The world’s most boring social media site;
but one you can’t afford to ignore.
Despite what the Matthew C. says, Moz reported that +1s have an “amazing correlation with search rankings” .
Also of note, is the fact that posts from Google+ show up in SERPs too.
Google+ remains extremely important in SEO, beacuse it helps to establish “identities” and “semantic relevance”.
Moreover, a lot of SEO heroes/experts, are suggesting that social will become more important than ever in 2015. As brands build more followers on social, natural links to their content should follow.
According to tripleseo.com there are 2 peak times for sharing on social – between 10am and 12pm, and then between 8pm and 10pm.
Best Times for Sharing on Social Channels:
- Twitter: 1 p.m.
- Facebook: 5 p.m.
- Pinterest: 11 p.m.
- Google+: 10 a.m.
- Email: 7 a.m.
They also state that people share to:
– Bring entertainment to others
– Define themselves to others
– Build relationships and connect with others (to stay in touch)
– For self-fulfilment (makes them feel involved with current ‘goings on’)
– To support causes they care about
Update for 2015 – according to Forbes, thanks to the failed Authorship programme, Google+ will lose some relevance, but Facebook and Twitter will become increasing important
Cheers Google, we’ve now lost the ability to report Keyword data in relation to SEO performance.
We can still use the Google Keyword Planner to research keyword opportunities
Use PPC and Paid Search data
Use Bing and Yahoo to get keyword data
Here is a screenshot of “Bing WMT”, 5 seconds after I added the code to the <head> of my homepage (hence, no data, yet). It DOES provide Keyword data:
…and here’s a close up of the Search Keywords table 30 minutes later:
Bing WebMaster Tools even have a Keyword Research Tool and a backlink checker:
More SEO types should be using Bing tools. In my opinion. Which isn’t worth too much.
Just look at all this Keyword data AAARRGGGHH! (this is very exciting for SEO pro’s):
Update to Keyword data – on the 7th January Google announced that they will provide some information relating to your site and it’s landing pages, in their webmaster tools.
And here is a screen-snippet from inside Google WMT:
Brand Mentions Will Become as Powerful as Links
‘Implied Links’ and nofollow links appear to be gaining more and more importance and influence. This is likely due to misuse of links and black hat link building.
Since the HummingBird update, Google is now more able to recognise ‘good writing’ and can therefore identify ‘good’ articles.
These new SERP features, will definitely influence click-through rate and as such becomes extremely important for SEO.
Check out the official Google tutorial/article here.
Remember that educational content is renown for building links and authority & trust. According to Seth Godin, if you can establish this authority, it feeds into the psychological need for people to belong to a group and follow a leader.
Conversational Search Queries
People are using mobiles more and more for search, and keyboards less and less.
With conversational search you ask your mobile to search, for example – “Everton Football club”
You can then follow up on this initial query with
“where do they play” or “who is their top goal scorer”;
rather than having to say
“Where do Everton play” or “who is Everton Football Club’s top scorer”.
It remembers your first search.
This will no doubt have a massive impact on how to do on-page optimisation going forwards, as keywords and phrases change drastically. SEO pro’s should think about questions, as well as keywords.
Mobile is quickly becoming more important, with Google now prioritising mobile optimised websites.
Use http://marketing.grader.com/ to see what your site looks like, and test in mobile ‘view’.
Again emphasising the importance of mobile search.
Google’s version of “siri” is Google NOW
Google are using Google NOW to personalise search even further, by location and your previous browsing and searching behaviour. It predicts what you want to search for, and makes recommendations.
It serves results based on information from your:
– Previous searches
– Google calendar
– Google finance
– Youtube views
This will make local search even more relevant, and proper schema will be vital.
Businesses must optimise and utilise their Google+ accounts and business pages. Here is a tutorial on how to claim a Google+ business page:
I’ve heard this term so many times it’s getting annoying, but it’s true and important:
“Don’t silo SEO from different departments”
SEO needs to be integrated with content marketing. SEO is effectively becoming more and more like traditional marketing, and content is an important part of this. Unlike traditional marketing however, Technical SEO and mark-up is of course a crucial and specific part of SEO that remains important.
For smaller websites, that currently fly under the Google radar, direct link building and guest posting seems to remain the most effective SEO technique available on a low budget. For bigger brands – campaigns appear to be the only way to build links, and stay on the right side of Google and avoid penalties.
Websites, TV, print etc all need to work together for optimal results. And everything must be mobile optimised. Which basically means making it responsive, and/or serving a mobile version that you can use without using a keyboard.
People will share content that affects them some how emotionally, and it is therefore important that all departments within the company are aware of what demographic(s) they are selling to.
Be unique whenever possible, and remember that SEO should have a big overlap with ‘traditional’ marketing. Crap guest posts and link targets should be a thing of the past. Should be.
Consensus is to make most of your anchor text brand, rather than product related. Smaller brands can get away with more product based / exact match anchor text.
The SEO experts are also suggesting that these can now damage a back link profile and rankings. Use sparingly.
Disavow on a Regular Basis
If you own or look after a large website, that attracts a lot of links, this is especially important. Monitor what inbound links you are receiving closely, and Disavow ones that are potentially toxic. E.g. links from really poor websites.
You do this in Google WMT. Check out the official ‘how-to’ page by Google.
– Look into how your business can use Google+ and generate more social interaction in general. Think about Hangouts and Webinars etc.
– Make everything mobile optimised
– Use ‘Rich Snippets’ whenever appropriate
– Don’t overdo traditional, direct ‘link-building’ such as Guest Posts
– When budget is available, utilise integrated marketing campaigns as an indirect form of link building
– Don’t put all your proverbial eggs in one SEO basket. Any time they feel like it, Google can change their algorithm and discount whatever they want, even links.
– Smaller brands can still use guest posting and infographics, larger brands should use these techniques sparingly and look to utilise marketing campaigns and content marketing as their major source of link-generation and brand mentions.
I hope this article is useful, I got a bit frustrated reading very vague articles about the future of SEO, so tried to make this a bit more specific.
No doubt next year Google will continue to take over the world, pay very little corporation tax, and put themselves at the top of as many SERPs as possible.
Article by Drew Griffiths