How does Google Plus Affect SEO?

Google plus

As we all well know, Google Plus has now been launched albeit in testing phase. Even so, the search giant has now taken up arms against the social network threat which is Facebook. Now that social signals are a powerful means to enhance your SEO campaigns, the question is, how can Google Plus affect SEO?


We know all too well how Facebook affects search rankings with Facebook shares and Likes integrated into almost every website you land on. Furthermore, Twitter tweets from authoritative Twitter accounts are also measured in a way that is integrated into the search engine ranking factors of Google (and perhaps other search engines too).

Google plus is still pretty new but the way I see it, Google will really try to integrate the social signals they can extract from Google plus into their search engine rankings. Here are some of the reasons why:

It’s easier to measure social signals from Google Plus because they own it.

It’s easier to tweak stuff in Google Plus in order for them to get better social signals to integrate into their ranking factors.

People would be driven to use Google Plus due to the fact that it will have more bearing in search engine social signals factor.

An Experiment

Just recently in Google Plus, Rand Fishkin started an experiment (which I gladly participated in) on trying out Google Plus metrics alone in ranking a website.

Google Plus One button Experiment

We shared the experiment exclusively on Google Plus platform. Then we started clicking the +1 button for this specific website on its search results page using the keywords ‘vintage scooter helmets’

As you can see, the experiment worked.

Google Plus experiment

From a 16th place rank, it’s now in 6th place. Try it out for yourself. Google Plus works powerfully and Google has really given their Plus button a big advantage when it comes to their own ranking factors. It’s phenomenal. It’s crazy. It’s Google – and they now have full control. You either join the Plus one club or you lack one precious ranking factor.

Right now, if you’re an SEO specialist, you would want to have anything and everything you can get your hands on in order for you to rank – and rank well. I highly suggest that you implement Google Plus one button in your website and ask your friends and peers to click on that little bugger whenever they could.

Sharing in Google Plus also seems to have an effect – maybe that’s what Google is going to do next? Or perhaps they are already tracking what you’re sharing inside Google Plus?

In any case, I’m sure getting into Google Plus will never be a mistake.

New posts on Google Plus you might want to check out:

How Google Search Plus Your World Affects SEO

How Google’s Authorship Markup affects SEO

Google Plus Optimization

How Google+ Pages Affects SEO

Double Your Growth.

We curate the best of inbound marketing news and send over the top 10 we know will contribute to your growth - once a month.

  • interesting experiment. also the Google profiles & now the Google+ profiles are given search priority anyways.

    • Right. We very clearly see how Google is trying to weed out Facebook from its search results – replacing it with their own data. It’s subtle and yet it affects Facebook’s search traffic. Kinda makes you think…

  • Anand Singh

    this means if we want extra effect on Ranking factor along with SEO,then we should implement google + button in each page.Is there any restriction regarding limitation How much Google + button,we can used in a website?
    thanks for sharing this imp. information.

  • Interesting experiment, Sean.

    Of course, there are so many variables in this, since the SERPS will also be so highly affected by WHO is searching for the keyword term and whether they are in some ways connected to the people who “plus oned” the entry, right?

    In other words, is it a universal jump in rankings or localized to people within the certain social circles?


    • Hi Ana,
      Yes you definitely have a point in saying that all individuals are affected by personal search – which has now included social results. The SERPs we see now is more personal and social than ever before.

  • Yes.. Google + will decide whats and whats not to added to the search result

  • What is the best way to set up the +1 button? I have it on the individual post page as well as the excerpt on the home page, will this affect my site eg. should it be one or the other?

    • I personally think that you should have it on the individual post page and the excerpt on the home page – as you can see in my setup.

  • Nice to hear that it would somehow help boost in optimizing my blog. It’s all messed up as of the moment. Wew. I’l take that advice. +1 in every post. Thanks for the information, just what I need.

  • Great article!

    In fact are there other, legal ways to entice readers to share your website! You don´t need to buy +1´s! Also is there a lot cheaper Fiverr gig, just by the way! (I cant say much about the value!)

  • zenith

    If +1 is used to cheat for SEO universally, +1’s affect will be diminished, such as Google PR…

  • Mark

    Just did a google search for “vintage scooter helmets” and could not be seen on the first few pages of results. Was it somehow penalized?

    It was at position 16 before experiment
    It was at position 6 during/after experiment
    Now is MIA in google search??

    What happened or what am I missing?


    • Hi Mark!
      I have no idea. My guess is that they did not really try to retain the social value they got from the +1’s OR they were somehow, someway penalized for whatever reason. Anyhow this entry unfortunately doesn’t cover that for the time being. Thanks for pointing that out Mark!

  • How long did it take for the 10 place increase, from 16th to 6th? Hours? Days?

    • I’m not so sure Will. I’m assuming that the experiment ran for a week.

      • Ferienhaus Kappeln

        yes it really helps i also noticed this

  • Nick

    Excellent article and very well written and informative. I know that many people are using it now as a ranking factor and it can be a huge favor but remember, it’s only one fraction of about 1000 different types of SEO. I know we are starting to use it over at our website

  • Ligia

    i find this very useful and have tried it myself

  • Google would not be promoting +1 if it will not have an effect on their search engine rankings. Just like you said Sean that it will really have an advantage because it is theirs and you just proved it. Google is really doing their optimization very well.

