So Google+ has been available to everyone for awhile now and I thought I would take a look at our clients and the impact having a Google+ presence is having on their rankings.
As we know Google has been upfront that a +1 (like) is a signal in their ranking algorithm. In their Webmaster Help files they state the following: “This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, and we’re constantly tweaking and improving our algorithm to improve overall search quality.” The theory is very simple, if one of your friends has +1’d a piece of content and you are searching for something relating to that content your trust in your friends opinion on that piece is of more value to you than from someone you don’t know or an “regular” search result. In essence you will more than likely click on a friends result and another and the more +1’s a piece of content has the more trust it has earned and as such should rank higher than a piece than has less +1’s.
What I have found is it is true. Google does reward content with more +1’s with higher rankings than those without. Our clients that have developed a Google+ profile and integrated those profiles into their websites have seen a 85% increase in rankings versus those who have not yet developed a Google+ profile. Further more these increases started to occur on average within the first two weeks of creating a profile and integrating it into their websites. The clients that then continued to build their Google+ circles and were active in Google+ have seen quicker crawl times and faster indexing than those who just created the profile and integrated it.
So does this mean the way to achieve top exposure for your keywords is to develop a Google+ profile and go crazy with it? Absolutely not, what I have failed to mention before this is we continued normal SEO activity for those clients which touches all kinds of social media. However it is not a stretch to say the addition of Google+ did have a positive impact on their visibility.
While Google+ is still a step child in the social media world, it does continue to grow slow and steady and appears to have long legs.