Leosghost - 3:36 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)
Does having a G+ account ( with more than just a few +s ) help rankings?
Make of this what you will..
A few months ago .Iwas searching for information on a very precise veterinary medical condition..
I knew what it was ..but was looking to see if there had been any new developments in the treatment..
At #1 in SERPs was a site with around 300 G+s and a picture of the site owner ( an Indonesian woman between 30 and 40 years old ) ..the site name was of the KW1KW2KW3 EMD type..but running on blogger..
The site contained amongst other things her biography..she is an ex Google employee..worked for them for around 3 years..a large number of her +s were also from ex / or current Google employees..
The information contained on her site was a "stock" veterinary with dog photo..and a few paragraphs about the condition in detail..what struck me was that the English was "broken/disjointed" and that some sentences appeared to be missing..I got the distinct impression that she did not actually know what she was talking about, but had maybe copied it ( changing the words enough to avoid being "caught" )..the site evidently ran adsense :)
The site copyright showed it went "live" last year 2012..
In the footer were links to various other sites, each about either human medical conditions, or animal medical conditions, always of the KW1KW2KW3 eEMD type ( the on hovers showed me that they lead to a mixture of blogger accounts and some dot coms ) ..I clicked on some and found that without exception, the dotcom sites were no longer working and timed out, or redirected to other blogger accounts owne by the same woman..and dealing with the specific subject that the dotcoms had done previously..again always with adsense on them..
( more about this later* ).but links which the on hover showed went direct to blogger, all worked..and all had the same kind of stock photos.."broken /disjointed" English with sentences apparently missing..and the same "BIO"..
Taking a sentence from each site and entering it into Google, showed me that she invariably was #1 for the precise medical condition..and that her G+s were shown for each..as was her photo..
I went back to the first SERP ( I had kept the tab open ) and checked the sites which were lower down the page..
At #5 ..I found a site, written by a mother and daughter team of veterinarians..complete with their phone numbers, opening times etc..and the original text that the first site ( with all the G+s and owned by the ex Google employee ) had obviously copied and respun..( and not knowing what much of the technical medical terms meant she had omitted some, and changed the order of others ) ..the original text made sense..and the page copyright showed it to have been placed online in 2008..
( the Ex Google employee's BIO says that she worked for them from 2008 to 2011 )
I then checked via the wayback machine..and some whois tools ..into some of the dotcoms that she linked to from her various blogger sites..and which no longer were on line..some had been online for only a year..some for two years..
The texts were always the same "broken/disjointed" English, the subjects were always those ( not only medical subjects ) which get a great deal of traffic..
*I found she has a network of near a hundred sites..and some of her G+ friends have similar "networks" with similar obviously scraped and rewritten content on various subjects..always with adsense ..always ( now ) on blogger..
The monthly adsense revenues must be quite good..
They all are in G+..they all show high in SERPs ( G+ scores and photos next to their links )..So at least one ex Google employee has evidence that a reasonable number of G+s influences one's SERP position..and has bulit a human scraping system around that fact and adsense and the blogger platform..
Lastly..just prior to writing this..I was looking for specific information on transferring account data from one android phone to another..I had 4 specific queries to run..in each case the #1 result was accompanied by a portrait of the site owner or writer.and their G+ score was in every case in the 3000 to 5000 range..
I hesitated to write this post ( I saw the thread when it began, and have returned to read it as it has evolved ) as I find Larry's insistence on trying to "strong arm" webmasters into giving up our personal details into G+ particularly unpleasant and I would like for G+ to vanish without trace ( but it probably will not , as he would look pretty stupid, and apparently no one at G has the guts to tell him that the few who are using it are primarily marketroids abusing it or hoping to do so )..But there is no doubt that Google are boosting G+ account holders in SERPs ( even over those that they are stealing from )..and I would be very surprised if the network of sites which I discoverd are the only ones being run by current or ex Googlers who are fully aware that in order to make G+ "appealing"..word has gone out from Larry to give the sites whose owners are in G+ a boost in SERPs..