One our clients, Jason Richards at, asked a question in our Facebook group that I wanted to answer with a blog post (for every questions someone asks, there are likely at least 10 people who have the same question but doesn’t ask it). The question was “how might Google+ impact search results over time?”

First, some background. I think we all know Google tries to return the best results for any given search request — and, ideally, those results are personalized to you. At its core, Google+ (and Google+1) is a social layer for Google to start gathering their own “votes” for what interesting content is across the web. The web is slowly moving away from links being the only “votes” of online authority/relevance — and Google knew they were either stuck letting the likes of Twitter and Facebook aggregate all that social data (and they’d have to buy it from them to use it), or they had to build their own platform to gather the data themselves. Google obviously chose to build their own platform to position themselves better strategically to not have to rely on other data sources for the rich social layer of data they need to continue to produce the best search results on the web.

So, how is Google+ (which I’m not sold is a good use of time yet) going to impact search results? First, I have to give the standard disclaimer when it comes to SEO questions — no one truly knows the answer (unless you are a Google search engineer). But here are my brief predictions on the subject nonetheless.

  • You’ll start to see more search results that your network has +1’d or commented on via Google+
  • Your network will start to see more results that you’ve “voted” for with a +1

What does this mean in terms of traffic acquisition for you? Pretty simple. The more you can get your network to “vote” for your site, the more likely THEIR networks will see your site in their search results — provided, of course, that they are searching for something that your website offers. I can all but assure you your site will get a higher click through rate (meaning more traffic for you) if the Google+ icon is blue instead of transparent in the search results. Really, Google+ isn’t changing the SEO landscape that much in my opinion since Facebook, Twitter,, etc are already capturing this social data — it’s just speeding up the process of “+1’s” complimenting “links” as a measure of authority online.

How do you think Google+ will impact search results over time?