Quick Experiment with Google+ SEO

First of all, I just want to thank the 75 people who +1′d my post on Marketing with Google+.  Seventy-five +1′s is far more than average around here and I appreciate the fact that you helped me out.  I wanted to see how/if more +1′s might raise the organic SEO value of my post.  It’s been 4 days now since I posted and I’ve started to see traction.

First off, as expected, when I am signed in to my Google account, the SEO value is pretty extraordinary.  As you can see below, my post shows up on page 1 of Google.  It’s the 3rd  web result following the “News” portion of the blended result:

Signed-in result

But of course, there’s only one me, and let’s face it, I am already impressed with myself. ;)









Of far greater interest is the SEO value when I am logged out of Google:

Signed-out result

In this case, the post shows up on the top of the page! … err, on the top of Page Two, to be precise.

That’s on Day 4, with seventy-five +1′s, 192 tweets, 54 Facebook shares, etc. Not too shabby, actually.  When I ran this li’l test on Friday afternoon, the post was not even on Page 2 yet … and no, I didn’t keep clicking “next” to see what page (if any) it did show up on: did I mention it was Friday afternoon?

Obviously I’d like to be on Page 1 though.  So what’s on Page 1 today?

Interestingly, most of the organic, unbiased web results on Page 1 of the “Marketing on Google+” search have not been as popular as my own post.  They are mostly distinguished merely by by having been posted earlier in the month, often several weeks earlier, OR, they are posted to more popular sites such as my pal Jason Falls’ Social Media Explorer or AdAge.com.  I certainly understand why Jason and AdAge.com would fare better overall.  But there are a few results in that unbiased top-10 result that are not only on less popular sites but pale next to my post’s stats with regard to the # of +1′s, shares, likes, etc.  Again, in this latter case, the posts appear to simply be older.

…Which leads me to wonder how this experiment will look a month from now.  Will the “Marketing on Google+” post rise from the top of page 2 to mid-pack on page 1?  Stay tuned.

SIDE OBSERVATION: Very much worth noting here is that my answer on Quora (merely a link to the blog post) does currently appear on Page 1 of the “Marketing on Google+” unaided search result.  Also, when I googled my own name, my Quora profile had better SEO than my Google profile… which is weird cuz honestly I don’t use or participate in Quora much, yet.  The SEO value of that site, however, seems to be fairly amazing right now.  My hunch (and it is only a hunch; in case you couldn’t tell I am not an SEO expert) is that the Google algorithm barons have decided that the ballyhooed quality of the audience/answers on Quora make it worth promoting content from that site.  And that may be the most fascinating observation to result from this whole experiment!

Posted on: August 2, 2011 at 10:17 am By Todd Defren
10 Responses to “Quick Experiment with Google+ SEO”


  • Via Madison says:

    One might easily think that Google +, being a social site wouldn’t affect rankings and algorithms and such, but would it really make an impact as early as now, knowing it hasn’t pretty much drawn in people to use it like they use FB?


  • Web Maketers says:

    I really think its too early for Google to incorporate +1′s into their algo. I would expect that in a few months time we will start seeing an SEO difference, when Google determines sites and content that is +1able (I will claim I coined that term!).. thats when the SEO effect will come in.

    What happens with Wikipedia? Will people +1 a wikipedia page? Will that mean Wikipedia will drop off the rankings.. no chance.

    I have a feeling that +1 is currently a data generation tool which will be used to find a correlation between content people generally do like and that which they don’t.

    But its good to see that you are doing the testing.. will check back to see more updates.

  • Ari Herzog says:

    At stake is the plus sign is not a valid character that can be ranked in a search engine result page. If you write about “Google Plus,” that will be indexed, but “Google+” will only come out as “Google” in their algorithms. This may explain your decreased rank when logged out of Google.

    Then again, Todd, I just googled those keywords and your article is nowhere in the first three pages of results — likely for the above reason.

  • Interesting stuff Todd! Do you have opinions at all on rankings based on age of post? Do you think this purposeful, or do you think it just takes the algorithm a little bit of time to, like, catch up? I am also curious what you think the cultural/market significance would be if, say, most consumers were availing themselves of individually tailored search results (something, no doubt, G+ will foster) and SEO got all that much trickier?

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