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Google+ Search Results – The Social and Non Social Indicators

February 19, 2012 3 comments

Google Social Plus Box

Google Plus Box

Google Plus Box

The real topic here is Google+ search and the results variations and how they are being generated. I noticed that some people could not seem to understand very well why a page may not show organically anymore when not socially logged in and why it can still show a Google Plus Box for someone whether logged in or not. The simple answer is that if you are out SEO‘d by another page you will not show in the results organically if their page is better optimized than your page whether you’re logged in socially or non-socially. The Google Plus Box can still show as a result, but you may have loosed your organic listing because of that fact. The Plus Box has to be running on a social algorithm instead of the organic algorithm or the algorithm is the same but has some type of filter is in place.

There are also times when the Google Plus Box does not produce any results at all. These algorithmic changes are random and can change on a daily basis so never expect the same results every day. If you are not logged in socially you can still get a result organically with the stats from your Google+ profile page by making use of the rel=author attribute which will be discussed later. But remember that just because there is a profile picture next to the search result does not mean you are logged in socially. You may also notice that at times you can see the number’s associated with the amount of people in the individual’s circle’s. Why Google show’s the numbers is possibly due to the fact that once a certain status is reached Google has the option to show this on the result. All of this wraps around the fact that you’re able to toggle the social/non A social results, but yet it still provides a Google Plus Box at various time’s a long with organic results. Let’s start with the Google +1 button.

Google+ 1’s

Google Plus One Button

Google Plus One Button

As you possibly have already noticed is that if you’re a Google+ user that you do not have the option to create a +1 page for a Google+ Business Profile. It only seems logical that Google should allow you to have a +1  for your Google+ Business Profile and not just your personal profile. I am at the fact that when you +1 something it only get’s listed on your personal profile page and not your business page. I understand that there is no way to split the +1’s into each specific profile page at this time, but it just seems to me that being able to only allow +1’s of my own link’s on my Google+ Business Profile would allow me to only +1 my own content. This would of course be primarily the same thing as bookmarking, which is really what the +1 does on your personal profile page. Now there are other factors of course involved with the +1 and what types of effect’s it has in the search results and it continues to be an ongoing discussion with lot’s of open opportunities for analysis and discussion, but more on that later. Let’s cover the indicators as a whole first.

Plus One – Post – Stream

Google+ One Link

Google+ One Personal Profile With Link

Google+ One Business Profile Without Link

Google+ One Business Profile Without Link

Okay, the post page allows for posting links of what you choose which remains on the page for an undefined length of time up to this point. This allows for permanent link’s to be built for your content in regard’s to your post which is exactly what the +1 does for a site you +1. So what is the difference between having a post or a +1 is the real question at hand. The +1 is a social indicator to Google that your content is being shared with professionals in your industry and networker’s interested in your content. This also brings to light the fact that you can not share +1’s but you can share post from stream’s and that are created from post’s. Now yes that may seem a tad confusing but that is why you should keep reading. Your stream is a post that can be +1’d which allows for another social indicator to Google that your content is being disbursed. The +1’ing, sharing and posting shows social activity to Google which is an important factor for the social SEO results. You can also gain social activity by re-sharing a post as well. This re-sharing of your post or post created by other Google+ user’s is also another way to generate new follower’s and show more activity to Google because this is too another factor when Google try’s to determine what content should be ranked higher in the SERP’s and the Google Plus Box.

Google View Ripple's

Google View Ripple’s

Your stream is constantly feeding content to your profile because you choose to follow certain people in your circles. This is when your content gain’s its’ maximum visibility for your reader’s. If your post catch’s the attention of one of your follower’s then the post has a chance to be re-shared from one person to the next. This is exactly what your want to happen. The more your content is shared the higher your social factor become’s to Google. You can determine your social share activity in several ways but the easiest and most effective way to gain insight on how a post may be performing is by viewing the ripples of your post.

Next, every post which is feed to the stream has the possibility of being +1’d by followers. If one of these posts is +1’d then those post are bookmarked onto the +1’s page for later viewing. This typical use of social bookmarking is a common technique used by SEO professional‘s to generate more traffic and quality links to a website. With that being said, it brings us back to the fact that you can not generate +1’s on your Google+ Business Profile but you can on your personal profile. Now there is the option to delete the +1’s from your personal profile if you are choosing to just +1 your on content, but then you lose the value of being seen on the SERP’s and Google Plus Box for something you +1’d for someone else. That added value give’s you additional exposure to people searching for something socially and organically, but only show’s up in the organic result with your picture if you +1’d someone’s page.

