By Laurie Jo Miller Farr
Perform well to rank well.
What exactly is Google+ for? Nobody is really quite sure…but, it sort of doesn’t matter. Why not? Because it is enough to know that Google+ is a critical digital hoop to jump through in the process of pleasing the almighty Google algorithm.
Experts inform us about what is crystal clear: To perform and rank well you need three things:
And, Google says you cannot have all three without Google+.
At eTourism Summit ’13, Paul McLeod from SimpleView cited Matt Cutts, Head of Google Webspam Search, who refutes that correlation equals causation on Google+.
Interpretation: the goal with Google+ should not be to generate as many +1′s as you can, but to use Google+ as link juice to build authority and connect with influencers while creating compelling content.
Comment: While Wall Street banking giants hire analysts to interpret every nuance in what the Head of the Fed is talking about, Silicon scions slice and dice tweets from the Head of Google Search. What @MattCutts says is as important as what Matt Cutts does not say.
Attention: Oh, and a hint for DMOs: Your general hotel pages are shared way, way less than micro-sites on “Things to Do.”
Naturally, linking Google+ to your site is a must. Know that links, likes, shares, re-pins, bookmarks, re-tweets, links to foreign sites and the rest are signals to bots, if not definitive ones.
P.S. And, if your site looks poor on mobile, fix that now.
P.P.S By the way, and most important of all, have a laugh. Know that Matt Cutts sleeps well at night because he is doing his best to “change the world.” Watch this…
Clear as mud? There’s more…
Given limited time and resources, what to prioritize?
Paul recommends (in order of importance)
- Twitter (a signal for Google due to its high use of shares)
- Facebook (Google surely crawls)
- Google+ (but not without the others or Google knows you’re looking for a shortcut
- Pinterest (especially for destinations)
- LinkedIn (especially for meeting planners)
Social media expert Cindy Turrietta underscored the holistic approach for organic rankings, emphasizing: have a consistent approach, motivate others, broadcast loud and clear, have keyword rich content, link to your content. In other words: “Just Do It.”
- Choose your social circles wisely
- Promote profiles
- Develop links
- Engage folks to encourage them as evangelists
And, have fun developing your voice. Jump the hoops. Do the Google dance. Choose a mascot today and start sleeping well at night.