  • Tom

    Thanks for the confirmation.

  • jagaa

    I`m very impressed with plus1 concept. My website traffic and conversions have been on the rise.

  • Yep, another Google ranking factor!
    I totally agree about the importance of Google Plus, but us SEO people sure do have our work cut out convincing website owners of the importance of all things social media.

    • SEO specialists are also educators of webmasters and business owners. It’s just really part of our job. I’m sure you’ve already taught your client a thing or two Hazel. :)

    • That site is nowhere to be found in my results today. Any boost it might have experienced in the short term is gone in the long term.

      • Yeah. Dunno what happened to it. Maybe it got to happy with this greyhat trick that it tried a blackhat technique. Lol.

  • Ömer Feyyazoğlu

    it surely effects the ranking , even with 2 pushes the site can get PR4 ranking.

  • Still I can not believe that this works. Google has already separated personalized results (more google plus sharing & likes to a post) and a normal results on google search, then I’ve doubt that why Google include the effects of sharing from g+ results of same page in a normal Google search.

  • There are quite a few websites now offering to sell Google plus ones. I wonder if Google can distinguish between real ones and ones that have been purchased. If these purchased ones are done by actual humans, and are done from different IPs over a long period of time, can Google still see that they are fake?

  • For those who think Google+ will fail as a social network, think again. With 80% of people using Google as a search engine, businesses would be dumb to not have a Google+ account. I feel that Google+ pages for businesses will eventually overpass Facebook business pages.

  • Mo

    I agree with you completely. Although I’m new to google plus, I think it will surpass Facebook in the future. Think about it, more people use google than Facebook.

  • So the idea of +1 your website through your circle might work as well? I am thinking of asking my friends to +1 my website locally, but I cannot find any information saying that it actually helps any. I mean is it a waste of time to get it +1ed or should it become part of the SEO strategy to help it rank. Just like Jack said I can buy +1 from Fiverr but will that cause my site to be blacklisted or just be a waste?

    • The idea of +1’ing your website through your circle sounds well and good but I advise you not to push it too hard. It can only help so much. If your article is really worth the +1, it will garner it naturally. Don’t get the services from Fiverr. I think those offers are not real and will not provide real results. Google is wiser than you may think.

  • To say the Google controls it is true! Valuable information. So, i guess we may as well start the plus+ 1.

    • Kevin Holte

      Wow, quite a rank jump! It makes total sense for Google to use that as one of the deciding factors, since the Plus platform is really quite efficient.

      • Mike

        Kevin – Not surprised you recommend TrafficAngels as you are the owner. I think that is an important fact to put out there.

        To All – A bigger question is who are the trusted names in this business. I am trying to do some research on this issue and would love to hear from user (not owners) who have experience with one or more companies.

  • Asking others to plus one on your link is not good idea Google will detect all those things and remove all those fakes votes after some time. Recently i m also suspended but i changed my name and applied for reconsideration then i got my profile back.

  • So really what Rand was trying to find out is could someone buck the system by just hitting the Google plus button over and over from a bunch of different computers around the world to manipulate rankings for a search term. I don’t know when this experiment was conducted but I just Googled the term “vintage scooter helmets” and the test web page was no where to be found, I checked 10 pages deep and it was nowhere.

    • Hi Scott, yeah it disappeared – that’s why we can conclude that social signals can earn you temporary rankings. After that, you’d still have to have great links to sustain that ranking. Otherwise, you’ll drop right back down.

  • K.

    interesting article. tried the same experiment on our website and from no. 23 it went up to 13th in google ranking. we weren’t able to maintain it though, it went back to 23 after 1 week.

  • Ya, Now I think. Its time to do google plus page. And check in seo ranking.

  • José Muñoz

    Very good advice, I bought 120 Google + votes on Fiverr from US IP´s, this is the first time that I take the importance it really has.

  • I just started my website and have been focusing a lot on my Google plus 1’s and I have noticed that my site jumps up in rank by one or two spots every time I run a Google plus campaign. Its actually very crazy considering my site is only a couple months old and I am in the running for a very competitive keyword mostly to what it seems to my Google plus 1 stuff. I have been doing some article writing and blog syndication as well but literally hours after I have got some Google plus 1’s I see change in my rankings.

    Great post!

  • John

    This is very good content. I have enjoyed reading your views on this subject and I share some of your views. Thank you for sharing.

  • I have put already the google plus in my post but not on my home page yet. I think I have to do that soon. Great info, thanks for this.

  • I use Google+ for the simple reason of it is owned by Google. I have a feeling that if the company is the same I will get ranked quicker as they will pay most attention to their own assets. Whether that is true or not I do not actually know however that is what I go for so Google+ is my choice mainly for marketing.

    • G+ is a powerful platform to be in. This post alone tells you why – but there’s more to it than just this. There is search plus your world – which has not completely rolled out. But if it does, it will change search as we know it – implementing a huge social impact to the search activity.

  • Manu

    Do anybody thinks if I created a Google + optimized business page with targeted keywords and puts the g+ button in my website home page, Do anybody think it will help my websites rankings?

  • Yeah, I already did, authorship of google plus is really helpful for SEO.

  • Shawn

    The Google + is getting popularized day by day just because of its specification.

  • Rajmi Ydda2

    If we don’t have followers so is it possible that google plus increase page rank ?