While the world of search engine optimization (SEO) is ever-changing, Google's creation of the +1 button to go along with their new social networking site, Google+, has helped to reinvent the game once again.
Ever since the launch of the +1 button to rival Facebook's "Like" feature and Twitter's retweet option, many in the Web and SEO industries have been curious as to how that button will play into search engine results, especially because we don't really know exactly how relevant other social networking icons are in search algorithms.
But, according to SEO management company Conductor, the +1 button does have an impact on search results, which should surprise no one. This has led the them begin including the metrics of the +1 button into their Searchlight SEO platform and running analytics on them to help brands better understand when Google uses these social signals to rank websites.
Conductor will also be including data from clicks on the LinkedIn "Share" button into the platform.
Over the past couple of months, Conductor has researched the role that social signals play in search engine results and found that the top five companies or brands that show up in Google's organic search typically have about 3 times as many Google +'s on their pages, and about twice as many Facebook Likes, as the companies ranking 6-10. In addition, the reports indicate that approximately 90 percent of the time, the top ranking search results had more Google +'s and Facebook Likes than the results ranking from 6 and below.
According to Conductor CEO Seth Besmertnik, Searchlight organizes the information garnered from across tens of thousands of URLs and then uses that to discover which keywords help with Google +1 and which do not.
Within seconds of a Facebook Like, Google +1 or LinkedIn Share, Searchlight customers should be able to view, analyze and report on social signals for their own domain and a competitors, as well as seeing who the highest performing brands for any particular keyword or phrase are.
In all likelihood, social signal interaction is going to play a huge part in SEO management and analysis for years to come, so good on Conductor for jumping right in there and figuring out a way turn that data into something definite that can be analyzed. It seems pretty clear that this is going to be the next big thing in search engine optimization.