In last year’s LocalU Advanced Workshop, the presentation about Google Plus and it’s impact on maps listings was extremely interesting to our team. With the global launch of Google Posts and the stop of auto-creating a Google Plus page when adding a new business to GMB, do the facts still hold true: Is Google Plus still a must-have/often-utilized resource to take your local search ranking to the next level?
Google Plus still has attributes that seem like they are beneficial to Local success, there is still a verified relationship to the entity (ie the business), there are clear relevance signals with collections and their are obvious authority signals with sharing, plussing and commenting.
In the case of Posts, there is a verified relationship with the entity. And just based on the content and the links there is some amount of relevance. But what is not clear to me is how they would measure authority. Is it total views? Is it shares of the content? Click through?
What we don’t know yet is whether Google trusts and uses the content and whatever authority measure they might have Posts. My gut says, its still too early for the search engineers to trust it….
Barbara Oliver continues to climb in rankings and her main tactics and have been Plus and Reviews. That being said, the waters are muddied by the fact that Barbara has been using Posts almost from day one.
We have yet to independently test Posts to see if we can ascertain an effect.
My sense is that Plus still works, that Posts makes all kinds of sense for other reasons. But that the jury is out on any ranking value to Posts and whether it might be an alternative to Plus.