Just as Google revolutionized searching the web when it launched in 1997, the beginning of 2012 marked a completely new way of searching the web. Known as Google+, we are now equipped with even more highly specialized and individual Google results for any bizarre word, phrase or question we search via Google.
As a Google user, it is exciting to be able to find more information, based upon location, past searches, what your friends recommend and a plethora of other criteria that will likely be more relevant than the results other web search engines would provide. For those businesses dependent upon a high Google ranking for survival this new search structure is both confusing and terrifying. No need to panic, simply adapt.
First, it is important to begin to diversify the driving force of traffic for your business. A dependency upon any one avenue is a recipe for disaster; take the launch of Google+ as case in point! Many companies have spent eye-popping amounts of their marketing budget in boosting their Google ratings to position themselves in the coveted top search results for their given field or keyword. Now with the overnight transition to a user individualized ranking system all those big marketing dollars may very well be down the drain.
Second, having said all of that, it is still important to appear in a Google search! Google remains a free platform and a major element in the matter of remaining relevant in the ever-evolving world of the internet. It is better to think of Google+ as a new way for searchers to find you, particularly if you’re a small, local business. It is just different way to go about it.
In order to adjust to the new method of Google searching with Google+ you’ll need to change your SEO and linking strategies in the following ways:
1. Understand Exactly How Google+ Your World Works
Lovingly dubbed “GPYW,” understanding what Google+ Your World is looking for to most appropriately rank your website is the first and most important step to switching up your online presence. Google+ will always retrieve information they deem most reliable and relevant, it now will also include quite a few different factors. Learning how heavily social media or external links are weighed can completely change the way you approach future marketing techniques.
While having a strong social media platform on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites is important at the moment never lose sight of the other ways your company can gain recognition. When Google users search it is unlikely they will click to visit your #1 ranked Facebook page, no matter how popular it is, than a legitimate homepage of your competitor ranked at #2. Remember to broaden your horizons.
2. It’s Easy
If you were able to create other social media accounts there is no reason you can’t establish a Google+ account. Google engineers are some pretty smart cookies and have streamlined the process so that you’ll be up and running in no time. Once you have an account you are able to search your contacts as well as upload other contacts – say past customer lists- to your account and add them within specific marketing targeted categories. It’s safe to say this process could take as little as 10 minutes and will put you in contact with more customers than you may even be aware.
3. Evolution is Vital
If you’ve been in the game of trying to boost your Google rankings over the past few years you’ll be the first to agree that the rules are constantly changing and what may have shot you right to the top of the results two years ago may have gotten you blacklisted just months later. Again, Google engineers are smart and are always hot on the trail of those able to discover loopholes to their program.
Your best bet has and will always be to play by the rules and use legitimate links and other web drivers to your pages.
Link building is an important tool for all businesses whether remotely dependent upon web marketing or a completely web based business to remain relevant and drive traffic either directly or indirectly. The strategic use of Google, Google+, and Google+ Your World is a great way to stay in front of those searching for you, but it is also extremely important to appear in front of those not searching for you or your business. This happens by building your links.
More links to your web address or other related sites build a stronger web of those left with an impression of your company and a path to find more information about it. Link building using email marketing or guest blogging on relevant topics for other websites can do more for your business than any social marketing engine.
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.