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When Google Plus was launched a year and a half ago, it set in motion a multitude of changes to the search landscape. From this point forward, getting traffic from the famed search engine is no longer about the number of backlinks you have.
A personal element was added to the search. The problem most small businesses have discovered over the past 18 months has been how to work with this new element in search to increase traffic, and continue delivering quality content.
Below are some suggestions for making Google Plus work for your search traffic.
You need to start thinking about Google's search engine like a web instead of an engine. I know that this is a weird statement; give me a second to explain the implications of this concept in the following paragraphs.
In the "olden" days before Google+, search traffic had a predictable pattern: while Google constantly changed their algorithm, there was a predictable flow to their thinking; it was, keywords + backlinks + quality content + competition = winner.
The Google+ era completely shifted this attitude, so you had to participate on their site for more traffic.
This is mind-blowing when you consider that throughout Google's history they were the equalizer in traffic. A site with no history could, when created in accordance with Google's rules, drive massive traffic.
Now, the process works in reverse. The more attention and authority you have the more traffic you receive.
You need to connect with your market on Google+, so they can drive traffic to your site. The larger your Google Plus network, the more chances you have to drive traffic.
So, how do new entrepreneurs do this without freaking out? Well, first do not freak out: breathe, relax. Then leverage the work of countless entrepreneurs on Google Plus right now.
3 ways to leverage Google+ for increased search traffic
First, start connecting with your target market on Google+. Add them to your circles. An easy way to do this is add shared circles from other Google+ users. You would be surprised at the number of users who have hundreds of people in their circle, and can provide you with access to their circle for free.
All you have to do is add the circle to your list of circles. A great resource to find shared circles is Public Circles.
Second, join relevant Google+ Communities. If you want to find the best prospects for your business, you might want to consider joining Google+ Communities. If you have ever participated in a forum or Facebook group, you can easily use a Google+ community.
Third, add your name to Google Authorship. One of the things that Google is starting to do to help bloggers increase their personal search relevance is to start tracking Google Authorship. Google Authorship links content you write on certain sites to notify Google of your status as an author on a particular site. If you blog on multiple sites you can increase your authorship, and in essence carry your Google reputation across the search spectrum.
While this idea is still in the early phases, you will start seeing this concept mentioned more and more as the idea takes hold with bloggers, and Google tracks bloggers across multiple blogs more efficiently.
Google+ has turned the tables on how search traffic worked. The great thing about this is that it provides a tremendous opportunity for those willing to work Google+ for additional search traffic.
Have you seen an increase in traffic via Google+? Have Google overstepped the mark by forcing bloggers to register with Google+? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image/thumbnail, circles image via Shutterstock.
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