Google HQ is constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of searches. While arriving late to the social media party, the search giant is finally showing signs of introducing user-generated into the search algorithms. There are several issues with ranking user-generated content through social media because it depends who is the original author, to what communities the author belongs to, and whether the author is an authority on the subject of the content.
The introduction of Google+ is an interesting attempt in bringing user-generated content through social media closer to the Google search engine.
Here is a discussion of how Google+ could affect SEO.
Through circles, Google+ could measure the reputation of users. For example, you could determine the influence of a user in technology consulting by the number of circles related to the topic of technology consulting. One curious aspect of this ranking methodology would be whether you consider an expert in one field but most users include you in circles related to a completely different topic. This could happen as people in Twitter often have bios along the lines of “foodie, fashion lover, humanitarian, social ninja”.
At the same time, some circles could have a higher ranking if they include users with high ranking themselves.
By measuring the reputation or ranking of Google+ users, user-generated content could be evaluated more properly by the Google search engine.
Quality of Posts
Another way to pick top quality user-generated content would be through the +1 button.
Google could not only count the amount of +1′s that a post receives but also consider how many of those +1′s come from influential users. So following the technology consultant example from above, a post generated by an user that receives a lot of +1′s from people that are involved with an IT outsourcing company, website or organization, could be ranked as more relevant than others.
Comments within Google+
In the past one would think that a post with 2,000 comments would be better than one with just 200, however social media has proven that it is important to consider who is making the comment and how close the comment was created in relation to the time of the original post. A thank you comment is not as relevant as a insightful review, unless it comes from an expert in the subject matter being discussed. The +1′s counts on the comment should help to shed some light for search engines.
Integration with Other Social Networks
Facebook is with Bing. Google+ will certainly be with Google.
Wouldn’t it be helpful to connect all this data? While the Klout and Peer Index approach may not be the favorite one, it is the only one trying to combine all social data into one measure. Through a similar approach, Google could introduce factors into the search algorithm.
Organizations ranging from Dallas SEO organizations to major tech blogs such as Mashable are watching as Google implements Google+. Through the use of circles, the measurement of the quality of posts and comments, and the potential integration of other social networks, Google+ aims to introduce user-generated content into its search engine algorithm in a smoother fashion.