When we think rankings, we immediately think Google (no offense, Bing). There is more pressure than ever to have a stellar online reputation, both for individuals and brands. Social media and SEO ‘gurus’ (as they very liberally label themselves) have studied the correlation between a brand’s presence on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and there is something significant that separates Google+ from the rest.
Let’s use a quick analogy here. I’m guessing that many of you reading this have gone through the laborious process of college applications. When those acceptance letters came through, it was a reflection of how you were evaluated as compared to your peer applicants—your rank, so to say. So when you didn’t get into Prestigious University X, but your friend Sally did, it left you wondering what you could’ve done differently.
Sally had a little thing called connections on her side. Those connections are able to verify her credibility, vouch on her behalf within Prestigious University X, and edge her closer to the top of that ranking list.
The same is true of Google and the relationship between users of Google Plus and SEO. Pages that utilize Google’s social media platform tend to rank higher than others and because of the copious volume of data Google has compiled on each user through search interactions, they have shifted from an anonymous IP address in the sea to a verified package—just like Sally. This isn’t to say that just having a Google+ profile alone is enough, just like no one can get admitted to Prestigious University X without a diploma solely because they have connections.
Another aspect that is unique to Google+ as compared to other social networking sites is that they are crawled through just like a normal website. This means they can ascertain page ranks of their own, which can in turn provide clout and a type of link equity. Seeing as Google+ pages with higher page ranks earn a more substantial linking power when they cite a source or link to another page, it is another authoritative source to build upon when diversifying linking structure.
Google is always shifting their algorithms, so nothing in SEO stays the same for long. As always, it is imperative to dabble in all facets that are conducive to SEO and link building; never limit strategy to just one aspect.