Why Your Blog Needs Google +1s and How to Get Them

Searchmetrics.com, an authority in search analysis, has released their list of search ranking factors for Google US in 2013. And guess what comes out top? Yep, Google +1’s.

You’d be forgiven for answering “links” to that question, as most of us know that link building has played a major part of search engine optimization for many years. The truth is though, that we need to understand that they aren’t as important as they used to be. In fact, according to the study, they are now on a par with other social signals such as Facebook shares and comments.

As a search analyst, I’m seeing evidence that correlates with this data every day.

Blogs that have been working tirelessly to build a strong social media presence are benefiting from not only improved search positioning, but the referral traffic that these social signals send. While those blogs that focused more heavily on link building and Page Rank are now seeing more and more of those “built links” lose importance as Google gets clever.

Links are still important, I’m not suggesting that you forget about them because they still play a significant role, but rather focus on earning real quality links instead of building them. You can use your USP to influence these in marketing.

View the results of Searchmetrics study here.

Hot Tips for Google +1s

Why Do I Need Google +1’s?

+1’s are Google user’s way of saying “hey I like this”, much in the same way that Facebook likes work. They are embedded across the internet just begging for a click from those browsing. A click on a +1 button is like a vote from that person.

From the Searchmetrics study we can see that Google +1’s are not just a margin ahead of other social channels when it comes to importance, they are quite a leap ahead. Google have been pushing website and blog marketers towards using their services in order to help them better understand how to serve up search results in an unbiased way.

In the past, serving up unbiased results is something Google has found difficult due to the nature of webspam. However they are now looking more at “things” rather than “strings”. That is people rather than numbers and entities rather than keywords. An example of this is Google Authorship, which is a way for bloggers to send signals to Google that they wrote a particular article on the internet.

Social signals can not be faked. Sure, you can buy a few thousand “likes” for $10 but you won’t get any real engagement from these types of followers. And trust me, nothing looks more spammy in social media than a business page with 10,000 likes and no engagement.

How do I get Google +1’s

Now we understand that Google +1’s are the most important signal for ranking in search results, we need to understand how to get more of them naturally.

First of all you need to set up a Google+ page for your blog and verify your site on the new page so that its linked properly.

Next you should make sure to add the +1 button to your blogs homepage. You will notice that any +1 your new Google+ page garners will also be reflected within the button on your homepage, the numbers should correlate exactly.

There are a mass of communities in Google, these work in a similar way to groups in Facebook. You can either be invited to join or you should ask to join all the communities you can find that are actively engaging in your particular niche. Now every piece of good content that you share with these communities will earn you engagement. Every +1 that a post you share earns, isn’t only reflected by that post, its also added to your Google+ page +1’s, and your blog homepage +1’s too. This is the most important ranking signal you can earn!

Of course there is no guarantee that your posts will attract +1’s. You still have to work on ensuring quality content is published that will engage your readers, and you still have ensure that its relevant, but if you believe in promoting quality original content, as Google so desperately does, you will be rewarded with a relevant growth of traffic to your blog.

What type of success are you seeing with Google +1′s? Share your tips with us.

VIDEO from Ms. Ileane: Get More Google + 1s And Social Shares by Installing the Digg Digg Plugin for WordPress

For a full transcript of this video tutorial click here and scroll down to the end of the post

About 

Hayley Reeve is a search marketing strategist at Silkstream. A UK based web agency that successfully manage numerous ecommerce websites for their clients.

31 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Wao,i guess its high time i set up a Google Plus page for My Blog,by the way,Reeve, do you also think Google Plus comment system will have something to do with Blog Ranking in the nearest future?

    • I could only theorise that it would make more sense for Google to use its commenting system to understand trends data more significantly. That would be to understand what people are discussing at any particular moment in time, like the Facebook knowledge graph. But that just my opinion.

  2. I totally agree with you Hayley Reeve. But getting +1′s is never easy as compared to likes and retweets. But again, it is worth working on Google +1′s. Thanks for sharing this.

    • You’re welcome Sabiq, personally i find engagement on G+ much easier than most other social platforms. You must use the communities and do a bit of digging around for the right audience but most are very communicative!

  3. Good post for the bloggers which explains the importance of getting Google plus for bloggers.

    Am using it from long for my blog and yeah, as you told, blogging communities would help the bloggers to get G+.