So you may be thinking why would you not want to +1 something you like when you it can bring you more exposure on the search results? Well if you’re like me you do not like all the clutter and let’s face it I am the type of individual who does not like clutter. It seems spam to me sort of to have the huge list of +1’s on a page with no organization or because someone would not let you place a link on their page unless you +1’d their website. Which brings us to the fact that some businesses have found ways to allow you to place a link on their website if you +1 their page. This become’s what is known as reciprocal linking. If you’re a fan of reciprocal linking then you like that option, if not you could consider it link exchanging which has minimal SEO gain now a day’s especially if it is not a relevant site to what your business is about, unless of course you are exchanging links with Google.

Tying it all Together

Rand Fishkin Number of People in Circles

Rand Fishkin – SEOmoz

Now if you have not stopped reading yet, we are going to completely tie this to the Google Plus Box being generated in the SERP’s. First thing’s first, if you have not noticed the Google Plus Box only show’s on the first page of Google when performing the search. The second page and beyond no longer display’s the Google Plus Box from there on. Some have said this is due to the fact that Google could lose out on ad revenue because it requires ad space to be taken up on the page. But honestly, Google has plenty of space to generate ad revenue so this does not seem to be so true in my opinion because the ads are still there and the searcher still see’s the top portion of the ads on the page and only needs to scroll just a little to see all the ads. With that being said, the Google Plus Box does rotate the social profiles if you were to refresh the page for the same search. This rotation can occur because social factor’s are constantly changing by the second and one profile could have gained more social significance than another. Also Google could be trying to play fair in some aspect by showing these on a rotation because your circles contain more than just a few people in each circle. The biggest factor though is how well your profile is optimized which of course can produce better result’s than your competitor.

No Google Plus Box

No Google Plus Box

The Google Plus Box does not show for all searches though when searching socially or non-socially, but still produces social significance in the organic results even if your toggle is set to social or non social. If you will notice though the +1 button option disappears from the organic results once you toggle off the social search. In past post this has been referred to as logging in and logging out or on/off. In order to +1 something you have to be logged in through a G-mail account. Even though you are not producing social results Google still is using social indicators to help produce results organically. Now, I can not say why Google does not always show the Google Plus Box, but for whatever reason I am sure they have one.

Something else that revolves around the social indicator’s and search significance concern’s how the data is collected and displayed by Google in Google Analytic’s. Several post have been written on this topic in the past few month’s about how Google display’s “not provided” data in Google Analytic’s. This loss of data has made the work of an SEO Professional more difficult when determining how people are finding your business in the search results. This ties in because when you are logged in socially the data is collected but listed in Google Analytic’s as “not provided” data. But if you were to log out socially and search the data show’s what keywords and phrases were used to find your business in Google Analytic’s. Now this does not have anything to do with the Google Plus Box of course but it is one of the factor’s correlating to the social indicator’s and how the data is utilized. One last thing that should be mentioned about search results, the authors attribute.

Author Attribute

Article Base Author

The use of the rel=author is part of Google and how they show results. But keep in mind the rel=author is connected to your Google+ personal profile. If you are not making use of the rel=author attribute then you should think about it, especially if your against people copying your content. The rel=author attribute can be easily connected by placing a link to your Google+ profile on your website and by placing a link on your Google+ profile to the page you placed the Google+ link to your profile on your website. You must have the Google+ portion in the anchor text for the link as well for this to work properly. You can also have a rel=author attribute associated with more than just Google+, this too is another preventive way of protecting your content and helping clean up the spam on the Internet. Article Base is another website that you can post your articles on and establish a rel=author attribute on as well, this same reciprocal linking still applies though. You link Article Base to your Google+ profile and vice verse. The use of the rel=author attribute is another great way to produce stronger social gain’s for your Google+ profile because you are more easily referenced to your Google+ profile.

Link Worx Seo – Ty Whalin – Google Plus Profile

Thank you for reading and hope this was helpful on your quest to reach the top. If you care to join and receive more information about proper and up to date SEO topic’s then please join me and contribute any advice, questions, doubt’s or responses. You can find a link above to connect or by selecting the graphic. Link Worx Seo tries to provide the most current and available information about how to topic’s and current SEO news. But as any SEO business professional knows it can be difficult at times to keep up with everything in the world of SEO. The coverage in this post was from a four month’s of analysis and first hand experiences of searching, features, trials, testing and compiled information. Got to love it, thank you and hope to talk to you soon. Link Worx Seo

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“If you are not on Google+ yet, then create a profile now.”

About Ty Whalin

I am a web designer, SEO specialist, programmer and internet marketer entrepreneur. I attended Central Florida Community College where I majored in Computer Information Administration and Rasmussen College studying Computer Information Technology. I am the Founder and CEO of Link Worx Seo, played drums for almost 30 years, father of one daughter and enjoy everything life has to offer.

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