We all know that we should be building our Google+ network but, like a trip to the dentist, most of us just haven’t got around to doing it yet. Increasing our author rank by implementing the rel=author tag is simple enough – but have you ever thought about your PageRank? That’s right; every Google+ profile – including yours – has its own PageRank, indexed separately as if it was a website.
Here is your opportunity to directly influence the search results of every person across your extended network and – more importantly – your chance to influence those that aren’t even on Google+.
Why is that so important?
This means that content, shares and links across a person’s Google+ profile that they’ve worked hard to be ranked as, say, a PR5 will have search authority over content on a profile that is ranked lower. It’s essentially another way for Google to rank your content, based on your authority as an author and based on the authority of those sharing your content, in one big, happy, authority-building circle. And it’s not just Google+ profiles; it also encompasses Google+ pages and yep, Google+ communities, all individually ranked.
So, as you build the authority of your profile and therefore your ranking position, your content can potentially be seen by anyone, even if they aren’t in your network or even on Google+ at all.
Where can we see it?
PageRank – the score by which Google ranks the authority of pages in the SERPS from 1 to 10 (I’m sure you knew that, but still…) has been rumoured to be in use on Google+ profiles for a while. However, it’s only just beginning to come to light – mainly thanks to the slow-to-be-updated nature of PageRanking. Just like a regular website, most new or sporadically used Google+ profiles will probably have a rank of 0 or even N/A, but now, using a website such as prchecker.net, you’d be able to discover profiles out there with much higher rankings. If you need to see it to believe it, Mark Traphagen – the inspiration behind this article – is ranked as a PR5, with his own examples of Justin Cutroni and Brian Gardner both ranking at an inspiring PR6.
To check yours out, simply remove the ‘/posts’ at the end of your URL, as well as the ‘/u/0/’ from the middle. For example, mine is https://plus.google.com/116924445784293921784/ and currently ranks at an impressive N/A (perhaps I should start to follow my own advice).
‘But how do you go about building the ranking of your Google+ profile?’ you may be wondering. Well, as did I, and so – with a little research and a lot of coffee – here’s what I found out…
1. It’s not a numbers game
You might think that the first place to begin is to start maniacally adding other users to your profile circles. If only it was this easy! Alas, just like other social platforms and, well, the rest of the internet, it’s all about the social interaction. Sharing and commenting on other people’s content is a great way to begin to make a name for yourself and build your own hype, going way beyond half-heartedly adding them as a friend. Of course, on a very simple level, it’s still true to say that the more followers you have; the more likely it is that one of them will interact with your posts. It just might take longer.
2. It’s not enough to follow the cool kids
It’s a similar story here, folks. Adding the highest ranked and most powerful Google+ers to your circles won’t do much for your own authority; you need to talk to them too. Again, by interacting and building relationships with the biggest players, you should be sharing others content, commenting on or +1ing their content and generally being as natural and genuine as possible – just as you would in real-life networking. And hey, do it well and they might even start to share your content without you bribing them (we don’t condone bribing).
3. Content is still king!
You probably know this part by heart, but it’s always worth reiterating: good quality content is where it all begins! In the eyes of both search engines and other users, creating appealing, shareable content is crucial for all aspects of SEO. With regards to Google+, regularly updating your profile with interesting posts, images and videos are vital to building your authority and interacting with your target audience. It’s pretty straightforward: your content has to be good enough for others to want to share it.
So there you have it: make some great friends and create some great content and soon your PageRank will be flying up the charts.
Be careful when linking on Google+ because some links will be nofollow. To make sure that they’re dofollow, they need to be part of a rich text snippet. Instead of copying and pasting the URL, you need to click on the ‘add link’ icon and actually paste the URL into the field provided.