Google+: A Social Study in Search?

Understand how Google may be using data from G+

How immersed is your brand with available social channels? As the cat continues to gradually creep out of the bag about social’s impact on natural search results, simple steps can be taken to engage. Let’s examine Google’s own plunge into this realm. It’s no secret that the search giant continues to aggressively push its struggling Google+ product. Considered by many to be a flash in the pan, the much-hyped social channel is actually still showing signs of life – especially in the SERP.

John Lincoln of SEO Inc. argues that rumors of the quick demise of Google Plus may have actually been greatly exaggerated. Whether or not Google is aggressively leveraging its own assets to prevent yet another expensive addition to its product scrap yard, Google+ profiles are beginning to make leaps and bounds in organic search. If you have a personal Google+ profile and you’ve recently Googled yourself, you will see that your profile has not only gained ground on page 1, but more than likely jumped above the fold. Try it. Unless your name is Justin Bieber or Tim Tebow, the G+ page will be one of the first few results (if not the first) you will see for your name (you’ll first need an account). Well, according to Lincoln’s findings, this trend is also happening for Google+ business pages.

Lincoln’s research, which was published last week by SearchEngineLand, examines Toyota. If you perform a search on the auto maker’s most general branded term (“Toyota”) while signed out of Google, you will see that the company’s Google+ business page appears 2nd in the SERP – ahead of its Wikipedia entry, local dealerships, and surprise, surprise, its Facebook/Twitter pages. Within this “posting” you will see Toyota has opted to include content that is very promotional to its brand – terms that contain very worthwhile SEO value. By actively maintaining its Google+ business page, Toyota has seized control over a highly-visible search asset. This speaks volumes for the brand’s reputation management and ability to gain natural rank for the terms it opts to include in this particular social channel.

The obvious moral of the story: take the time to update all social assets to reflect terms or campaigns you would like to promote in the SERP. High-ranking social content could be an easy boon to your key business terms!


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