Okay, recently there has been some discussion surrounding the Google Authorship and Publisher topic. So I figured what a great time to cover another article for the topic since it has been part of an update being done for some websites I am working on.
First off, there has been some more talk about the social signals being used by Google and whether or not it affects organic ranking or not. At this point there have been no definitive answers by most. The general census seems to point mostly to ranking not being effected by Google+ social signals. Which to me does not make much sense. Reason being, Google places social signal factoring in for other social websites such as FaceBook and Twitter.
So why Would Google not Place Emphasis on Their own Google+ System?
Well actually they do place emphasis on their own system. But the real question is whether or not it affects your main websites organic presence. Well, first of all, just getting those +1’s bring’s about more exposure because you are now connected to the individual who +1’d you. For instance, here is an example for a local SEO company in the area I have plus +1’d.
As you will notice it shows me and one other person as being a person who +1’d this website. Since these individuals are socially connected and have +1’d the website, the search result shows it as being +1’d. Now, one thing you need to take into account, is the fact you are signed in and viewing it as a private result. Reminder, this only shows the +1’s if you are in a private session – signed in. If you set the session to a not private result then you no longer see the +1’s on the search results listing.
Now, let us take a look at the next example of a Google+ posting that was +1’d by me. It is of an ad on Groupon the client has placed for his business. The ad was posted on my profile and +1’d by me. It then appeared in the search results as an actual posting on Google+ and is not the actual website the ad was posted on. Of course this is also in a private session mode as well.
Now as you can see in this example a url to Google+ is showing. When you visit the Google+ page it shows you the posting and then has a direct link to the Groupon page where the original ad is posted by the client. Now if I were to +1 the page it would then display me as +1’ing the Google+ posting. This is a direct correlation between Google and preferential treatment of social signaling in the search results.
So in my mind Google gives direct social signals to certain +1’ing but only when viewing in private sessions to this point. When shutting off the private viewing the organic ranking for the first example, the result drops one organic position, from 3 to 4, while the second example disappears completely off the front page. So this still leaves room for interpretation on whether or not Google gives more organic placement to websites that have been +1’d or not. This is behind the scenes and probably will not be told to you by Google because they are guarding their secret. More less, it is an unproven theory by most individuals.
So What Does it do for you?
Well if you are signed in all the time the major significance will be the displaying of websites or posting’s you are connected with socially on Google+. Secondly, those individuals will be gaining for sure organic placement right in plain view because you have privately connected with those businesses or individuals. So sending out social signals on Google+ is beneficial, another words ranking is effected – just depends on the viewing mode, which is the debate.
It is in my opinion that Google protects their algorithm with the highest regards and does not make it easy for you to determine certain parts of the algorithm. I personally believe social signals from Google +1’ing does affect organic ranking no matter what viewing mode you may be in. Yes, I am sticking my neck out there on this one, but what the heck. My research points to it does affect search ranking no matter what viewing mode I am in. If it does not, it will for sure someday be a ranking factor. I would bet most say it does not effect organic ranking. Since this topic covers a wide area of discussion, you might find the next post important as well. It covers Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Hope you enjoy it as well.
“Remember, this is my personal opinion”.
Making use of Twitter
I have spent hours on end gaining contacts for Twitter. You may become discouraged when you first get started trying to establish contacts/followers but persistence will pay for itself eventually. Like any good search engine optimization you must maintain a constant campaign to prove to be effective. Social media marketing is no different and is just not about creating contacts and posting links. You must engage in conversations, Mention your followers and allow time for the word to spread.
Know Your Followers
You should also take the time to actually look at the website your followers are providing a link too. This may seem to be time-consuming, which it is; but it also can provide other way’s of connecting other than just through Twitter itself. Sometimes one website can provide information that catches your attention that you may have never found without visiting the website from Twitter. For example: there have been several times without using a search engine, I have found great content and information just by researching my followers and what they have to say or show.
Because of this, when you find something you like or of importance to you, sharing becomes almost a must because you want to let people know you like something or have found information worth sharing. This can bring more visitors to a website and produce more exposure for your business. You may also want to be more selective with what types of followers you’re connecting with and I highly recommend making as many of your followers validate themselves to avoid spammers to non-loyal followers.
Marketing a Web Blog
Simply showing off your web blog and posting links on twitter or just about anywhere can provide a substantial increase in visitors to your blog site. For instance, let’s say you just posted a new article and would like to show off it off. A simple Tweet can provide that extra traffic to your web blog you were missing because it can be spread throughout your follower community very fast. Plus, if it is worth spreading the chances increase even more that your followers will spread your content for you as well. Of course Twitter alone is not enough to bring home the bacon, but can help spread the word about your web blog quickly.
