I recently explored some of my web stats and found an interesting result. But instead of me telling you, I would like you to have the experience for yourself.
Then I will give you a framework to how you need to think about this for you and your business.
Put into Google Search (using an incognito window is best): What is Google?
And think about what you are asking Google...
When you put into search the phrase: What is Google? (or 'What is Google') as of the time I am writing this article, and all things change of course, that appears to give most people a number one result for an article I wrote called 'What is Google Plus? A complete user guide.'
Now, I should point out that I call it 'an article' but actually it is better described as a piece of content. It contains six videos each of around 15 minutes in length. There are also around ten links to numerous other Google+ how to content (much of which is for businesses) and around ten additional articles on Google+ psychology for those who like such things.
So, for many the result for 'What is Google' and 'What is Google Plus' is showing up as one and the same.
Check out the video to see me run through it...
So...in this case, Google Plus is Google
For those who've been on Google+ for a while this comes as no surprise, but now Google itself knows that to be the case too!
Nice work there Google, you've learned you've had an upgrade.
How did this happen?
The short answer is this: content marketing.
Since early 2012 I have been consistently blogging on the subject of Google+, originally within Google+ itself (as posts) and then on martinshervington.com before launching Plus Your Business with the team in early September.
But a better answer may be this from David Amerland: "It is a purely semantic search result divining the intention behind the question and rather than showing Google components that make it up, delivers Martin Shervington because he has consistently added value to that proposition that best answers it."
Check out this 10 minute interview to see more...
David sees that the semantic web everything needs to be joined up. Therefore when people search for 'What is Google?' they don't want a list of the different un-integrated facets of Google, but instead what to 'get' the new Google - i.e. Google+. This is now the essence of Google.
In another conversation with David, we discussed how it is all about connecting, building relationships with the right people, sense making, building authority- all leading to delivering value to the end user.
It is the query not the keywords. In fact, the keywords I was intending to appear for was 'Google Plus' (which is does on the second page) but moreso for 'What is Google Plus' (which is does at #1).
Note: I will point out that even though we've approached the article from the angle of semantic search, there is a good argument that Google is looking at 'Google' and 'Google Plus' as the same. Whichever way, the result still holds up even if there are arguments as to the reasons.
So, all in all, right now this article is the best answer Google 'thinks' answers the Search query for 'What is Google'.
A little bit of analysis
Here was the analysis by David Amerland a five of the first page positions for the result:
As those in the know will know, my site really doesn't show strong signs of being in the position from a traditional SEO viewpoint.
But this is Social SEO and the rules have changed.
What does this mean for you?
Well, this process has taken around about two years to accomplish. And it wasn't even intentional, although 'What is Google Plus' was.
Through creating an enormous amount of content related to this subject matter, over time and with genuine engagement, Google recognises that the content is authoritative.
There are no shortcuts with Google Semantic Search though - it is hard work and takes time.
The role of community
This is essential. In fact, your content can be the best in the world to you and your marketing team, but unless it is recognised as such by the community it is unlikely to rise high in Search. As such, you need to focus on the end user more than ever. And there is no point trying to 'game it' - Google knows.
Very soon we will be bringing out an full article on using Google+ for content marketing.
Also join us in the Plus Your Business community here and we will keep you up to speed on the new way to approach Google Search. In the meantime these articles will help:
How to be number one on Google (the new way)
Also, check out the free training resources on Plus Your Business, including: