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Can you get a boost with Google +1s?

So there has been a lot of debate whether Google +1s has a direct correlation with ranking in Google. The +1s in Google are very much like favoriting on Twitter, or likes on Facebook. It is definitely a way that tells people how many people have seen and liked the content you have shared. But does having more likes necessarily make you more relevant in Google’s eyes?
 
Last year Moz posted an article about how their research showed a direct correlation of Google +1s and rankings on Google: Amazing Correlation Between Google +1s and Higher Search Rankings. According to their article they found that “after Page Authority, a URL's number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor. In fact, the correlation of Google +1s beat out other well known metrics including linking root domains, Facebook shares, and even keyword usage.”
 
Quickly after Moz released this, Google’s Matt Cutts addressed and went on to debunk the claim of the correlation:
 
Just trying to decide the politest way to debunk the idea that more Google +1s lead to higher Google web rankings. Let's start with correlation != causation: http://xkcd.com/552/
 
But it would probably be better to point to this 2011 post (also from SEOMoz/Moz) from two years ago in which a similar claim was made about Facebook shares: http://moz.com/blog/does-google-use-facebook-shares-to-influ... . From that blog post from two years ago: "One of the most interesting findings from our 2011 Ranking Factors analysis was the high correlation between Facebook shares and Google US search position."
 
This all came to a head at the SMX Advanced search conference in 2011 where Rand Fishkin presented his claims. I did a polite debunk of the idea that Google used Facebook shares in our web ranking at the conference, leading to this section in the 2011 blog post: "Rand pointed out that Google does have some access to Facebook data overall and set up a small-scale test to determine if Google would index content that was solely shared on Facebook. To date, that page has not been indexed, despite having quite a few shares (64 according to the OpenGraph)."
 
If you make compelling content, people will link to it, like it, share it on Facebook, +1 it, etc. But that doesn't mean that Google is using those signals in our ranking.
 
Rather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content.
 
So with this dispute, what do we do as internet marketers? Even if there is or there isn’t a direct correlation between Google +1s and higher rankings, great content is the common denominator. When you have great and relevant content that is properly SEO’d, Google will more than likely rank you higher, and with the great content you will also get people liking and sharing it. So maybe the correlation is right but it has nothing to do with how many +1s you have.
 
Google+ will definitely help your rankings and your SEO, but it really relies on the quality of your content! You will get interactions and get better rankings with great content that everyone should see. Content is the key to your success on Google+ and SEO in Google. 
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