Google+: SEO Benefits and Claiming Your Local+ Page

Google Plus for SEOGoogle plus has been around for a while now, but I'm willing to bet that you're not using it for yourself or your business yet. My question for you is; what are you waiting for? Google + has been specifically developed to be a huge SEO booster for your social media presence, far more so than either Twitter or Facebook. Google has recently retooled practically everything about their search algorithms, includingthe Google Places (stay tuned for more on that below) platform. 

Here are a few quick ways to get started with optimizing your Google+ page, after which I'll get into some more specific logistics of setting up a business page, and, more importantly, getting that page merged with your old places account. 

Followed Profile Links

In the Introduction segment of your + page, you can embed as many followed links as you want, based upon whatever anchor text you choose. This is a phenomenal asset, and the more followers and interest your page generates, the more valuable (in theory) these links will become. This is the perfect opportunity for you to link back to your website, other social media profiles, etc. 

Get Your Content Indexed Super Fast (Supposedly)

Since Google+ is now a major part of Google's search algorithm, it only makes sense that when you post a link to new site content on your profile, it will be crawled and indexed much faster. If you are using Webmaster tools, I'd advise that you keep doing that as well...although there is fairly strong support for the Google+/Indexation theory, it's always best to hedge your bets. 

Jump On the Bandwagon Before it Gets Really Crowded

Surprisingly few people are taking advantage of the benefits of Google+, so now is an excellent time to start using it. Not only does it provide link-building potential for your site properties, but oftentimes a fleshed out and popular Google+ profile will appear before your site in Google's SE listings. For now, at least, this can provide you with quite an SEO edge against competitors who aren't using this overlooked social media platform yet. 

And Now the Part Where I Explain A Few Things...

In my own experience, and I have set up and integrated several Google+ profiles so far, one of the trickiest aspects of is to get your page properly integrated with your already established Google Places profile (stay tuned if you don't have one, that's going to be my next blog entry). 

Recently (within the last year or so), Google began converting all existing Places profiles into so-called "Google+ Local" pages. Add this to the fact that these "Local+" pages often get created without the knowledge or consent of business owners, and you've got a bit of a confusing situation. What you most likely need to do is to claim ownership of this public, automatically created page. 

In order to do this, you must first create a personal Google+ page (If this part seems like a forced march, that's because it is. ). Once you have done this, enter your profile, and click on the "Local" icon in menu on the left side of the page. 

Next, do a search for your business and your business location. Click on the listing with your business name, and scroll down the page until you reach the "Is this your business" question in the right column. Click on the "manage this page button. 

You'll be prompted to verify that you are the owner of the location, and you will likely only be given the option to have a postcard mailed to you with a confirmation pin that you will later enter. If you receive mail at your physical location, go ahead and do this. 

If you also have a P.O. Box that you receive mail at separately, there is a separate process you should follow. This is not well documented online, and the following steps are based on a procedure that I discovered through trial and error: 

What you want to do is to verify ownership of your business over the phone. In order to do this, you actually need to call Google. Visit this address to get the process started: http://support.google.com/places/bin/static.py?hl=en&ts=1399021&page=ts.cs

Under "Which verification method did you try" select " I tried PIN verification for a single listing" .  At the next prompt, check "The status is NOT needs action". At the verification method prompt, check "Postcard"  and then last check "Yes" when asked "Have you waited 15 days". 

You will be given a "call us" link and a contact form. Never mind the form and click the call link. You'll enter your name and number and a real live Google rep will call you within a minute. Simply explain to them that your are trying to verify your Local+ page, and ask if you can do it by phone. After this confirmation call, you should see your business pop up as a manageable page off of your Google+ account within two weeks or so. 


For more info on SEO or Social Media, please contact us.

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