Why Google Plus Wants Every Business Blogging

No, Larry Page won’t be cold calling you anytime soon. But as Google Plus continues to explode (now the second largest social network), you can expect to start feeling the heat from Google. Google’s powerful social media platform may not be as convenient as Facebook or as sexy as Instagram, but ignoring it is certainly more dangerous than ignoring any of the other platforms.

The Huffington Post recently devised a case for why no one should be ignoring Google Plus. It comes down to this:

  • Google Plus is the first social network that truly is based on trust. Google Plus users rank Web content by +1-ing blog posts and websites. In turn, sites with multiple +1’s end up getting higher ranking in the Google search engine results.
  • Google Plus users enjoy custom-tailored search engine results. When I search “content marketing” for example, I get specific search results that other people in my Google Plus circles have +1-ed.
  • Google Plus is integrated with YouTube, Gmail, Google Docs and other great Google products. We can expect that Google will be rewarding Google+ users with more perks.

How Google Plus Rewards Bloggers

Okay, so that’s all well and good, but what about blogging? Well, the Google Plus blogging connection has been inarguably forged. At this point, it’s only a question of how strong it will become.

Google Plus has this little feature known as the rel=“author” tag. This short piece of code can be added to your blog or website, letting Google know that this content belongs to you (and your Google Plus account). When you show up in the Google search results, your relevant Web page will look like this first search result (instead of the non-Google Author results below it):

google plus

Not only does that first link look more authoritative and click-worthy, it actually is. According to Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO:

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

By the way, when Schmidt says “anonymous,” he isn’t referring to any subjective position about your Internet status. In Google’s mind, if you’re not on Google Plus, then you are anonymous (and will be treated as such).

Avoid Anonymity: Set Up rel=“author”  in Google Plus

Setting up the rel=“author” tag really isn’t that difficult to do. If you know enough to operate your own little business blog, then you’re definitely capable. There are a number of short tutorials out there, but I recommend this one from Search Engine People, which will show you how it’s done from point A to point Z.

While setting up a Google Plus profile and this tag will produce the desired result (a picture next to your search engine results), I highly recommend using Google Plus actively. We’re not sure yet exactly how users’ level of Google Plus activity will affect their results in the search engine, but it’s very likely that more engaged users will be better rewarded.

If you’re a business owner and you’re not blogging, then the time to start is now. You don’t have to take it from me – just ask Google.

More in: 20 Comments ▼

Amie Marse


Amie Marse Amie Marse is the founder of Content Equals Money, a small content generation firm based in Lexington, KY. She’s been a passionate freelance writer turned business owner for over 7 years. Her philosophy is that the essentials of content marketing do not change from the small business to the Fortune 500 level, and that creativity trumps budget every time.

20 Reactions

  1. Thanks a lot, Amie.

    I remember when Google+ came out.

    I wasn’t first there-but I did join-up as soon as I received an invite.

    I’m starting to use it more and more.

    It’s a super-important network to be on.

    As you stated :)

    The Franchise King®

  2. Google loves good content because users love good content. Google+ is just another way Google can figure out what is “good” content and what is “crappy content written for SEO”. Authorship basically means that you put your stamp of approval on a piece of content. As Google starts to see how the content with your name on it is received they can give you more or less credibility going forward. Use this power wisely.

  3. “Google’s powerful social media platform may not be as convenient as Facebook”

    I know that statement is subjective but I am not sure where you’d arrive at this thought. Not only is G+ tied in to Google Apps (for all those businesses using Apps) its also tied into Youtube, Drive, Gmail, Blogger, Android, Chrome, and Analytics. That to me is almost the definition of convenient.

    • Amie Marse

      Exactly – it’s connected to everything. I have a highly productive Gmail address with my G+…but then my business purchased Google Apps for Business, so my work email is now off limits to my other google mail account. Annoying. I’m hoping against hope that they will fix this but for now, you can’t have 2 gmail accounts on the same account. Sure you can add it to your primary account but for now there is no true connection. There are probably lots of other arguments to make…but that’s the one that is personally frustrating to me and comes up every single time I want to log into my G+ account.

  4. Susan Payton

    Though I love Google, I wish I didn’t feel forced into doing everything on their network. It’s like living in a bubble.

    • I can see how you feel forced into the Google bubble. That really is true when you think about it.

      Ti

    • Why do you feel forced? You can use Google and Chrome without ever logging in to anything. You can also easily use alternatives like Bing and Firefox. I’m not disagreeing, just trying to understand why you feel forced.

  5. Hey, don’t forget about the Publisher tag (in addition to the Author tag). It isn’t really used yet, but will be in the future.

  6. I don’t know how others feel about this but personally I find Google it taking unfair advantage of their search dominance to give G+ users priority ranking in search results. Personally I don’t feel there is a need for me to have Google plus except for being forced to it because of rankings. I mean in terms of social networking and sharing Facebook and Linked-in satisfies all my networking needs and I just don’t need another platform!

  7. I’m just stepping into the G+ atm, but already I like it a lot. It’s massive already and set to get a lot bigger, so why not use it for SB

  8. Thanks for this detailed how-to on setting up authorship in Google. From what I’ve seen, I tend to instantly click on results in the SERP that have an avatar displayed alongside them. I think that apart from Google, a lot of people too trust such links more than ones which dont have a picture with them.

    A question: is it necessary that the name which you use on your G+ profile be the exact same name that you use to post on your blog, in order to have your avatar be displayed in the SERPs?

  9. This is great advice for both small business owners and content writers. I will definitely heed the advice and began blogging on Google+ in order to gain the exposure I’ve been searching for!!!

  10. Ignore Google Plus and Google search will ignore you. – Google CEO Larry Page

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