Google+ Offers Instant Indexing, for Now
Google+ is the dark horse of the social media industry. It is growing fast but has few evangelical users: Even its regular users spend little time on the site. However Google+ is essential for on-line publishers and content marketers because any content shared on Google+ is instantly listed in google.com’s search results.
Google+ claims over 100 million users and plans to double in size during 2012. It is Google.com’s fastest growing service ever according to Google.com senior vice-president of social business, Vic Gundotra. However, Comscore.com reports that its users only spent on average 3.3 minutes on the site in January 2012. In contrast, users spent 7.5 hours on Facebook.com.
It appears that while people are joining Google+ en masse, they are sitting back and waiting to see if it takes off. Few are investing enough time in the site to bother building up their contact list. This is hardly the level of engagement the site needs to become a social network powerhouse.
Despite widespread user apathy, Google+ does offer users who post their content one undisputable advantage. It seems that anything shared on Google+ gets crawled instantly by Google.com’s spiders. It then appears straight away in the search engine’s search results pages. For bloggers, publishers and content marketers who are used to waiting days for their content to be crawled, this is a massive boost.
Small websites publishing breaking news can now get their stories into the search engine’s results before the mainstream media. Instant indexing also favours websites that publish regular updates of fresh content over those with static pages.
So far, instant indexing seems to be a reward given to anyone who shares their latest content on Google+. This is likely to change as Google.com moves away from traditional SEO indicators, such as back links and keywords and towards social signals such as comments, shares and likes.
Long term the search behemoth regards its Google+ social network as another layer of its overall search strategy. For now it is likely to start restricting its indexing love to those who actively participate rather than just post.
At the moment everyone who publishes fresh, original content should be posting it onto their Google+ stream just for the instant search engine listings. (And it’s probably worth clicking on a few +1 buttons as well, just to stay ahead of the game!)
Hopefully this article has given you some tips and advice to put you ahead of the competition. If you need a hand, Grafton Media‘s experts are here to help, so drop us a message to talk further. Why not find us on facebook, follow us on twitter, or join us on linked in to share your thoughts about your SEO and Google+ experiences.