of our Canton office. On top of all the content I put out with my name on it, I make sure to use smart internal linking strategies on my blog posts, I make sure my tweets are filled with relevant hash tags, I make sure my keywords, meta tags, descriptions and page titles are all consistent and keyword-focused, etc. Everything I tell people to do on their sites. I also benefit from having a very original name – there aren’t many “Simon Habtemariam”-s in the world, let alone any with their own personal SEO strategy.
But regardless, despite all of my hard work in building my online presence, all it took was a few clicks of the mouse and my newly made, completely unpopulated Google+ page made it onto the top search results for my name.
How is that? How is it that a page with NO content could be considered Front-Page Quality Content?
Because Google wants more people to sign up for Google+ Pages. So they value content produced on their network higher than that of their competitors, or lesser-known sites. With that being said, Google+ Pages for businesses are still very much in the Beta stage. Not a lot is known about how to optimize pages because the jury is still out on how they work. But if just filling out your basic profile can put you up on the front page, imagine what the future will hold as the network matures into a full-grown fad.
The best way to describe Google+’s benefits to SEO for business is to think of it like a directory. Google-verified content is considered valuable content to the Googlebot, so promote your business’ phone number, descriptions and most importantly URL (backlinks, backlinks, backlinks). Since just setting up your page probably reaps a benefit, the job is about 90% done.
From this point, anything else you do is nothing but helpful, with minimal effort needed. Networking and making connections is probably the most functional part of Google+, and as the site becomes more popular the ceiling on user engagement will grow. So for now, add your employees and friends to your “Circles,” with the idea that if it becomes more popular, you’ll be ahead of many competitors who don’t currently engage with their customers.
The biggest advantage Google+ could have in the future will be the +1 feature for web content. Again, Content is key – it’s one thing to rank on the front page with your Google+ page, but it will be a whole different thing when user engagement will literally tell Google “I like this page, please put this in the top of my rankings.”
Remember, Google is Google because it delivers the best quality pages for your search results, and they will continue to find new ways to improve their page ranking algorithm. So you better believe, Google thinks any content on their own network, is the quality content.