Understanding Ripples on Google Plus – Social Media SEO

What is all this about Ripples on Google Plus and how do they affect Social Media SEO? Ripples are a valuable tool for determining how well a particular piece of content is performing. Understanding your post ripples will help you to understand how to format your message to reach the largest number of consumers for your content. This will increase the impact your content may have on your social media followers.

Using Social Media signals is one of the items that a lot of Social Media experts believe can positively affect search engine rankings. there are social media seo tips all over Google + and while they are all valid and show some progress. Mark Traphagen has performed an experiment that shows some strong correlation.

There was a post on how social media impacted search terms for the phrase, How to Use Google Authorship & Author Rank for Your Business by +MarkTraphagen, and posed the question as to whether an influx of social media shares affects this term’s search position?

Well, it did affect it, the Forbes site was outranking Mark in second place in Google for the term Google Authorship and Author Rank. After a couple of days, the search results did change and pushed the Forbes article down to number four.

Social Media SEO - Google Authorship
Popular Social Media posts with shares can affect SEO position



Of course, this was not a test that the average Google + poster could perform and receive the same immediate reach. Mark has almost 60,000 followers, so he immediately has more power to impact the search results with some shares than the average person. If you pay attention to the ripples of posts that go viral you will find in almost every case there are some similarities of the first individuals who share the post.

Google Plus Ripples enhance Social Media SEO

What the hell are Google plus ripple’s and how can they help me?

Ripples are a measurement which shows some shares on a post. Those first few shares are probably critical in testing as to whether a post goes viral our not. Here are the ripples on the Google Authorship Google + share.



So you can see from this that not only did Mark get a decent number of shares from his little circle followers. Those are the ones with a little circle. Then he grabbed a couple of those big circle followers like +DustinStout

Dustin has around 20K fans, so between just the followers of Mark and Dustin they put the message in front of over 80 thousand people, this gives them together with a little edge on the small circles.


Let’s look at another hot post from 08-25-2013 at about 6:30 EST on an entirely different topic. There are not links in the below post, so it is not passing page rank to any website, but it does show how someone who does not have 10’s of thousands of Google Plus followers how they can still put their message out there.


If you look at the specifics of this hot post on Google + and view the ripples like in:

Chris Winkley Google Plus Post Currently Trending


Now Chris’s post seems to be doing okay too at the moment. He has a respectable number of shares on his post. From the graphic above you can see at this time he has 1289 plus ones and 201 or 202 reshares depending on the two graphics, but the ripples on this post look differently than how +MarkTraphagen’s number of reshares where he only had 90 and was able to influence the rankings of his term.

Chris was still able to get his post seen because one he started out with a decent number of followers a little over 5000, but a lot of his followers reshared.

*Um let’s think about this for a moment.*

Mark has a following where he is very popular and knows his stuff on Google. Many of the people who follow him want to learn more about GPlus and a real number should be interested in how to increase Author Rank. But even though he had a larger group of followers than Chris,  Chris received a greater number of shares from his first followers. He had one decent sized circle follower share his post, but he had a more significant number of smaller circles reshare than Mark. Both got a post that obtained some reach, but Chris seems to have a more passionate group of followers that reshare posts.

Now, what does this tell us? We need to build our followers in a deliberate manner. We don’t just want everyone we can get but Google Plus followers who are interested and passionate about the content we create. If your niche is Art like Chris, then work towards fans who are interested in your content. As Chris showed it is not the size of your followers to get popular content, it’s how much they care about your content.

Also, keep in mind that what is attractive and worth of shares in one niche may not get as many shares. Chris had a beautiful picture which enticed people to share. All Google Plus posts have to start with this one theme. Give the people something to share that increases their authority or makes them feel good, and they will share it.

Social Media SEO

Now we are back to the SEO portion of this post. We can talk about correlation or causation till we are blue in the face about whether Mark’s post was helped by the SEO factors, but as long as he did not do any additional SEO than having the shares, then it did raise its rankings. It created links and anyone who has been around SEO for any length of time you know that links count when it comes to ranking on the top of Google or any of the search engines. While content is still king, you have to have links, so people will ever see your content.

Let’s just assume that Mark’s actions at least in part affected the position of the results. Whether it’s just a correlation of if it caused it is irrelevant for this discussion.

If you are publishing content on the internet, then you want people to see it. Whether that is to establish you as an authority or just to earn your living from your content, then you want people to see it. For people to see it, you have to rank, and to rank long term then, you need to earn links to your content.

Choosing your followers wisely and then publishing content of interest to those people seems to be the smartest social media strategy you can take when you are still one of the little circles who need to rank their quality content so they can gain the exposure necessary to rank long term for their chosen search terms. Hint Google Followers who tend to share content on your subject are ones that you want as followers. Those people can be found by spending a little time and developing relationships with individuals who tend to share on posts that go hot.

This all boils down to for someone to earn the links from authority sites they must first be found by those people who write for those trusted websites. If they don’t know your well-written content exists then you can’t earn links. Perhaps Google has leveled the playing field a little with the implementation of Authorship and Author Rank. If you can get enough people on Google + to agree with you and share your content, then even the small publisher has a chance to rank for their key terms long enough that they can build their websites into authorities in their niche.

While Google +1’s votes may not directly affect your ranking, it does raise your exposure so you may be able to earn some links for your content.

So at the end of the day, Social Media is SEO, or so there seems to be a strong correlation that you can help the exposure of your website content using the built-in optimization properties of Social Media shares.

The truth is I did not share everything that I realized about the Google Plus Ripples analysis and your mileage may vary, but it is likely worth your time to watch the ripples of posts that get hot in your chosen niche.



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