I recently came across an interesting article about Google+ and how it will inevitably affect SEO page-ranks on search engine Google.
The article is mainly about how this will affect business sites but it also relates to how this will affect news sites, especially those that are not ‘big’ new sites.
The article mentions that Google+, which now has over 20 million users worldwide will use its + button to determine a sites value.
“In addition to building a social networking powerhouse, Google’s aim with its “+1” button — the equivalent of Facebook’s “Like” button — is to determine the social value of websites, or, in other words, they want consumers to add personalized recommendations to Web content.”
This would be a fantastic thing for big news sites like News.com.au which contains articles from hundred’s of other news sites. People who “like” the article will drive traffic to the website. The issue I see with this is that the traffic is driven to News.com.au whilst the original story will not receive the same amount of traffic.
The article also interstingly points out that the current system of tweets, recommendations and likes is based upon a system generated by strangers :
“When looking at these reviews, users trust the opinions of strangers. They assume that these reviews are honest, but there’s always a hint of lingering skepticism.”
The article then suggests that Google+ plans to go further than this, to enable end-users to see recommendations for friends:
“Now imagine the same user is searching for the same product or service, but instead of having to rely on the opinions of strangers, they see recommendations from friends, co-workers or family members. Just like in real life, the opinions of people in their “circles” influence the decisions they make. That’s the potential Google+ holds.”
Therefore if someone in your circle of influence likes a blog, news article or website there is a likely chance that you too will also want to check this out and potentially “like” it.
The difference between this and general SEO is that Google page rankings may no longer rely as much or search engine words but rather on the amount of “likes” a page recieves.
This is a new frontier for SEO that every business or news organisation will need to acknowledge and adapt to.