This morning I was notified of a very in depth study conducted by Joshua Berg in which he researched the possible PageRank of an individual Google+ profile. For those that may not be familiar, PageRank is the value that Google assigns to any specific website that helps to determine how that website will rank within search. There are hundreds, even thousands, of other ranking factors but PageRank is the foundation upon which the Google algorithm was created. This means the PageRank of a personal profile on any website could be extremely valuable.
Google Plus Profiles are Ranked Based on What?
After having been active on Google+ over a year it seems obvious the signals that matter to Google. Here are just a few of those signals that likely determine the “rank” of a profile page:
- Engagement Levels (comments, shares, +1s)
- Who is Engaging with Said User
- Activity on Google+ (number of updates)
- Value of Content Shared
- Use of the Google+ Social Layer with Other Products
- Value of Links to the Google+ Profile
- Social Shares from other Websites
These are just a few of the many factors and I could do an article on each and every one but I will save that for another time. What users must understand is that Google created this product to help them better search with social signals. Even if you are not signed into “Search Plus Your World” you will still see Google+ influencing search. So much so that some profiles are ranking very high for competitive keywords. This is what started the conversation about a Google+ profile having PageRank in the first place.
The Value of Ranking in Google Search
Anyone that owns a business, works in internet marketing or has a pulse knows the value of ranking on the front page of Google search. Just yesterday I had a long discussion with a brilliant friend about the long term business model of ranking in search versus a Facebook or Twitter based business model. There is no comparison whatsoever. There is a reason that Google makes tens of thousands of dollars a day on one specific keyword. When a potential buyer is ready to make a purchase they are going to search.
This is one of the many reasons a Google+ profile is so valuable. If you are a personal brand or have access to a major brand page it stands to reason that you would want to rank at the top of Google search. Time and again we have seen that Google+ helps people and businesses do just that. I will give you an example.
Let us say you are a carpenter in Orlando, Florida. There are many ways that you can get customers but one of the most efficient and profitable ways is to allow them to find you in a time of need. The best way to do this – Google Search. By using a Google+ profile to actively engage in related topics on Google+ you are telling Google that you have expertise in this field. You also have the ability to reach out to customers that may be on the other side of the planet. Every single comment you make with the words nail, hammer, fix, wood, construction, kitchen, renovation and so on will help Google understand who you are and how you should rank.
This is not an overnight process. Like anything of value in life, it takes time and effort. I am truly shocked to see my Google+ personal profile ranking ability. That said, I have been very active over the last year and I am doing what most are not, I am putting forth a lot of effort. When I see someone who needs a question answered (in my area of expertise) I do my best to explain, in detail, how to alleviate the concern.
Value Takes Time to Build
Since I have been active in the internet marketing industry (a long time) Google has delayed the update of PageRank value to users. There is a reason for this. They do not want website owners to obsess over the little things that may increase or decrease PageRank. Just this week, one of the top Google Search engineers said that creating quality content that users want to read is the best way to rank in search. This takes a lot of time and effort. The same is true with a Google+ profile.
Do not feel as if you can get active on Google+ today and obtain a PageRank 5 profile ranking within a few weeks or even months. My good friend Mark Traphagen has been very active on Google+ since day three (July 2011) and he has a PageRank 5. I have been active since March 2012 and I have a PageRank 4. These numbers are not set in stone as they are just an estimate based on some testing software programs.
Take the time to recognize that Google+ is a very powerful tool. More importantly, understand the Google wants this product to help Google search by creating relationships across the world. If you build powerful personal and professional relationships on Google+ I can assure you that Google will reward you in the long run.