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Google+ Causing The Death Of Search Engine Optimization?

January 29, 2012 · 35 comments

in SEO

The Death of Traditional SEOWhen it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter whether something is right or wrong.  Once it is, then it is, and that’s it.

For a long time Microsoft’s hold on the PC market gave IE a decided advantage and thus all of my clients had IE optimized websites.

Today we’re seeing another company, Google, being looked at for anti-trust issues and Google+ is a big part of that.

Whether or not Google is ultimately “punished” for its actions is to me irrelevant.  What matters to me right now is knowing and understanding the situation and dealing with that situation as it exists.

Folks, right now the situation is simple.  Traditional search engine optimization may not be quite dead yet … but it’s going to die pretty fast.  At this point, search is social and social is search.  The death of traditional “seo”, or search engine optimization is upon us.

What matters now to getting good search rankings is “social involvement” and “social sharing” most of all.

Now let me be clear about something, I am not saying that it’s important for you to be sharing socially (though that would help).  What matters is that you and your company are engaged socially AND that the content you produce is being shared socially.

At this point, sites that get lots of +1s to their content will trounce their competition … and the number of links won’t really matter.  Websites that are getting tweeted and liked are going to murder everyone else in the market place and the mountains of money spent on “seo experts” won’t matter one bit.

In fact, Google is really throwing down the gauntlet.  People and companies that actually go out and make themselves market experts through information sharing are going to be gaining search and social popularity while those that just want to sit back with relatively static ecommerce websites are going to be crushed.

All Businesses Are In The Information Business

The plain and simple fact of the matter is that no matter what you sell, you’re actually in the information/education business.  Your job is to educate and inform your customers why they should do business with you.  More to the point, people and companies that are viewed as experts in the market can actually charge more than their competition, and therefore enjoy better profit margins, simply because people will pay a premium to work with the best.

This means that despite the advent of Facebook and Google+, blogging is here to stay.

It is from your blog that you can post great content of interest to your market.  From there, you can use Facebook, Google+, and Twitter to share that content out.

Understand something, with +1s being considered more important in many ways by Google than inbound links, that means you can provide actual incentives for people giving you that +1 vote and thereby catapult past your competition in the search engines.

Not only that, but at the end of the day Google is not really that good of a source of traffic.

Traffic from Google+, Facebook, and Twitter on the other hand are GREAT sources of traffic.  Traffic from those places are much more likely to buy from you without price shopping.

Not only that, but once you are creating great content that is being widely shared socially, you are no longer subject to the vagaries of Google updates which as we all know can sometimes cause massive reordering of the search results.  That means you won’t have to wake up one morning and find that your once great search positions have vanished and now you suddenly have zero traffic.

Instead, by creating content and getting it to be shared out, you’re obtaining traffic from a growing number of sources and in ways that the Google search engine couldn’t stop if it tried.

That is why I’m calling the end to traditional search engine optimization.

Yeah, Great, But How Do You Actually Do It?

The process is actually fairly easy.

1) Find out what problems, difficulties, wants, and desires that your market has

2) Create some great content that explains how to solve the problem, overcome the difficulty, or fulfill the wants and desires.

3) Put that content on your blog and link to it from Facebook and Google+

4) Go to fiverr.com and for only $5 buy some +1s and some Facebook likes

5) Get your friends to +1 and like your content.  ALSO get them to add your Facebook Page and your Google+ Page to their circles

6) Ask every customer to +1 AND add you to their circles (or like your Facebook Page) … give them a discount as an incentive.  This way as you create information it get automatically spread out.  A quick  word of advice, give a much bigger discount for adding your page to their Google+ circles than for doing the Facebook like.  The reason is that the G+ will also give you search benefits.

7) Take every piece of content and create a video of you just talking it out and post to YouTube.  In the very beginning of the description, link to your G+ Page (more help with the search engines) and tell people in every video about the incentive that you give if people add you to their G+ circles.

8 ) Periodically run some kind of sale or special promotion open ONLY to G+ people.  Now notice how heavily I’m favoring Google+ here.  Like I said, the situation is such that the more you can get people to use that, the more likely you are to also be heavily favored/ranked in Google searches as well.

9) After a while you will create a pretty significant body of content that you will have produced.  Take that, give it to a virtual assistant (Pam Drayton has a great article on Virtual Assistants here on opportunities planet), and have your “VA” turn it into a book and place that on Amazon in both print and kindle formats.  Now that you’ve “written the book” this will expand your authority presence in your market and likely cause a dramatic increase in the amount of sharing that you see of your other content, thus helping you even more.  I do have a special report on how to partner with Amazon on my blog, click here now to get it.

