A recent study by Stone Temple Consulting on whether or not Google+ shares alone can affect search engine rank. This seems a little precise for a study, but they took three websites and had two unique pages of applicable content published on each. One was a control page and one was a test page. Next , they had Google+ influencers share the page, as well as a handful of other participants who were instructed to only share the page, not visit or link to it in any other way.
From the end of July 2013 to September 15, 2013, the pages were tracked for their search engine indexing and rank based on specific longtail keywords. While some of the sites saw an increase in rank after shares, many eventually had their rank settle back into normal or even decrease. The Search Engine Journal brought this news to us in their article, “Study Determines Google+ Shares Have Little Impact on Search Rankings.”
This test showed that Google+ shares do drive discovery and are likely to influence indexing, but not rank. Interesting.
Melody K. Smith
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