Just go social for SEO? Sorry... Study shows Google+ not a strong factor in SEO rankings -not yet.

17 replies
  • SEO
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Pretty well done study contradicts the mantra a few people have been pushing that social is the way to go.

Direct Measurement of Google Plus Impact on Search Rankings

If Google doesn't rely on Google+ how can anyone maintain social is now a major SEO factor.

Not there yet guys. Links to relevant content still rules
#factor #google #rankings #seo #shows #social #strong #study
  • Profile picture of the author Warranty
    of course. Google plus isn't a magic pill for your rankings and I think it will never be.
    It's like telling that weight loss supplement helps losing weight,and diet is helping losing weight. But in reality, the supplement responds for 1-3% of results and diet up to 100%
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  • Profile picture of the author webdevpro
    IMO going social can give you indirect benefits like gaining direct traffic and an increase in your website visibility which further increases the chances of sharing your web contents by your readers in their own networks or websites and so your website's link back will automatically be increased.
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  • Profile picture of the author A S M
    I always said and I insist many times ... that social is a good way to obtain DIRECT contact with potential clients. But so is manually taking emails from targeted websites and sending them an email

    Good read and thank a lot
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  • Profile picture of the author nadavs
    Even if it will be factored into the SERPs, it will be automatically abused (and it's really easy to abuse). Unlike links, you can't really distinguish between "natural" and "unnatural" shares or call something a "quality" share.

    Google will have a huge headache when they start doing it.

    nadavs
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  • Profile picture of the author jxam69
    I wish all other SEO studies implemented the scientific method as well as this one has done.
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  • Profile picture of the author bhartzer
    Pretty well done study contradicts the mantra a few people have been pushing that social is the way to go.
    Yes, very well done. I know Eric, and he spent a lot of time and hard work on this study.

    Turns out, though, that I personally expected that the findings to be exactly what he found: that if you isolate Google+ social shares so that you're only testing to see if that will help rankings, Google+ social shares don't count.

    But, we already know that Google doesn't trust social shares or social factors yet. It takes them 10 years to trust social factors. So, if you are Google, you make must use those social factors along with other factors in order to trust those social factors. So, combined with other search engine ranking factors, social shares, and Google+ social shares DO count and help rankings.

    The only caveat is that they have to be combined with other factors in order to "count" (because Google doesn't trust them yet).
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    The only thing I care about is I'm outranking my competition without me caring about G+ for SEO, while my competition does have a G+ account & the author image in Google SERPs. I crush that G+ author image with a larger/customized self hosted video thumbnail image (per page).
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    • Profile picture of the author dreamtoreality
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      The only thing I care about is I'm outranking my competition without me caring about G+ for SEO, while my competition does have a G+ account & the author image in Google SERPs. I crush that G+ author image with a larger/customized self hosted video thumbnail image (per page).
      I'm intrigued by this. I've just submitted a video sitemap, but what else do I need to do?
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  • Profile picture of the author PBScott
    Social media makes up over halve our visitors, if it were to help with SEO as well that would just be the icing on the cake.

    Funny he mentioned Facebook in the study, FB is all no-follow at the very least, and sometimes obfuscated javascript links. Not to mention, did anyone ever look at their Robots.txt

    https://www.facebook.com/robots/txt

    Google Plus is not as bad
    https://plus.google.com/robots.txt
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  • Profile picture of the author patadeperro
    Great article, I like a lot the methodology and the variables the guy took, thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author bhartzer
    Dreamtoreality, regarding images:there is schema markup that allows you to put schema code around the video, which then will cause google to show a thumbnail of the video in the SERPs rather than the authorship thumb. You have to host the video, as an embedded youtube or Vimeo video will not work.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by bhartzer View Post

      Dreamtoreality, regarding images:there is schema markup that allows you to put schema code around the video, which then will cause google to show a thumbnail of the video in the SERPs rather than the authorship thumb. You have to host the video, as an embedded youtube or Vimeo video will not work.
      Your wrong about the video being hosted on Youtube/Vimeo & getting the video thumbnail image to show up for your own domains money page. I've been doing that for a while (with no plugins). My domains/pages are ranked for the video thumbnail images, the videos aren't on my site (they could be If I wanted them to be).

      Matter of fact the Yoast video plugin does the same thing where you can host the video on a major video site (YT, Vimeo, etc...).

      The reason I don't go into detail on what all needs to be done is it would be Spamfest 2013 & I'm not about to take a hit in Google SERPs for the team. I don't have a problem recommending the Yoast video plugin because it's a paid plugin & he has the plugin throttled so it won't be easily abused (props to the guy for that). Most people won't pay the price of the plugin which makes it better for everyone else that's ranking the video thumbnail images.

      Sorry to OP for going off topic.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheLooper
    Trying to rank using solely one method/type of backlinking strategy isn´t working any more. I would say that this study just proved what we already know. Algorithm is changing more and more to prefer diversification if we monitor the trends - you can´t use only do-follow, use same anchor text, same platforms etc.

    Topic´s title is correct - don´t use only social for ranking a website, but let it be a part of your overall strategy.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheInternet
    It looks like the study is trying to isolate G+ from every other factor Google might use in its algorithm. I don't think it's going to be possible to demonstrate or disprove the impact of G+ without a daring nighttime raid of the Google HQ. Google just puts too much work into confounding attempts to study the algorithm indirectly to look at any variable in isolation.

    All I know is that G+ is in the top ten of traffic sources on my blog. I use it to get to know people and send a little traffic to my site. If Google chooses to use it in rankings, it's welcome to.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    That might be the case today.

    However, my hypothesis is that search engine rankings will be largely based upon social triggers in the near future.

    Why you ask?

    Well.. The smarter search engine will be based upon "real time" user input.

    Real time input that's based upon social media interaction.

    Failure to adapt or at least consider social interaction will result in an outdated search engine.

    Just my $.02.



    PS: Nobody can really determine what direction the search engines will go. The PhD's at Google and Yahoo aren't even sure.

    But the smart money says they want to provide the most relevant, popular, and pertinent information.

    One of the best mechanisms to accomplish that is by determining what people are sharing on social channels in real time.

    Just wait a bit.

    PPS: You already see this as it occurs on a small scale today. If you're logged into Google plus and conduct a search; and you or one of your google plus pals has the requested string in their Google Plus feed, they'll be among the highest ranked in the search results.

    What does this mean for the future?

    Who the hell knows.
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    • Profile picture of the author dennis09
      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      That might be the case today.

      However, my hypothesis is that search engine rankings will be largely based upon social triggers in the near future.

      Why you ask?

      Well.. The smarter search engine will be based upon "real time" user input.

      Real time input that's based upon social media interaction.

      Failure to adapt or at least consider social interaction will result in an outdated search engine.

      Just my $.02.
      Nope, real time calculations require too much processing power, and thus way too expensive. Not to mention social interaction isn't a uniform metric across all niches. Cute kittens and twerk videos would rule the web in no time.
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  • Profile picture of the author fortony
    This should be common sense in a way. If Google Plus gave some special SEO boost, all their competitors would surely be crying foul and their would likely be anti trust suits etc.

    Besides, everyone would quickly create a G plus account and any advantage would be lost.

    Like any social media, you have to work at it to make it count.
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