As Google+ continues to roll out its services, more people will become privy to its satisfying features, and will help curb the question of those currently uninvited to the party: “Isn’t it just like Facebook?”
In a lot of ways yes, Google+ is like Facebook. From the profile design to the homepage stream, its design characteristics are influenced heavily by Facebook, and for good reason.
But seeing as how Google is the big reason that SEO exists the way it does today, there is plenty of reason to believe that this new social network will have a much more profound effect on the way we look at SEO in the coming months.
As of right now, we know a few things that Google is doing (or likely plans on doing) with its social network to influence SEO, including:
- Indexing public posts from Google+, including the comments made on those public posts
- Providing Google+ updates in search results
But the most intriguing SEO concept to come out of the early showings of Google+ is something called Sparks. Essentially, Sparks are content streams that users can personalize based off their own interests. A user chooses which Sparks to follow and is easily updated on his/her Google+ homepage.
The mystery here is that no one quite knows the methods that Google has used to collect all of these news sources. The “Cleveland Browns” Spark, for instance, contains links to various Browns-themed blogs, so it doesn’t appear that Google will shun those from this particular algorithm right off the bat, which is great news, but how does one get a blog listed? It’s a question that, when finally answered, will result in a big push to be listed in popular Sparks.
With the Blogger platform overhaul coming (including a renaming to “Google Blogs”), one wonders if that will play a role in Sparks integration as well. While that is merely speculation, it would appear that big things are on the way for Google and the world of SEO.
And, as with the early testing of any product, there are bound to be changes. For instance, there currently isn’t an official way that allows users to choose a custom URL for their Google+ profile.
Additionally, you will find brand pages noticeably absent from the social network. That isn’t to say that Google won’t allow those to roll out with time, because that would be the smart thing to do (think of the integration that can take place with local search), but for now, those chomping at the bit to start a business page will need to have a little patience.
For now, if you are lucky to be invited to the Google+ party, be sure to look around and start using all of its features. Separate your life into Circles. Start a Hangout. Above all else, stay involved because it looks as though Google+ is here to stay.
Let us know: what do you think of Google+ so far?