Last month, Google + rolled out business pages for the social network. With the release of Google + Pages, Google announced, “For businesses and brands, Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you. Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face. All you need to do is start sharing, and you’ll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello.”
Yesterday, Mashable announced that Google + brand page information is starting to integrate into primary search results. A rep from Google confirmed, “Content from the +Page, such as recent posts, will appear as annotations attached to its associated web page under the sitelinks in search results if that site is eligible for Direct Connect. It uses the same bi-directional link and algorithmic criteria as Direct Connect.”
Since the beta release of Google +, there’s been plenty of speculation about the effect of a Google + profile or page on search engine optimization (SEO). At Fruition we’ve been encouraging our clients to create Google + brand pages noting that participating in Google’s own search platform can’t hurt. In a post last Summer we discussed embracing Google +, and the rest of the social media movement, as a means of brand protection. Social media activity has become a powerful part of the search engine puzzle, and you want your social media profiles to rank when your brand is entered into a Google, Bing or Yahoo search. Why is this important? Think about it as a way of protecting your brand. You spend so much time optimizing your website for a top spot in a Google search, but what’s to prevent your competitors from showing up just below you? If you optimize your social media profiles – Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, etc – for search engines, you are taking steps to maximize the number of search engine results that link back to your site at the top of a search engine results page. That’s powerful.
With the integration of Google + brand page updates into primary brand search results, there’s now even more reason to ramp-up your Google + presence. The inclusion of brand posts in primary brand search results is another promotion vehicle for businesses – offering you another tool to get more eyes to your contests, blog posts and other social media worthy activities. As always, we encourage you to establish goals for your social media campaigns and decide what makes the most sense for your individual business. If you have any questions about how to setup a Google + Brand or Business page or SEO and Social Media strategy, contact a Fruition team member. We’re always happy to help.
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