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Starbucks & The Economist Admit To Using Google+ Mostly For SEO Benefits

The New York Times published a report last Friday dissecting the benefits of Google+; they believe Google benefits more than its users do, but also highlighted two major brands using the network to enhance their SEO efforts.

Reporter Claire Cain Miller starts off by making a case that even though Google+ isn’t much of a competitor to other social networks, it’s still incredibly valuable for Google since Google+ is a hub for all of their products. As a user of Google+, Google can find out a lot about who you are from how you interact with services like Gmail, Search, YouTube, Maps, and so on.

This database of information is a goldmine for advertisers, which has always been a main source of revenue for Google. It also helps make the overall experience better for users through the ability to maintain consistency across all products based how you use them.

There’s still another audience that benefits from what Google+ has to offer: businesses.

When businesses join Google+ they are given prime placement on the right hand side of search results, complete with photos and user reviews.

You can’t even buy this kind of placement , instead Google gives it away for free to entice businesses to join their network.

Two world-renowned brands in particular were highlighted in the New York Times article for using Google+ because of the search placement it provides.  Starbucks, for example has a paltry following on Google+ compared to other social networks but still keep their page updated for the sake of good search placement.

Alex Wheeler, vice president of global digital marketing at Starbucks. shed some light on their Google+ strategy:

When we think about posting on Google Plus, we think about how does it relate to our search efforts.

The Economist, on the other hand, has twice as many followers on Google+ compared to Facebook, and they even use some of the native features like Hangouts. That being said, Chandra Magee, The Economist’s senior director of audience development, also emphasizes the value of Google+ as an SEO tool:

There is potential there to help us get in front of new audiences, but it also helps with our SEO strategy because our posts on Google Plus actually show up in our search engine results.

Say what you will about Google+, and many will be quick to say they don’t like how it’s practically forced on them these days, but it’s clear when used strategically it can greatly enhance a business’s SEO efforts.

Let me know what you think about Google+. Has it helped with your SEO? Do you use it for anything more than that? I’d love to hear your take on it in the comments section.

 Starbucks & The Economist Admit To Using Google+ Mostly For SEO Benefits

Matt Southern

Freelance Writer at MattSouthern.com
Matt Southern is the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert articles he contributes to many well respected publications across the web. Contact him via his website if you'd like him to write for you.
 Starbucks & The Economist Admit To Using Google+ Mostly For SEO Benefits

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34 thoughts on “Starbucks & The Economist Admit To Using Google+ Mostly For SEO Benefits

  1. If only Google could find a way of making Google + more user friendly it might become a viable competitor to Facebook. Until then though, companies such as the above will use it solely for the SEO benefits, because at the moment, this is all it really offers.

    1. There is no evidence whatsoever of any “SEO benefits” in using Google+. When I challenge supposed SEO professionals making such claims to produce evidence all I ever get back is “of course” and “because it’s Google.

      This spin on the original report, which does not even mention SEO, is classic Google propaganda.

  2. Who doesn’t use Google+ for SEO benefits? This is definitely a good case study example why brands should be utilizing Google+. Who else wouldn’t want the added benefits of photos and other local information showing in the sidebar for their name?

  3. Google+ lacks the mass appeal but for ranking sites, SEO Specialist and business owners have realized it is useful for the business in terms of ranking their websites.

  4. I can feel the trend and as google+ starts to really give major authority to those who have google+ accounts, I see google+ taking over the social media world. Those who want to rank will have to have accounts and therefore the content shift will start pointing to google +!

  5. Its a win-win for Google as always,and Social Signal will become more important day by day in Seo ,its just matter of time be4 google+ also overtakes other Social network

  6. I encourage all of my clients to use Google plus as much as twitter and facebook because of the extra visibility it gives, its also the only social network I use that I actually see links from in webmaster tools! The theory is also that Google plus usage in particular reviews helo your local listing rank higher than default! Its a win win set up google plus if you have not already – PS had anyone experienced links appear direct from another social network in webmaster tools yet?

  7. Google+ is a Google product if you have a Google profile then you ca post a story about your company or company services because it helps to visibility to your company brand .

    1. Why? There is no credible evidence of any SEO benefit in using Google+. Show me the data.

      Beware of SEO professionals making claims based on nothing but rumour. In this industry it’s all about the data..

  8. Reality check: there is no evidence whatsoever of any “SEO benefits” in using Google+. When I challenge supposed SEO professionals making such claims to produce evidence all I ever get back is “of course” and “because it’s Google.

    This spin on the original report which does not even mention SEO is Google propaganda. I wonder how much Google paid for it.

  9. If you watch Matt Cutts video on social signals, he doesn’t completely deny the allegations that social media has an affect on rankings. He say’s “to my knowledge we don’t”, any thoughts on this?

      1. Watch the video. The first line when he responds to the question.

        It’s certainly not denial, things like this need to be questioned.
        I’m as skeptical about google+ improving ranking as the next person, and from a case study i recently conducted on google+ I couldn’t find any correlation with google+ and improving of rankings.

    1. Why? Please explain.

      There is no evidence whatsoever of any “SEO benefits” in using Google+. When I challenge supposed SEO professionals making such claims to produce evidence all I ever get back is worthless assumptions like “duh”.

      This industry is about the data, Do not trust amateurs and charlatans who make claims with no data to back it up.

      1. I wouldn’t say the direct opposite of obvious and yes, there may not be any data to back it up directly.

        But it takes a quick look at the power of Google Authorship to see that it does in fact have SEO benefits. Promoting your status as a real individual on the internet by providing your G+ info to authorship seems to be helping a lot of people right now. Especially with the push towards Matt Cutts efforts to decrease low quality content.

        Proving your existence with authorship is definitely a move in the direction to cut this low quality ‘spam’ which has been mentioned in Matt Cutts latest post on guest posting. ‘The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO’

        Again, maybe saying ‘quite obvious’ was pushing it a little, but it would be detrimental to not consider that Google would be using their ever growing platform Google+ to not help SEO.

  10. I believe Google looks at Google+ and Google+ Local as a long term play. There was so much hype about “will they beat Facebook” in the beginning but it’s about much more than that. Seems that Google plus is just a better fit for businesses. Map listings, YouTube, Gmail and all the other products Google has match up much better than Facebook business pages. I’m sure some will disagree but I think that’s where it will it will dominate (local business) whereas Facebook will be more individual focused. Not to say Facebook won’t continue to push business pages/advertising but Google has more muscle here.

  11. The majority of businesses use Google+ for SEO, whereas the majority of individuals use it as a more “open” less-personal more-professional social network. Even if Google would like it to be, Google+ is not an alternative to Facebook because it serves a different purpose .

  12. No evidence of SEO value? Maybe you haven’t seen this but every single Google+ post I make gets indexed in Google SERPS. In addition, the authorship piece with Author Rank is all directly tied to Google+. In addition, once you are considered an entity by Google, your Google+ information comes up on the top right of the results when someone performs a navigational search.

    Sigh…the SEO community really needs some vendor-neutral standards in place.

  13. it gives, its also the only social network I use that I actually see links from in webmaster tools! The theory is also that Google plus usage in particular reviews helo your local listing rank higher

  14. Google plus as we all know that the product of the Google and Google gives credit for sharing the content or link.