Did Google Just Make You An SEO?

Social Search, The Lines Blur

by James Thomas |
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If you’re an SEO Company you might have some inkling of what I’m talking about, if not, you soon will. The past month has seen some big SEO developments. The thing is, they can’t really be called SEO developments anymore. Social Search developments would be more apt, as they really are equally important to both practices.

October saw the release of Moz’s 2013 Future of Search report. For those of you unfamiliar with this report, this is pretty much the Holy Grail for SEO’s. This report combines the findings and research of hundreds of the best SEO practitioners in the world, to deliver an overview of what makes a search engine tick.

Basically, it’s a check list to search engine success. If you could somehow develop a strategy to miraculously conquer every single ranking factor in this report, I have no doubt there’d be no key phrase or industry you couldn’t conquer.

The thing is, this report churned out some pretty interesting findings. Guess what came out on top of the list as the number 1 factor most correlated with search engine success? (beneath page authority). It was Google+1’s.

Search Engine Correlation

What Is An SEO?

You might be wondering, what the hell is an SEO? SEO is the abbreviated form of the term search engine optimization, right? Well, that’s just SEO parlance. The term is used interchangeably to describe the actual process of search engine optimization, and to describe somebody who practices the art of search engine optimization, somebody who offers seo services. So an SEO is the equivalent of a social media manager.

Ah, right, context. Patterns might be forming in your head now. If you’re a social media specialist, you might have believed that up to this point the two were interchangeable practices, well, not anymore.

So, I’m An SEO Now?

Google+ is a social media platform, so it falls under the remit of the social media manager, right? A year ago I still would have agreed with you and said sure. Even the SEO Companies and SEO’s I knew weren’t fantastic at Google+ and were using it primarily for syndication and to boost their campaign with a few social signals. Now it seems to have gone completely the other way.

Google Plus

This is great news for social media marketers and small business owners. This development is effectively a big step toward empowering the small business owner and making him an unintentional SEO. Google’s goal has always been to provide the best possible user experience; recently they’ve aimed to do this by placing the focus on context, relevancy and trust.

Many small business owners use social media as a method of marketing and growing their business. This new development means that on top of the gains they receive directly from social media platforms, they are also going to be receiving SEO gains, which will in turn lead to more site traffic and sales for their business.

This is hugely powerful and I don’t think the gravity of it is still fully understood by many. A Google+1 is a social signal that is very hard to fake, it certainly can’t be manipulated in the same way as an SEO article, press release or any of the other older, out dated methods of link building.

How Do I Take Advantage Of This?

If you’re already a social media marketer or responsible for managing this area of your businesses marketing, keep doing what you’re doing. If you aren’t currently active on Google+, or don’t have a strategy in place, develop one and start reaping the rewards success on this platform yields.

SEO Companies or practitioners, if they haven’t already, are going to want to fully embrace this area of social. It can’t be treated as a standalone silo or an ‘add-on’ to an SEO campaign anymore. Unfortunately the two are very different arts.

Technical SEO requires logic and an analytical mind, whereas social success requires creativity and the ability to write awesome content. This means that generally you aren’t going to be able to excel at both.  My advice would be recognize your strength, and hire someone to handle your weaker area.

What do you think about the increasing importance of Google+ to a social search campaign? Connect with me on Google+ and let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


About the Author

James Thomas

James is the CEO of Square Social, a company that helps businesses grow using Social Search. Square Social use a hard hitting combination of social signals and search engine optimization to deliver an unbeatable return on investment. Contact James and his team here.