Ever wondered what was new in the world of SEO, how the latest Google updates are affecting the marketplace or even simply how Google works? Every Wednesday, EverSpark Interactive hosts their What’s New In The World of Google Meetup — a place where professionals gather to discuss what’s new with the search engine giant as well as clever SEO tips and tools. The meeting is free and all are welcome.
We’d love to have you join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 from 8am – 9:30am. Please RSVP on the Meetup.com link below. If you’re not able to attend the meeting, you can always catch up on our discussions with our blog recap posts. You can also refresh your memory from previous meetings, or just catch up on a few things you may have missed. After all, nobody likes taking notes if they don’t have to.
The meetup takes place at the EverSpark Interactive offices located at:
6 Concourse Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30328
RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/Whats-New-In-the-World-of-Google-Everspark-Interactive/
What’s New This Week:
Google+: The Why & The How
It’s a fact: social media is becoming more important than ever before, and getting both yourself and your company involved can have a great impact on your SEO. While many are already tapping up the social networking aspects of Facebook and Twitter, it’s important that you also bring Google+ into the mix. In a blog post by EverSpark Principle, Jason Hennessy, from September of last year, sharing content on Google+ and the power of +1’s actually has the ability to influence the search rankings in significant ways. This video blog goes on to explain the +1 phenomenon further.
Given the potential that Google+ could have on your SEO and influencing search, it’s easy to see why getting on board with it now is crucial for your business. EverSpark Interactive’s PR & Communications Coordinator, Denae Olberding, was on hand to give a full tutorial on signing up to Google+, as well as a few of it’s features.
Setting Up Your Google+ Account
There are two options when it comes to joining Google+ and getting yourself set up: a personal profile, or a business page.
You may not know it, but if you currently have a Gmail account, you actually have a Google+ Profile already ready to go. Your Google+ Profile represents you as an individual. It can be used to establish social connections, but it also allows you to establish what is known as authorship. Authorship essentially links an author’s content to their Google profile. This validates your content as an authority figure in your industry. Additionally, readers can discover your content on the web more easily and engage with you on it. Using Google+ authorship can help to build a strong profile, and will allow for any of your content to appear in the search results with your Google+ photo.
A Google+ Page generally represents a business or entity, rather than an individual. This is often managed by more than one individual. Using your Google+ Page for your business or organization ties in directly with your Google Local search as well.
Setting up these accounts is easy, particularly with Denae’s handy step-by-step guide. You can download this here.
Building Your Google+ Followers
Seeing as Google+ is being touted as the future of Google and a potentially huge element to your social media mix, building up that all-important following becomes crucial. Like other social media, you start finding followers by simply doing what it says on the box: be social. While every social media platform is different, Google actually makes it easy to quickly expand your followers with just a few simple steps.
1) Use Circles to your advantage.
One of the fastest ways to find people who would be interested in your content and your business is to start by looking at Google+’s circles. You can easily do this by simply typing in your type of business, for example “search engine marketing.” This will bring up people who are related to this in Google+. Through this, you can easily add them, but also explore their circles. Forget having to add everyone individually — you can actually add entire circles of people all in one go. While there is a limit to how many you can add a day, you can simply wait until the following day to continue adding.
2) Join communities.
Look for communities and interest groups that are relevant to you. Not only can you share your content with them, it will help you to attract more people to add you to their circles and give you those all-powerful +1’s. You can also uncover other circles while you’re within groups to add to your own.
3) Authorship, authorship, authorship!
Making sure your authorship is set up correctly can help people find your Google+ account and add you so they can interact with you. Be sure you’re setting up which sites you are a contributor to, both past and present. Additionally, use Google’s Webmaster Tools to ensure you’re setting up authorship correctly on your website.
4) Add in, then subtract out.
In order to show that you’re an expert or authority figure, it’s important to have more followers than people you actually follow. You can easily do this by adding people, and then taking them out of your circles once you’ve been added back. While it may seem slightly sneaky, it’s fairly easy to do and the other party is not notified that you are no longer following them.
Getting In With Google Local
As more people use the web to search for local products and services, ensuring that you’re up-to-date with your information on Google Local is hugely important. Your Google+ page will already be playing a part in this. While you can turn to companies such as Yext to ensure that their listings are appearing correctly across the web, getting your citations correct is also important. This has been covered at length in EverSpark’s blog post, What To Do About Google Local. However, another thing you can do to uncover citations is to actually try reverse engineering your competition with a site such as Ahrefs.com. Through this, you can see what citations they’re currently getting and try to get them pointed at your business. For an excellent tutorial on reverse engineering, see EverSpark’s previous blog post.
The Continuing Guest Blog Fallout
The fallout from the My Blog Guest penalty has continued to send rumbles through the internet, particularly as many sites were swept up in it due to their guest blogging usage. Are we now at the point where guest blogs are totally dead? According to Jason Hennessey, it’s truly about getting the ratio and the content right. If you are running a site that is all guest posts and full of only somewhat relevant content, you have a reason to be concerned lately. However, using a guest blogger who is an expert in their field to write educational, concise content is a different animal altogether.
Ultimately, while the penalty was damning for My Blog Guest, this could be viewed as the first step to taking content to where it should have been all along on the web. Focusing on quality, well-written and relevant content will ultimately provide web users with a better experience. Seeing as this is Google’s goal for search, it’s little wonder that this is the direction it’s headed.
Evaluating Search Quality: The Continued Drama
With all the talk about social signals and the importance that social media is playing on search, it’s easy to question how Google is determining the value of a site. Is it possible to separate what’s popular from what is actually the authority on a subject? Matt Cutts explains in his video blog:
With all the various releases and changes Google launches to their search algorithm, you can lose hours thinking about how they determine which version of their algorithm is performing better for users. What are metrics and how do the ultimately chose what to go with? Though Matt Cutts could clearly geek out about this kind of question for a few hours, he’s managed to narrow it down for everybody else.
During other What’s The In The World of Google meetups, there have been numerous discussions on human evaluators and how they work. Luckily, EverSpark was able to get a copy of their Google Search Quality Team’s Evaluation Guidelines from 2013, which is revealing to say the least. You can have a look at this document by visiting the blog post here.
Other Interesting Reads
- Did you know that Google+ has got your number? Now you can easily see how many times your profile content has been viewed right at the top of your page. Have a read of this article from Marketingland.com.
- If you’ve been using your Facebook or Google ID’s to log into Yahoo Services, those days are numbered. Yahoo has recently announced their intentions to stop user access with these ID’s. Read on to Reuters for the latest.
- As if they didn’t already have their fingers in many, many pies already, Google is now getting in on the home delivery game. Does this mean we’ll soon be ordering our groceries from Google Shopping Express?
- You may have heard the phrase that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and this would appear to be totally true in SEO. Last year’s massive data breach on Target.com may have been terrible for their reputation, but it would appear that all the press has lead to a massive boost in their search engine results. Will Google need to start thinking about how to tell the difference between good and bad press? Bloomberg’s Tech blog investigates.