Google+ the social network of search engine giant Google is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Over the past few weeks I’ve been studying more and more on the benefits of Google+ for my clients as well as ways to use the most benefits from the platform. One thing I knew was important was to set up your Google Authorship, but I didn’t realize all the SEO benefits until reading a post by Bill Gassett and why REALTORS® need Google+.
In that post it mentions that using Google+ can sometimes help your site to get indexed faster than traditional ways simply by setting up your Google Authorship. So, I decided to put it to the test on a brand new Custom WordPress Site I am building for a real estate agent. The domain is brand new, was only purchased on February 13th, 2013, so it is less than a month old. I connected the domain to hosting and installed WordPress around February 20th. So, as of the time of writing this post, the site has been live two weeks to the day.
As we all know, one of the things that Google loves is content and the number of pages of content a site has can be a huge factor into how your site ranks. This is why I always urge my real estate clients to consider implementing a good IDX (home search function) that can be fully integrated into their site instead of just inserting one from another site via <iframe> as it can generate thousands of pages of unique content simply based off the homes currently for sale in a market.
Eight days ago the subdomain was created for the home search function of this site. Then, on Tuesday of this week (yesterday) I connected Google Authorship to this site to test Bill’s theory. I checked beforehand to see how many pages Google had already indexed of this site. The number of pages seen at this time was 26, zero from the subdomain. I then had a few phone calls to make and my weekly social media radio show.
Approximately 4 hours after connecting Google Authorship to both the main domain and also the subdomain, the number of pages indexed on the site went from 26 to 752 pages! I’ve connected this same IDX platform to many sites in the past, but never have I seen it index this quickly. The normal time it takes to get those pages to index is around 4-6 weeks. Not 4 hours!
Time To Stop Ignoring Google+
If you have been like me and completely ignoring Google+ the past few months as you feel it is just another social network to waste time on and distract you from business, it might be time to take another look into the benefits it can bring to the search engine optimization side alone of your site. In addition to the obvious SEO benefits mentioned above, you also can benefit greatly from the social search side of connecting to others on Google+.
The more I have thought about Google+ the more it makes sense to me how it is only going to continue to grow in power. Think about it, every single person who uses Gmail as their email provider, every single Google apps account, and every single YouTube account are already integrated into Google+. Millions and millions of new users are being somewhat forced into the social network each and every month.
In addition, Google is continually integrating Google+ more into each of these platforms to make users pay attention to their social network. Unlike previous attempts at social networks like Buzz and Wave, it seems that Google+ is surviving. As for me, my goal is to start spending more time over on Google+, continue exploring all the benefits it possesses and take advantage of all of those. If we haven’t connected yet on Google+, let’s make sure to fix that now!
What Should I Do Now?
The first thing I would suggest is log in and look at your profile. Is it completed? Do you have your profile picture in? Is the photo of you? If it is your dog, a logo, or something else, change it now. Google authorship does not want those types of images. They want a photo that clearly shows your face. If you have blank spots on your profile, fill it out neatly and completely.
The second thing you need to do is make sure you have your Google Authorship connected properly. Connecting is easy if your Google+ profile email is on the same domain as your site, if not, here’s the steps to set up Google Authorship. If you need help getting this connected, I can help, just contact me.
Once your profile and authorship is all set up, then get on Google+ and start connecting with others. Start circling people you know and forming those connections. The more people that connect with you, the greater your social reach will be. But, don’t just circle everyone, make sure you start engaging with them just like you do on other social networks. Which leads me to the final step, start using it regularly and engaging in conversations.
If you begin doing this, you can see a great increase in your site traffic and overall search engine rankings.