Only Two Kinds Of Businesses

The changes with Google and making G+ an integral part of search is quickly going to cause business to be split into two categories.  There will be those businesses that have made themselves experts in the market by creating content that is heavily shared; and because of that they are succeeding wildly.

Then there will be the businesses that struggle.

Which kind of business do you want to have?

To learn more about how you can get more traffic by having more people in your Google plus circles read this article written by Kostas Chiotis about the new Search plus Your World of google…

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

George January 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I feel traditional SEO will have its role to play. Google Plus, just redefines the search results among the circles to make it more appealing while you are logged in with your Google account.
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Matt Goffrey January 31, 2012 at 5:52 pm

The new Search+ does MUCH more than just make search more appealing. Results are delivered FIRST from relevant items that your circles (and their circles) have shared. AFTER the social search stuff is given only then is the organic stuff. Now there does seem to be some “weaving” of social results with “organic” results but the social side is definitely FAR stronger.
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Matt Goffrey January 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Links are still going to carry some weight. However, as businesses slowly but surely give incentives for +1s and circle joining, that will pull more and more people into G+ which will mean more and more people getting personalized results. Remember that Google is giving personalized results even when you’re not signed in!
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Bjorn January 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I think you are right. SEO as we know it until now will die slowly. The personal search result have been the goal of Google for a time now. And by collecting social signals they try to Taylor the results for you. Personally I dont like to get personal results, I want new info from different sources and not just from the same sources I have used before. But personal search will be the future, so we better optimize for it..
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Srinivas Reddy | Ask Sage January 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm

A truly excellent and well-written article, Matt. Even if G+ will not cause the death of SEO, social sharing of any kind will certainly make it less and less relevant. I have yet to really get started with Google+, but your article provides all the motivation I need. I like the strategy you lay out for increased social sharing: provide useful content that inspires people to share it far and wide, motivate them to share it through incentives and discounts etc — and you’ll come out a winner. Cheers!
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Matt Goffrey January 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Thanks for the kind words Srinivas! I’m expecting to produce a MAJOR effort that will explain how to get your content to go viral (sort of a “definitive guide”) that should be completed this week (working with Rand Fishkin and several others on it). Watch my blog for that.
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Matt Goffrey January 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Bjorn, I do have to SORT of agree with you. I am linked up with a number of experts in the social media and SEO space. I’m producing a MAJOR work right now on getting content to go viral and the “personalized results” was of enormous help to that. It helped me find content produced by people I already know and like and incorporate that into what I’m doing.

In other words, I think the personalized results DRAMATICALLY assist in research.

And thanks for the comment … it’s greatly appreciated!
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Stacy January 31, 2012 at 2:49 am

Google plus is going to change the way that SEO works without a doubt. Google is the giant of the search engines and that’s just the way it is. You’ve laid out a good plan to stay ahead of the game! Thank you for sharing!
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Matt Goffrey January 31, 2012 at 5:55 pm

You are absolutely welcome stacy, and thanks for the kind words!
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David Merrill January 31, 2012 at 5:47 am

We all get crazy that Google keeps messing with out way of doing business, but it seems to me that they are always leading us to IMPROVE our game.

As you point out, once we are “forced” to drive our traffic through social circles instead of SEO rankings, our business will be far stronger than before when we attracted larger numbers, but weaker relationships with our customers and clients (who in fact were not really customers and clients, but browsers and searchers).

On to our A game!
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Matt Goffrey January 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I have to completely agree with you David. What will happen is that good businesses that are actually engaged with their customers will beat poorly ran businesses that simply have large marketing budgets.

Social is going to dramatically level the playing field and I for one am glad about it!
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Hezi January 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I believe that you are correct, and I love some of your tips. The change has already begun, and those that act accordingly and prepare themselves will benefit tremendously.
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Matt Goffrey January 31, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Thanks for the comment, and you’re correct. By preparing now, you can succeed ahead of the others. Not only that, because G+ is still relatively new it means you can make a mark now in a way that would be difficult on Facebook with its gajillion people all vying for attention.
Matt Goffrey recently posted..How To Dominate Local SearchMy Profile

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Tosin February 1, 2012 at 8:45 am

Hey Matt,

Glad to meet you. I for one have never been so huge with G+ but I can understand why it can be a big factor in determining content rankings in the search engines.

While people can go out to get those likes and +, producing quality content will require people to do it on their own to make it go really viral.

The tips to producing those contents that are shared and socially accepted are timely.

Thanks
Tosin
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Matt Goffrey February 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Keep in mind that getting something to go viral using G+ is much easier because there is (for the moment) much less competition. Not only that, but there is a much wider amount of sharing on G+ than there is on any of the other networks.

