Trademark Productions President Dwight Zahringer is at PubCon Paradise this week giving a presentation on “Black Hat” reputation management. And while he was basking in the Hawaiian sun and soaking up all the SEO knowledge he could, he was able to sit down with High Rankings CEO Jill Whalen and discuss the latest developments in search in the latest SEO Web Talk Radio Show.

Jill Whalen, High Rankings CEO

The hottest topic right now in the world of search is Google’s Search, plus Your World. This is Google’s new search algorithm that personalizes search more than ever before. With the integration of Google+ into Google search, Whalen said the most important thing people, businesses and brands can do is become authorities in their industries.

“With social, it’s similar [to authoritative links], but it’s your profiles, it’s your social profiles. Do you have an authoritative account? An authoritative Twitter account and an authoritative Google+ account?” she said. “Those kinds of accounts, when they talk about a brand, a website or anything like that … it’s more likely to have an effect on what Google might show in the search results because somebody of some importance is talking about it.”

Though, Whalen did say that because Search, plus Your World is so new, it’s hard to tell exactly how search results will ultimately be affected. She did say that despite of Google’s claim that there are 100 million members of Google+, very few people are actually on it. Like a lot of up-and-coming social networks, Google+ first caught on with industry experts, like SEOs, and has yet to see the type of engagement that Facebook gets on a daily basis.

“(Google’s) definitely going somewhere. They’re definitely going to try to put more emphasis, more weighting on what people do in Google+,” she said.

But Whalen also points out that until more people are on it, we won’t really see how it will shape out. The fact that Google is actively trying to get SEOs on Google+ is something else Whalen weighs in on, saying they’re purposefully getting SEO people involved so they tell their clients that in order to succeed, their clients need to be active on Google+.

“It’s smart, you get SEOs involved at first,” she said., “Then they’ll trumpet it for (Google) and tell everyone else, ‘You have got to do this because this is where you’re going to see these personalized results.'”

These personalized results are the ultimate goal for brands because if a brand can get their Google+ posts to show up high in SERPs, they could get higher conversion rates. But, Whalen notes that people in the SEO industry “tend to have blinders” on when it comes to Google+ because all of our friends and colleagues are on it, but not everyone else is yet.

Google+ isn’t the only key to getting good search results, though, Whalen said. She also said that by simply improving and updating content, your results could rise. Anyone working in the SEO world has seen content that is so keyword-packed it’s nearly unreadable. By simply making content more readable, you improve your chances of ranking higher in search results.

To hear more of Dwight’s interview with Jill Whalen, please listen to the podcast below. She goes on to discuss what she thinks of Pinterest and social media conversions. You can find her on Twitter at @jillwhalen and Google+. If you have questions about this interview or any of the topics discussed, feel free to comment below or drop us a line today.

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