Google Plus Starting to Impact Search

The link between Google Plus and the impact it will have on search results is one that many people are watching closely. Google Plus is taking hold and Google’s search product is a big benefactor as millions of motivated folks are +1ing, sharing and commenting on great content they create and find.

The content creation and curation going inside of Google Plus is one of the best reasons to participate, it’s also given Google an army of content consumers to help them hand select content.

The results of some of this work are staring to show up in search. Google Plus users that are logged into their Google account while conducting searches will start to see search results from people they are connected with in Google Plus. Search while logged out and you won’t see the shared by connections link and the search results will be altered somewhat.

google plus in search

Google Plus connections are highlighted and search results altered

This isn’t really news as Google has been trying to bring social search to life for some time and shows what they think are more relevant results when you are logged in.

The difference here though is that while social search results have been around, they’ve been limited to the perhaps few dozen people you were connected with through GMail or GTalk. With Google Plus people are connecting with thousands of people already and this is changing the search experience in more noticeable ways.

So, as a content consumer, your results may differ – for good or bad – I for one don’t like the altered search results, but some may prefer them.

But, the real question is – as a content producer does a high level of participation in Google Plus give your content a better chance of ranking well in Google? For now I think the short answer is sort of. If you have lots of connections in Google Plus and share and +1 lots of content, including your own, then some of that content will start to rise higher for searches done by your connections.

As spammers send bots into Google Plus to create large connection networks this will certainly be something Google will have to evolve.

Having said that here are three recommendations I stand by:
Get into Google Plus and build a following – it’s a better tool for business networking, content discovery and content sharing than any other network currently.

Add the +1 button to your content – the +1 button is integrated into Google Plus, but it’s also a part of the overall content discovery piece in Google search and needs to go along side your Like and InShare buttons on y0ur own blog and  web pages. – I wrote a How To Add +1 Tutorial here.

Example of author highlighting in Google search

Add the rel=”author” attribute to your content – Google is attempting to find another, better way to attribute original content to the original author. They have introduced a highlighting feature that will showcase Google Profile of original authors like in the image above. You need to add the rel=author attribute to your content links, point that attribute to an About Us kind of page on the same domain and have a link on that page pointing to your Google Profile page and a link on your Google Profile page should point back to your About Us page. Yoast does a great job explaining this with this tutorial for WordPress folks here

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Antonio Coleman

    This really what makes Google plus stand taller then facebook..they have the power to grow through the search engines.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • yasmike

    John i think we all knew this was going to happen, and i think it is just going to continue to evolve where the most shared and “+”ed content will start appearing higher in searches. I recently listened to your podcast with Chris Brogan about Google+ and i’m going to take his lead, put facebook on hold, and start using Google+ as my social media hang out.

    • ducttape

      G+ certainly has lots to offer business folks

  • Stephanie Chandler

    I’m with you–not sure I like the new social search results. It kind of feels like we’re being forced to build a network. One more item on the To Do list!

  • Robert XM

    I’m pretty sure we all saw this coming. As long as the focus of searches is quality over quantity. I would hate to have my searches skewed by someone “popular” that I follow posting a million irrelevant links over someone who posts the good stuff less frequently.

  • Home Remedies MD

    i think that Google plus and Google +1 will have a huge impact on the future of search

  • Naved Siddiqui

    I think it will impact the result but only for those who have lots of people in his circle and the other users cannot be able to see relevant content if they have a very few amount of google plus users in circle. So G+ will be good and bad both. Online Diary.

  • Yuri Amadin

    Thank you for this article, I am still new with Google Plus, hopefully I can make use of it too.
    Yuri Amadin-

  • Property Tax Law

    By reading your article it looks like the time has come when Google will again dominate the internet in another form & that’s additionally for sure. Google +1 has really made a huge impact & is still making it’s mark.

  • RapidSSL Ceritificates

    We believe that Google +1 will impact not only the result but it also improves the power of online branding with quality content as there is online user behavior study that online content improves user mind with quality content and the website impression.

  • Andy

    Well it was only a matter of time before Google+ starting impacting the results in a big way. It will be interesting to see to what extent it impacts the results. Really enjoy seeing Reel SEO being on the cusp of the state of online affairs, it’s one more epic post away from becoming my home page! If anyone want’s a few extra SEO and online marketing pointers you may find this article useful – 

  • ebpp

    i don’t think it’ll do much compared to regular SEO. It’s probably just one of the signals in the algorithm. You’ll still need a proper seo company to get your site to rank high. And yeah it’s hard finding a good seo firm, but you can just use to get some quotes.

  • Stevenwheater

    I can see a lot of people trying to take advantage of this with spammy methods to influence search results.

    • ducttape

      Certainly that will happen