    Thanks for sharing the useful article :)

  4. Hello Hayley Reeve,
    Social media requires engagement so if we are not spend time on Google+ then we cannot get the votes (+1′s). “add the +1 button to your blogs homepage” is also a great idea.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Getting +1′s on Google plus is a difficult job and uncontrollable ..You can get +1s to your posts,replies of and only if your post,reply is interesting to the reader.Anyways , thanks for sharing the tips ..i’ll try them out ..lets see how it fares for me.

    -Pramod

  6. Thanks Hayley for sharing this. Google is indeed getting smarter and in its bid for better results, sees the social media as the only reasonable and reliable index. I wish all webmasters read the handwriting on the wall.

  7. I didn’t realise that you should have +1 button to your blog’s homepage. How do you actually add the +1 on your homepage as compared to blog posts?

    • Hi Shalu,

      Its not a requirement, I added it to the post to help newer users understand how the process of earning +1′s on your shared content is carried across to your domain’s +1′s. You will see that the number increases in tandem with your G+ page as you share more and more content across communities.

      You can add the button to your homepage using the Google developers code here: https://developers.google.com/+/web/+1button/

  8. Nice article, Google+ is a must and probably the first thing to set up after starting a blog, it will help to get new posts to get index faster, I believe it will have impact on search ranking as well.

  9. hiren

    nice article i totally agree with your points google +1 are very important for any website when +1 increase also website popularity are increased. thanks for sharing.

  10. I have also read these outcomes and I’ve started to pay more attention on getting more +1 and likes. For me the best technique is to encourage the readers to share my posts at the end of the articles.

  11. Goolge Plus is moving ahead gradually but effectively; it is likely that it will replace some other leading social media accounts in near future; you are right one can buy Facebook likes but has not way but to win Google +1 that shows it is really priceless and unmatchable with its peers

  12. Google plus button very helpful for bloggers.It helps to get some more G+ for your blog.
    Thanks for sharing nice tips.

  13. normally i plus one to friend’s post that are in my circle and in return they do the same thing but it does not generate engagement for engagement this post must be shared as it gives exactly the required information.

  14. Hi Hayley,

    Your’e absolutely right – G+ has great potential and is becoming better than any other social media now. The best part is the amount of interaction you get once you join the various G+ communities. Not to mention the new friends that you keep making along the way.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice weekend :)

  15. I really did underestimate the power of Google+. I always thought it was an extremely poor man’s Facebook, but it is a bit better than that. Facebook is currently pushing a large chunk of the traffic to my site at the moment, but G+ is also doing its fair share.

  16. I’ll tell you what, trying to get people to “Google+” my posts is so much tougher than getting Facebook Likes and Retweets! With Facebook Like and Retweets if I share someones post then it is a good chance that they will do the same to me in kind, not with Google+ though.

    To be honest I haven’t logged into my Google+ account in a while and was not aware there were now groups just like on Facebook, I’ll certainly check these out, did you know that LinkedIn now offers groups? I was shocked as well when I found out.

    • Hi Dean,

      I must admit I struggled with G+ for a long time, and just when I was about to give up hope, I realised the power of the communities, and tbh (as you can see from this articles social stats) I can receive much more engagement through G+ for almost any niche i am blogging about compared to Facebook, which doesn’t even come a close second.

      I belong to a couple of the big groups on LinkedIn Moz and SEL, but really only use these to pick other SEO’s brains about technical issues. Maybe i’m missing something there?

  17. I think facebook is better source of traffic. I get more traffic from facebook than google plus. But maybe google plus is better for seo?

    • I have a 4 month old blog that is already showing a strong correlation between G+ shares and higher traffic. BUT I honestly feel that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to social networking for businesses. The different industries work in so many varying ways, some may find Facebook drives more quality traffic while others may find that Pinterest, Twitter or G+ bring in the highest conversions. I’d say, find out what works best for you by studying your analytics and applying a “rinse and repeat” strategy.

  18. I did not realize that social media had such a huge part in raising rankings now, very interesting article and I am now going to pay much more attention to my social media marketing.

  19. Since +1 is a google product and it shall be having some role in ranking, We need to share our posts at google page which is really beneficial in ranking.

    thanks

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