In topics: SEO | Social Media Marketing
Is Google Plus dead? As a social media network, yes — as a powerful tool in your SEO strategy Google Plus is alive and well.
Google Plus launched in June 2011 as a small social network fighting to gain popularity under Facebook’s shadow. While it had a tremendous start, after 6 months it was clear that they were losing the battle to the Facebook and Twitter social giants. Despite the numbers, Google continued to carry the social network making a few changes along the way. Fast forward to 2017 and Google Plus is still here, although not popular among social media enthusiasts.
So, if it’s not a popular social network, who is using Google Plus? Well, Google. According to EBiz, Google is the world’s most popular search engine with 1.8 billion monthly users. While Google Plus may be the forgotten child of social media, Big Daddy Google has no intention of kicking this little network to the curb. Why? Because it is tied closely to Google’s search network.
Need proof? If you’ve been faithfully adding content to your company’s Google Plus page, you might want to look at Google’s search results for your search terms.
Case in point: The Centsables, a financial literacy program for youth and teens has had a Google Plus profile for the past 3 years. At the start of this company’s social media journey a simple Google search for “financial literacy” or “teach kids money” would display results with no mention of the brand. After years of consistently posting to Google Plus with “financial literacy” and “teach kids about money” keywords and hashtags, The Centsables now appears on the coveted page 1 of Google search.
How did this happen? Google Plus posts appear to get indexed immediately for search. Google Plus posts will appear in search results faster than your own organic posts because Google will crawl and rank its own site faster. Sharing your company’s blog posts through Google Plus will help boost your search engine rankings and keep your brand high up on the SERP.
SEO experts Rand Fishkin and Sean Si tested and documented this connection this Google Plus connection. They ran an experiment sharing a specific link on Google Plus and clicking Plus 1. The URL ultimately moved from the 16th position to number 6!
The Google Empire
Google may not have been the name you think of first when it comes to social media, but it is the name when you think of search. Society has even introduced it as a verb. Not sure of how to spell a word? Google it!
As with any empire, Google continues to grow and experiment. Most recently it has expanded Google My Business to allow small businesses to add posts. The content will appear in both search results and map results. Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence with Google.
GMB is a dashboard that allows you to display information about your business and how your business gets found on Google. Google Plus is still a social network that allows you to connect with your online visitors. And Google Plus is now simply a part of GMB. Lean more about how to set up your GMB page here.
How to Optimize your Google Plus Post
Use a headline and use a longer description with keywords to describe your post and always include an image. When using automated social media posting tools like Hootsuite or Buffer, Google Plus will not allow you to change the thumbnail image, so post your blog as an image post with headline, description and link. This way you can control the image.
Google Plus and Hashtags
Google Plus allows you to use hashtags in your post, but rather than using hashtags to organize content, hashtags are better used for exploring the platform. If you start typing a hashtag into Google Plus search, auto type will fill in suggestions based on the letters you’ve entered. Google hashtags seem to be ranked by popularity, so depending upon your search you may not find a match for your tag.
With Halloween just around the corner, you can officially cross off a Google Plus Walking Dead costume. This network has no plans of slinking into the background.
Speaking of Halloween and other scary things, if search and/or social media scare you, just ask us for some help. Our top team of experts will rate your social media and search strategy for free! That’s no trick!