Networking Your Blog Content
If you have not done so already, try establishing some networks in other areas, such as LinkedIn, ExploreB2B, BlogLines, Blogger, NetWorkedBlogs, Blog.com and Digg for starters. Several of these resources are great to show off your work being written and created. While connecting on some of these networks, you can establish contacts with people or companies interested in what you might have to say, especially if it can help. Generating any means of connecting to others can be helpful but is also a time-consuming process as well.
Final Social Note
Do not forget to mention and follow others on some of these networks or interact them as much as possible. It will bring value to the table eventually. Remember that sooner or later your efforts from this will be rewarded. A great place to get started on Twitter is to make use of the Follow Friday. Until I had a guest blogger explain to me what Follow Friday was, I had no ideal of what #ff meant that I kept noticing. Believe me, I kinda laughed at myself because I have been doing this for sometime and looked at all kinds of info-graphics on Pinterest. Which was amazing considering how many of those info-graphics I had read and looked at since Pinterest started. Once I got a clue of what #ff was about, I began making use of it.
Since then I have been posting a #ff for someone new every Friday with hopes of the same being done for me. Yes, #ff me if you will. 🙂 I suppose this is a give and take type of situation, but from what I have learned about it; it can be a beneficial effort. O’ yeah one more thing, Pinterest is another great place to post your web blog content as well. Since I started posting my web post on Pinterest, my visitor count and followers has increased fairly well.
As you can see, there are lots of different way’s to spread the word of your web blog, not just by posting links to areas but by interacting as well. The combination of interacting and engagement along with posting in proper areas can do serious justice to bringing forth your accomplishment of spreading the word. Of course there are tons of other great ways to market your web blog, but the ones provided on this post can get you started. Do not forget to #ff me #linkworxseo – @LinkWorxSeo and follow me on Pinterest.
“Remember pass it along”.
Why do you Place Social Buttons on a Website?
During a discussion on LinkedIn, a gentleman posed the question about not being able to understand the reason social media buttons are on main business websites. I thought it might be nice to cover some of the main purposes of social media strategies and what can happen from incorporating social media into your main website do’s and don’ts.
The first spot to cover is this. What is the purpose of social media share and follow buttons? The easiest answer is syndicating your web content. Allowing for options is usually a good thing, but there are times when options are not always so great. For instance, you have a web page specifically designed for capturing leads – also known as a landing page. Since this is a specific page for lead capturing, why would you want to make social media buttons available on the page?
Some say having a spiel of share buttons available on a landing page is good. Reason being the share buttons allow for your landing page to be shared with peers and others throughout your networks. While others say landing page design should include no outbound links to other locations, as this can lead to no lead; because you allowed to many options for the visitor.
Although it may seem like a great thought to allow for sharing of your landing page, truthfully; not so hot. The value from sharing a landing page can come later. For example when you page is done and you post it somewhere by sharing. Then you hope for the disbursement of your page on those social networks without the need to have the page full of social sharing buttons, which then always one to two options on the page at best. This is an exact benefit of having a strong social network doing the work for you.
By allowing fewer options on the landing page, your conversion rate for the page can increase in fold if designed properly. As for a main website, people are not being asked to leave your main site because you have placed share buttons to social networking sites on it. Your visitors are being asked to share your content with others as to spread the word about your business. This is the same principal behind the landing page almost, except they have the option to quickly navigate away from your main site.
Why Place Social Share Buttons on a Website?
Well, this one I chalk up to user discretion. Some believe social and follow buttons are great while other find those buttons to be somewhat cluttering. Some also believe that share and follow buttons drive visitors away from your site as other believe they are access for easy web promotion of your site.
Although it is at the site owners discretion to decide, I personally have been playing around with several share and follow button options on single page entities and full scale websites. At this point, my finding’s are still in a testing phase. But believe treating a main site should be more like a landing page. Less options is better.
It was also mentioned by Peep Laja that unless you have a high number of like’s, +1’s or followers, there really is not much benefit or need to display or apply social share buttons. I tend to agree with this assumption. Larger companies showing those large numbers on those buttons have something to show off while the smaller companies usually have such a small number of likes, +1,’s and followers; it almost seems as more of a detour ant to publicize those numbers than that of a benefit. This is more of a social trigger by human nature.
Social Media Marketing Tools
Keep this in mind as well when deciding on whether or not to place share buttons on your pages or web content. Now a day’s there are tons of browser plugins and social sharing options available directly from browsers. Because of these easily installed plugins for web browsers, it may be just as easy not to include sharing buttons on a main website or even a landing page. These buttons allow for easy sharing directly from the web browser plugins, but the final choice is yours. The downside of not placing those share buttons on your web content is relying on someone have those plugins installed on the web browser. Question being, what if they do not have those plugins installed?
