“Search is a complicated and evolving art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic tweaks, we encourage you to focus on delivering the best possible experience for users.” – Google
Thus spake Google.
SEO is now content driven and the best possible experience for users is to provide content that is compelling enough to be shared, liked, +1’d and tweeted.
These actions are votes that together with “Google Authorship”, verifies that your site and content is authentic and valuable.
Having said that, there’s a lot similarity in writing a blog post and a Google+ post.
1. Get visual. Images attract eyeballs. Using photos and videos in your posts will go a long way towards having your post read and found by search engines.
When I want to share an article on Google+, I download the photo from the article, or if I’m not crazy about it, use one of my own that’s relevant and upload that.
Then I write a short synopsis with commentary paying attention to the “fold” so that I can add a “Read full post here” link before the reader has to expand the post.
This is an example of one I did on my business page.
2. Keep it real – A Google+ post is not a dissertation. Although some are pretty meaty, it’s still a social platform where you want to encourage conversation. Ask questions or leave thoughts open ended. The level of interaction on Google+ is very high and comments can take a whole life of their own.
Keeping it real also means keeping it nice. Always give proper attribution to the authors of posts you’re sharing. Thank people who commented and acknowledge any feedback, good or bad. If you fall victim to a troll, there’s a “block” button for that.
3. Write as if your mom will read it. – Keeping it real doesn’t mean being sloppy. Check for spelling and grammar. Fortunately, Google+ allows for unlimited editing.
So even if you did hit the share button then noticed hours later that you had written “cock” instead of “chock” (actual example), you can still go back and fix that embarrassing typo. (he did).
You can change anything: words, title tag and attachments.
The one thing you can’t change is who you shared your post with. If you intended to share with just your “Best Buds” circle and you shared to Public by mistake, you’ll have to delete and repost.
4. Breaking up is easy to do. – Give us some space, please.
A big block of text can be daunting and since your post is one of many in a newsfeed, it may be skipped over. Break it up into skim friendly pieces.
I notice that with many of these “long text” posts, people will leave a comment saying they are “bookmarking” the post for later reading.
Question: What percentage of bookmarked posts do we actually go back to read?
5. Optimize your Google+ title tags – Treat your Google+ post like a blog by leading it off with a keyword rich title.
Unlike Facebook, posts in G+ are long form friendly. Google+ encourages this by giving us some basic formatting tools.
For instance, I always surround my title with *—* to bold them for better visibility.
This is how a recent G+ post appeared in search for it’s title:
Here’s the basic text formatting tricks:
— Bold: Any text between two asterisks (*) becomes bold when you post.
— Italic: To make a piece of text italic, put it between two underscores (_).
Strikethrough: Text between two hyphens (-) gets the strike-through effect.
There are many advantages to using Google+ as a publishing platform - SEO, large audience, Google integration and great UI. But unlike Mike Elgan, I wouldn’t suggest it replace your own blog.
As good as Google+ is, it’s not your property.
How has your Google+ experience been so far?
About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.