Note: Follow me on Google+ at http://gplus.to/bhartzer
Google+ (also referred to as Google Plus), is the new social network by Google that is very similar to Facebook in its functionality. There are some major differences, and I definitely am liking this new social network so far. Overall, I give it a thumbs up. As you probably know by now, I am certainly a tough critic at times when it comes to search engine optimization. After all, that’s what I do for a living (specifically organic search engine optimization). So, after playing around with Google+ Plus for a few days, I wanted to see how Google is treating the content on Google+ Plus, and which posts are getting indexed in the organic search results, and which posts are not getting indexed.
It is interesting to note that there have been a lot of issues in the past with Google’s organic search results not indexing posts on Facebook and other social networks that are considered “closed” social networks. With privacy a big concern, this is one reason why I have chosen to scrutinize the posts on Google+ Plus, to see which ones are getting indexed and which pages are NOT getting indexed and ranked well..
In a nutshell, here is how to make sure how your posts on Google+ Plus are indexed in the Google organic search results–and how to make sure that your Google+ Plus posts are NOT indexed in Google’s organic search results. Let’s first examine how to NOT get your Google+ Plus post indexed:
- Post set to Limited. If you select the “limited” type of distribution when you make a post on Google+ Plus, your post will only be shared amongst your friends (or the circle) you choose. If you mark it as “limited” then that will be the default on future posts–unless you change it. You can safely assume that if you mark it as “limited” then it will not get indexed in Google’s search results.
- Post contains little content. Even if you mark a post as “Public” when you share it on Google+ Plus, that does not mean that it will get indexed. There must be enough content in order for Google’s organic algorithm to be considered unique–just like any other page on the web.
Certainly it is pure speculation, but I would gather that since Google’s agreement with Twitter has been abandoned at this time, Google will at some point bring back the “real time” search results and include public content (posts marked as public) in the Google organic search results. Right now the only option we have access to is the search results that were posted in the past hour–previously we could use the “real time” search results that would update “live”.
So, how do you make sure that your Google+ Plus post shows up in the organic search results in Google? Let’s first look at how you can tell which posts are “making it” into the Google organic search results:
First, search for this at Google:
That search query will show the pages that Google has indexed from Google+ Plus:
Then, on the left side, click on the “more search tools” then “past hour”.
That will show all of the posts that are being added in the past hour. From the screen capture above, you can see that it’s mainly user pages that are being indexed, about 16,000 new ones each hour.
But let’s narrow it down to actual Google+ Plus posts. What does it take to get your post indexed, and not just your profile? Search for this at Google:
site:plus.google.com “post by”
We are able to narrow down all of the posts that Google is indexing because of the fact that Google is using, in my opinion, a BAD title tag. C’mon, Google, could you at least use a unique title tag for every post/page that you index? These all have content, so you could at least choose a better unique title tag.
As you can see, it looks to me like only about 150 to 300 posts in Google+ Plus are “good enough” to make it into the Google search results. They are not necessarily posted in order, Google is showing them based on when they found them. Or when they found them to be “good enough” to get indexed. I studied the posts to see what it takes to get a post on Google+ Plus indexed in Google’s organic search results.
Here is what is required:
- Mark it as Public. When you make the post, you need to mark your post as Public and not Limited.
- Add unique content. Just like every other page on the web that Google indexes (or doesn’t index), the content must be unique enough to get past their duplicate content filter. If at some time they choose to index all Public posts on Google+ Plus, that’s another issue. But for now, learn from Google Panda and Google’s normal indexing process–it must be unique content or it will not get indexed.
- Add enough content. When you make the post, make sure that it contains enough content. I would say at least a paragraph or two, perhaps even more if possible. If you really want it indexed, then write it yourself, don’t copy others’ content, and think of it as a blog post.
- Share the post with enough people. Make sure the post is “good enough” to be popular and literally “go viral” on Google+ Plus. As you can see, many of the posts that are getting indexed have been shared a lot. And as a result, they have a lot of comments. Again, the comments is what makes it unique enough to get indexed. Sharing is not enough at this point.
- Add comments. Posts that people like will cause comments–which in turn could make your short post on Google+ Plus get commented on a lot.
So, as you can see, it appears that Google’s organic search engine algorithm for Google+ Plus is just like every other page on the web–as how they are being treated. Google is not treating Google+ Plus content any differently than they are treating other web pages they come across. And it’s interesting to be able to see what pages are getting indexed and which ones are not–especially this early in the game. Now, if we could only get Google to allow us to change or specify a title tag for our post(s), that would be a giant step forward.