A study conducted by Moz to measure the correlation between Google +1s and higher rankings provided stunning results. The study revealed that Google +1s had the second highest correlation after Page Authority with higher rankings.
This meant that Google +1s ranked higher in correlation than several other metrics such as Facebook shares and likes, number of root domain links, and keyword usage too. A similar study conducted by Searchmetrics found Google +1s to have the highest correlation with higher rankings, although the method used to get the results was a bit different.
While Google’s Matt Cutts has stated that Google does not utilize +1s directly for ranking pages, it does seem that Google+ posts ensures that various other benefits of SEO including instant organic links are considered in a unique manner that is not the case for other social sites.
There are several unique features of Google+ that differentiate it from other social networks. For instance, posts on Google+ get almost instantaneous indexing. Google+ is utilized by Google to get access to new and fresh content, and webmasters have known that URLs which have been shared on Google+ get indexed almost instantaneously.
While Twitter instructs Google to not follow a majority of links, Google ignores indexing Facebook URLs due to the strict data-sharing and privacy settings of Facebook. Posts and pages on Google+ also pass link equity after accumulating PageRank. However, you must understand that only shared links will be followed instead of external links that may be present in the body of the post. Uploaded images are also not considered for passing link equity. Also, specific links that may be present in the About page of your Google+ profile also pass link equity and are followed.
As compared to Twitter and Facebook, your Google+ post is actually optimized to provide semantic signals for higher rankings. Your post has an individual URL and can collect internal links through Google+ along with relevant anchor text whenever it is shared. Google may also consider Google+ Authorship in future for ranking purposes as indicated by the company.
On your part, you can certainly optimize and use your own Google+ to achieve higher rankings. You can begin by opening your Google+ account and begin sharing information, commenting on other posts, locating like-minded people, and trying to connect to people that command high levels of authority and influence.
You can also start posting your own unique, relevant, and fresh content on Google+ that has the potential to be shared and capture natural links. In case you engage in guest posting on well-respected sites then you need to include rel=”author” on your site. In addition, you can also add rel=”publisher” to connect your own site with your Google+ page, especially if you operate a business or a brand.
Adding social sharing buttons that are relevant to your personal or business profile is also a must for faster sharing of your content. You should also ensure that your posts are public so as to pass on link equity juice which may be restricted in case of private posts. You should also display clear and simple badges to enable people to quickly add you to their own circles.
You must also make sure that your Google+ profile is filled up with precise and relevant data since your profile will be considered in Google+ search results. This move will ensure that you reach out to the right type of people.
Hence, it is very important to have a presence on Google+ as well as reach out to people that command authority and influence with members and Google’s search engine algorithm too. While there may not be a direct correlation between Google +1s and higher rankings, there is no doubt that there are certain factors within Google+ that can affect rankings in a positive manner.