SEO (search engine optimization) changed forever when Google integrated Google+ into its Google search results a few weeks ago. Basically, Google is now personalizing (to a much greater degree than before) its search results, based on the links and +1 recommendations of people in your Google+ network. Check out the example below.
I did a search for Don Cornelius, creator of Soul Train, on Google. At the top of the search results, there’s a note that tells me here are 20 personal results, or 20 links or posts that mention Don Cornelius by people in my Google+ circles.
If I click on personal results, I see the full search results list, but with the personal links at the top of the list. Holy smokes! That means that the Washington Post article on Don Cornelius, which was previously at the top of the page, just got overtaken by a link on nerdist.com because someone I follow and interact with a lot posted that link on his Google+ page!
This is just another example of how Google is heavily favoring its Google+ social network and another giant reason to:
- Create a Google+ page
- Encourage social sharing of your content across all social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google+), but especially Google+
A study by Nielsen back in 2009 found that 90% of people 25,000 people surveyed “trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 percent trusted consumer opinions posted online.” This makes intuitive sense. Think of all the people in your Facebook network who ask for recommendations for a contractor, camera or pediatrician. And consider the crazy, huge influence of mommy and wedding bloggers.
So, what’s your social sharing strategy? It could be as simple as making sure there is a Share This link on all of your articles, meetings and products. Or you could actively ask your customers and members to recommend your products and service to their networks in your e-mails, tweets, and e-newsletters.