Providing Inbound Traffic to the Site
For example, how many times a day do you find yourself on a site like, lets say LinkedIn; and then going to some article somewhere else? I bet it happens more than you realize. These social sites can be full of links to great content to read. As a matter of fact, I usually end up going directly from one of those social sites to a main business site because of some title of interest or a catchy image on the social site. Yes, this social engagement is a great way to better understand your customer base, but is also meant to provide lead options too.
Plus, there is one other thing about going to a main site. You can not capture a lead on all these other sites so easily. The first reason, the visitor can be led a stray elsewhere very quickly on these social networking sites. Secondly, not all social sites have a way to capture a lead from within the site itself. You want to lead the visitors to your main website to capture the lead with no distractions or possibilities of going anywhere else. This would be another reason I lean to less options is better.
Truth of the matter is this thought. If you do not provide quality content and engage user properly on those social networking websites, your efforts can go unnoticed; resulting in much wasted time. If you are not creating this engagement and quality content that keeps the visitors coming back. The likely hood of those visitors going to a main website are even less likely to occur. Thus providing little or not inbound traffic.
If you have decided to place those great share buttons on a website, ask this first. Is the content you are willing to share worth being shared? Meaning is it quality. Does it teach or inform someone something of signification? Does it contribute to something worthwhile? These are some of the main points I feel are of relevance to the topic at hand. So if you can answer these questions as yes, then adding share functionality to your pages is not such a bad ideal. Otherwise consider other aspects and possibilities and chose at your discretion.
“Remember – sharing is great”.
Having the availability to share your content is always a plus, especially if it brings value to the reader. There are other reasons as well. Some will bookmark or share a site for purpose of just liking you or for the option to go back to it at a later time and date. They maybe in the middle of something and do not have enough time to check your site. This bookmarking or sharing will allow them to go back to it. I do this myself at times for the simple fact I may have come across a design ideal or found something I would like to read later.
Sharing Quality Content and Distribution
Good content spreads easier if there is a way to share it. For example your wrote a new blog post and want it to spread to your readers. First, when you publish the post especially through WordPress, the post automatically gets exposure once published if your accounts are connected. WordPress also gives you a kind of bonus once you have written so many post. This immediate view-able content can spread like wildfire the larger the audience. But why not add to this wildfire spreading by having share options on your pages or post.
Giving this option for new visitors or current visitors can generate a lot of traffic and spread your name faster. There is a factor that should be considered as well when thinking about adding sharing buttons to a webpage or website. First of all is your content worth sharing? Are you providing just a product or promotion? Does the content you want your visitors to share provide instructional information and is it bringing worthwhile share status. If your believe your content is good enough quality and should be shared you should definitely have sharing options available.
Another factor that has not be talked about yet is the fact; if you do not have sharing options on your pages it is still an available option for some people to have the same sharing functions on their web browsers. These web browser sharing plugins allow your content to be shared still but you do not have a way of knowing if the visitor is using web browser sharing plugins. The safe bet is to have them on your page’s. That way there is always the option.
Web Design Suggestions for Sharing Placement
The cluttered factor is another one of those decisions that can be made by you or your designer. If it looks cluttered find another solution. Place them at the bottom or on the sides. Most websites have the open space on the left or right to add these sharing options. If not there is always the option to place the sharing options in the footer, high up on the header or an overlay at the bottom of the page.
There are a variety of ways to add these, it will depend on your design and layout structuring to know what is best. Your top resources for sharing are AddThis and ShareThis. Look at LinkedIn for example they have it down to a small few and it takes very little to almost no space to add these sharing options. The amount of code is actually very little when adding these sharing functions and can be relatively easy to implement. If you are not able to access your underlying code (HTML) and (CSS) you should contact your webmaster or consult a web design company to get those sharing functions added.
The Social Rewards
Since the social boom has begun new and exciting changes have been occurring across the web. This increased social media presence on the web has brought about new changes to the search engines and how the search engines rank websites and content. Social indicators have become a proven factor in today’s algorithm’s and is another reason to build a social media marketing presence. Because of these new social indicators it is wise to add those sharing functions on your content and webpages. These social indicators are now able to be tracked through various analytic programs such as Google Analytic and others. Even FaceBook has created their own social data tracking system.
Every social indicator brings value to the table. The search engines are taking into account these indicators. Every time your content or webpage is +1’d or liked it provides a signal to these search engines that your content is meaningful and worthwhile. These indicators can provide better search engine results overall because of it. If you are still trying to decide ask yourself some of these simple questions.
It is definitely recommended to add sharing options to your content. Make an informed decision and decide because not all content is worthy of being shared. Giving an option to share is a tasty delight for your visitors, while providing this option of sharing allows more opportunity for your content to be spread. SHARE – SHARE – SHARE
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