Google+, also referred to as G+ and Google Plus, is Google’s latest take on social networking (I’m not lying – Google Wave anyone?).
This type of social media is tied directly into search results displayed on Google.
In other words, features that are as seemingly small as “+1”s and author profiles can show up and affect search results for your website.
The move that Google has made is an attempt to make Google’s search results more useful to its users – intertwining human input allows sources to gain more credibility than simply how high they appear on a results page – while also putting up a fight against the behemoth that is Facebook.
Below are five reasons (and features) website owners should use from Google+.
- Search plus Your World – This is the big feature that Google+ introduced. It changes search results when you are logged into your Google+ account. It will show friends’ recommendations, posts and images that are relevant to your search. It also makes it much easier to see when presumed authorities write about something in Google+.
- Google+ Plus Votes – These are personal recommendations of websites for other people. Think of it like a poll of people that said, “This website was helpful.” or “This information was reliable.” simply by the click of a button. The number of plus votes added to your website’s page are displayed next to its results in Google. There is another driving factor behind plus votes that makes them so valuable to website owners like you, – they can potentially increase SERPs rankings for a result. In other words, plus votes equate to more traffic and more authority.
- Personalised Recommendations – Not only does Google+ allow for anyone to effectively recommend a website, it allows for you to see when your friends do so. If you or a potential visitor have a specific circle followed people and one of those people has made a recommendation for your website, you’ll see their profile picture next to it in the results page. This can extended past just friends as a recommendation from someone who has lots of followers can mean overnight authority for your website. Well, overnight authority in the eyes of some Google+ users anyway.
- Author Information – One major goal of Google+ is to bring authority and human trust into the search result equation. One way Google does this is by making it so that an author’s name can be shown beside something her or she has written. This name will be linked to his or her Google+ profile and it can make it possible for a user to look up other things that author has written. Again, this feature will allow your website to instantly build authority and trust.
- Groups and Circles – Google+ allows for users to pick how to categorise people that they follow. This means that if you have a website in a particular niche, you can create a public group in order to allow people to join and receive more information about a particular niche. If your website is in a competitive or active field like the IT field, this is a great way to eventually foster business connections.
The bottom line is that Google+ allows for more personalised search results and communication. These two factors are important to your website because they can help build authority and attract new users that would have perhaps skipped your website otherwise.
Google+ is essentially everything Facebook and Twitter would be if activity on those social networking sites could directly affect search results. With more features being added to Google+ each day like business profiles and a larger focus on Google+ content written by authors, now is probably the best time to start sowing the seed of future benefits for website owners for when new features are added.