Just something to think about
Matt Goffrey recently posted..How To Dominate Local SearchMy Profile

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Easther February 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hey Matt
Very Well Written Post!

Google+ has been a big deal now days, i have to continue build my Google+, thanks for the reminder ;)

all the best
Easther
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Matt Goffrey February 1, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Thanks for the kind words!
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Lou Barba@informationhighwaycardandgiftshop.com February 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Hi Matt,

I’m not sure that I agree with your assessment, since Google works very hard to eliminate any methods that have nothing to do with quality or authority about products. If your store has good products, and you’re consistent, eventually Google will find you and put you in front of people who want your prducts and want to do business with YOU.

Lou
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Matt Goffrey February 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm

What Google is doing is using social signals from G+ has a measure of determining that quality. Things that are shared heavily obviously have good quality (or else they wouldn’t be shared).

And if you think you can create an online store and just “be good” anymore then you will find very soon that you are sadly mistaken.

In todays market you plain and simply MUST become socially engaged. You MUST understand that you are in the information business. Do some searches on Gary Vaynerchuck and see how he used similar strategies to become one of the top wine sellers in the country.
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Lilach Bullock February 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I get 57% of my traffic from social media. I do see SEO changing, Google is constantly making changes to their algorithims plus of course more people are leveraging social media better.

I’m afraid I disagree with you though about buying fans/likes on Facebook. It really doesn’t work, they will never engage with you, never buy from you and are completely untargeted. And unless your friends are in your niche and would buy from you what’s the point in having them like your Facebook Page?
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Matt Goffrey February 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I think you were missing the point behind what I was saying with the buying of facebook likes. The point of that was NOT for engagement on facebook. It was simply so that the Google search spider would see “social engagement” on multiple platforms and for that reason rank you higher.

Understand that the said “buying of likes” should be ON TOP OF actually asking customers to like/review you at the “cash register” how ever/where ever that may be for your business.
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Anthony McNeil February 2, 2012 at 6:03 am

I personally like the new direction Google is going. I think it levels the field as far as ranking high in searches.

As someone who truly enjoys social media, I like the thought of seeing those that are in my circles appear when I do a search.

These are people I am familiar with and I value their opinions, so I will click on their content to see what they have to say about the subject I’m searching for.

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Matt Goffrey February 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I agree completely! The change to search is a dramatic improvement. Not only that but the change makes it VERY difficult to game the search results. Search spammers are going to have a FAR difficult time getting garbage to rank well through black hat B.S. because who you have in your circles and what they are finding will have a larger impact on the search results than simply links.
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JosephJYoung February 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Hi Kostas,
Quite an interesting post. It is important to understand how Google can change things overnight in their criteria for blogs and the content they provide. I recently experienced this over a three day period where my blog went from 700,000 rank to 3 million. So, I knew something changed.

I will look more closely into Google plus. I have done some things with it.

thanks
Joe
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Matt Goffrey February 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm

What’s important to know about G+ is that it’s still a small community. If you’re not going to embrace it, it won’t work. Get serious about it and the community itself can feed you as much traffic or even more as the google search engine can.
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viviana@attraction marketing February 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

It’s a complete review of Google+. I love it and I shall use it too..Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
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Matt Goffrey February 2, 2012 at 11:15 pm

You’re very welcome! And I have worked with the guys here to produce a HUGE effort on viral marketing. If you subscribe to the list I’m fairly certain you’ll be getting a copy.
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Mole J February 2, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Great article. I agree that SEO will have more of a social element to it.

I mostly use just Facebook and Twitter. I am not on +1 at the moment. May in the future.
I do like a lot of things that Google does. Your article has got me to thinking more about joining +1.

The conspiracy side of me tells me Google is getting too powerful though.
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Matt Goffrey February 3, 2012 at 1:13 am

lol … there’s posts out there pointing out that growth of facebook exceeded growth of google. In fact lots of people are openly questioning if Google is going to end up like Microsoft, a company that was once the primary driver of the market but is now simply another major player.

To me what matters is this:

G+ makes SEO easier. On top of it, from a purely social media perspective, several features of G+ completely stomp that of any of the others. Go onto Google+ and do a “hangout” sometime and you’ll be hooked. I guarantee it.
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Jeffrey T. Sooey February 8, 2012 at 6:59 am

Thanks for the very informative post. I have yet to get into the Google+ to have a feel of things. Social Media has indeed opened up more opportunities for marketing strategies and I am thankful as it has contributed to the success of my business. I shall listen to your advice and do a “hangout” sometime and try Google+.

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Matt Goffrey February 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Before you start doing any hangouts make sure you build up at least a small following first! A hangout with no one in it won’t do you any good.
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