Today’s super simple, yet super effective tip for your online business is — make more connections on Google+.
Making friends for the sake of making friends is usually good for the ego, but otherwise a waste of time on social media.
Google’s new “social search”changes the rules when it comes to circling people on Google+.
With social search, when you are logged into Google, and you type a search into the Google search bar, the search results favor those in your circles.
This is best explained by looking at an example. If I do a search for “social media strategies” while logged into Google, here are my results:
The “100 personal results” out of nearly 70 million means that the people in my Google+ circles have shared 100 pieces of content relevant to my search.
Now, let’s look at where and how that content is showing up in the actual search results.
When you see the little blue person next to the search result that I’ve highlighted with a green box and arrow, that means it’s a “personal” result. Or in other words, it’s something that was shared by someone in your circles.
In this example, the number 2, 5 and 6 results I received were personal results. I’m showing you the 5 and 6 results in the screenshot above. In the number 5 result, you’ll see that it says “Pete Cashmore shared this.” As evidenced by the result, Pete Cashmore is in my circles. If I click on the link, it will take me straight to Mashable, where the content originated.
In the number 6 result, the article was shared by Mandy Edwards, who is also in my circles. If I click on this link, it will take me to my Google+ stream where the content was shared.
You can see the power in this when you consider what happens when I log out of Google and run the same search. Obviously, I get no “personal results,” as you can see:
And when I search the first 5 pages of the actual search results, the personal results that were in the number 2, 5 and 6 positions for the previous search are nowhere to be found.
The lesson here is that you need to get in people’s circles so that your content will start showing up in their search results. This can be done right in just 3 steps.
3 Steps to Effectively Using Google+ in Your Online Business
Here’s how you’ll want to use social search to help your online business SEO efforts:
First, circle people who are in your general niche or who may be interested in your content.
Second, interact with those in your circles by commenting on and 1+ing the content they post. Most will then circle you back.
Third, share good and relevant content consistently on Google+.
Obviously, if your content isn’t relevant to what people are searching for, you aren’t going to show up in their results.
But, if your content is good and relevant, when people see your picture in the search result they’ll become conditioned to knowing that it must be good. And they’ll be more likely to click on it. This will help you become a respected authority in your market.
Now, is this perfect? No. Will you be able to abandon all other SEO efforts? No.
Not everyone is on Google+, but most people you care about get it, or will get it in the near future.
Not everyone is logged in to Google all the time. But, most people use Google for something (at least for email), and don’t bother to log out when they’re done.
I must admit, I am just beginning to put this strategy into place. And from what I can tell, social search is too new for anyone to have really calculated the results. But the potential is obviously huge and can’t be ignored.
Most importantly, this is a super simple strategy to implement. Considering that fact, and the huge impact it has on the search engine results, you’d be crazy not to do it.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below!