Google Says Google+ Doesn't Affect Rankings

Does Google+ influence search rankings to any noticeable degree? It's one of the most hotly debated issues in all of search engine optimization and digital marketing right now. A lot of people, experts included, are claiming that not only does Google+ have an affect on rankings, it is one of the most important ranking factors going. Other people, also experts included, are saying that it makes no appreciable difference. Who's right? Who's wrong? Let's take a look at the newest opinion to hit the scene, one that carries a lot of weight.

Did you read the title? It's Google's own resident SEO ambassador and mouthpiece, Matt Cutts. He has come out to say that there is absolutely no relation between Google +1s and search rankings. Now, anecdotal evidence points to him being wrong, but anecdotal evidence is just that: anecdotal. According to Matt Cutts, “correlation != causation.”  In case you aren't code literate, != means "not equal to."

It's not just Google+ either. According to Cutts, Facebook likes also do nothing for your ranking. What actually influences rankings, according to Cutts, is compelling content. Getting a lot of likes and +1s is just a symptom. When you make great content, Google loves it, and so do people, so they share it around. Here's how Matt sums it up:

“If you make compelling content, people will link to it, like it, share it on Facebook, +1 it, etc. But that doesn’t mean that Google is using those signals in our ranking. Rather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content.”

Is Matt telling the truth here? That's the real question. A common theory is that Matt Cutts works for Google, and job is to preserve the secret sauce, giving away just enough info to help without ever actually showing Google's hand. That may be what's happening here. We'd say that focusing on creating great content is a good primary objective, but paying attention to the social side at least a little never hurt anyone.

Original post on Wikimotive's Blog.

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Comment by Timothy Martell on August 21, 2013 at 4:40pm

The key to writing great content is solution based thinking. Whatever field you're in you should consider what problems your clients might have and seek to provide valuable insight or solutions. For digital marketers, we try to provide useful tips and insight to help clients implement good in-house process. For a dealer they might think about explaining how to program a customers smartphone to work with blue-tooth, or how to program their key fob, or maybe even educate consumers on the value of having an oil change done at the dealer instead of Jiffy lube. Most customers still don't know that its often cheaper to get an LOF at a dealer vs a quick lube service. Make the case!

The things you take for granted as common knowledge every day are often some of the most valuable info your consumers will ever learn. 

Write with the consumers best interest first and as a way to get a lead second. If you provide great content and a path to conversion, it will get shared and people will convert by nature of that sharing.

Comment by Daniel Tegeder on August 21, 2013 at 4:34pm

Right on  Are there any studies about what it takes other than a call to action to be good content or good ideas for content

Comment by Timothy Martell on August 21, 2013 at 4:15pm

Not hard to figure out, just hard to repeat without great expertise. Its quality first, quantity second. Too much great content doesn't exist. Chances are though if all of your content is great, you'll never have to worry about posting too much of it.

Too much low value content on the other hand is ABSOLUTELY a BAD THING!

Comment by Daniel Tegeder on August 21, 2013 at 2:21pm

Great content  Hard stuff to figure out 

Is to much content a bad thing?

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