Google’s “Newish” Social SEO

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Your SEO marketing efforts may be going to waste. Before you fall for those “We’ll get you to the top of Google” schemes, read this: Do you keep your Gmail open all day? What about all those who use YouTube, Google Drive or login with their Google Account in some way? They are in Google’s “Social Search,” sealing themselves from your marketing, unless you use Google’s rules correctly.

When you Google something, what you see is different from what I see: Google search results vary by location, time of day, and Google’s ever-changing algorithmic “secret sauce” factors (the latest “Hummingbird” algorithm changes were kept secret for weeks). Plus, Google is using the profiles & pages of Google+ to personalize what they show you.

Google+ may never become the next Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, but its influence is growing. Technically, the G+ user base is larger than LinkedIn & Twitter: See the map when you Google a restaurant or office? That’s a Google Plus page. See a +1 below a search result? That’s from a G+ profile. At the end of Sept 2013, you can only comment on a YouTube video using your G+. Likewise Google Talk (now known as Hangouts) is now part of G+. If Google is part of your life, you’re gonna be part of Google Plus… eventually!

Technically, social search is nothing new: Google actually announced this move in 2009. And in January 2012, they made this even more official with their “Search plus Your World” strategy. Google Plus simply made your “social graph” a whole lot more convenient for Google to put together. Is it all about Google knowing everything about you so that they can charge more for advertising? Sure. It may sound creepy. But if the ads were more relevant – along with the search results – it’ll actually be more useful for marketers & consumers.

Few people know they can opt out of Google’s social search
– or will want to… it’s good for good marketers:

As a user – privacy issues aside – personalized search can be rather convenient & cool, as Google would like to promote. For marketers, however, social search is a traditional SEO killer. It creates a friendly bubble around each Googler, more & more impenetrable by SEO propagandists promising to “keep you on top of Google.” Instead of seeing random search results – or worse, manipulated advertisements – we are beginning to see search results curated by our past search history, our G+ activity, and those from our Circles of influence.

So, the trick to mastering (or marketing via) Google’s “newish” social search is no longer about tricking Google’s search engine algorithm through SEO manipulation. Soon, even pay-per-click Adwords may be purposely more expensive if you’re not marketing through the social graph: Already your PPC advertising rates are affected by the relevancy of your website, i.e., your Google “Quality Score.”)

Rather, your Google marketing strategy should involve your relationships & revolve around your word-of-mouth referral sources & influencers. How can you have them +1 you? How can you have them share you with others? Google Plus pages – like all of Google – favors fresh, relevant content. How often are you sharing your expertise through G+? The more you +1 others, the more your relationships will see your name (& profile face).

Luckily, you need not change much to become G+ marketing savvy. Just continue using Google with your +Name on top (see image above). Of course, you’ll want to improve your personal G+ profile (simply click your name), and setup your G+ page for your business: Here’s where to start. Next, start blogging & sharing those links via your G+ page (like you do with LinkedIn).

Thanks for reading. Did you learn anything new about Google marketing? What kind of questions did it spark? I look forward to answering your questions about the not-so-new & ever-growing world of social search. Hope to be part of your Circle one day!

~ Vik @ phoneBlogger.net

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