Do Google Profiles have SEO value?

Posted by Fernando Chavez on January 6th, 2010

Before beginning this post, the first thing I’d like to note is that its inspiration came from two posts on DixonJones.com (here’s post 1 and now post 2). The original posts are fairly old, but the issues are still applicable. Essentially, what he was testing was whether or not a Google Profile passes PageRank and/or link relevancy to your website. I was naturally intrigued because I’m trying to build this site’s link profile from the ground up and I was wondering if I could possibly take advantage from a search engine optimization standpoint. I decided to comment on the entry with some of my thoughts and a suggestion for a follow-up test. Okay, I had other reasons too (which I leave to you to figure out :) ), but that’s not important right now. What is important is that I tried to comment and I don’t think the submission worked. Since I wasn’t sure if my comment would be put upon Dixon Jones’ site, I decided to publish my comment here:

Whenever I test if anchor text is being passed I always rely on the inanchor: command. So if page A links to page B with the anchor text “keyword abc12345″, then I’ll query Google with an inanchor: and that phrase in quotes. Sometimes Google will return both pages, but oftentimes they’ll only return the page being linked to, as your current test shows (http://www.google.com/search?q=inanchor%3A%22just+taken+on+an+allotment%22).

If you wanted to run another test for the current state of Google Profile link value, you could eliminate the first link to your site that reads “Web Marketing Agency” and then switch your blog link and the link that reads “my internet marketing company” so that the latter appears first. Once Google re-indexes your profile, they should start counting the anchor of the later link (they only count the first link to any particular page, which you appear to know, but I’m just making sure).

There are only 8 pages in Google’s index that have that inbound anchor text right now (http://www.google.com/search?q=inanchor:%22my+internet+marketing+company%22&filter=0). I think if you could jump pretty high into that result you can be certain that both PR and keyword relevancy flow through Google Profiles. In particular, I would look at the inanchor: rankings of your site compared to http://www.leadgenix.com/ and http://www.reinhartmarketinggroup.com/. Their corresponding Google Profiles are http://www.google.com/profiles/DanielDeceuster and http://www.google.com/profiles/118169710681489690723, respectively, neither of which has as much PR as your Google Profile. That’s an assumption of course since both have grayed out PR in the Google Toolbar. Regardless, the relevancy passed on is essentially the same in all three profiles, so if you happen to leap frog those two sites I think PR would be the deciding factor.

All of this could be for nothing since Google could change their mind tomorrow and neither relevancy nor PR would be passed on through these pages. It’s probably not worth focusing on too much for that reason. However, I could see why Google would possibly choose to pass on PR/relevancy through their profiles. If your profile develops links naturally, you must be a relevant (i.e. important) person, right?

Nevermind that the comment is a blog post in itself. I think you can see why I wanted to post it here. Essentially, what all of my Google searching told me is that it is very possible to take advantage of your Google Profile for SEO purposes. I’m certain it passes PR and link relevance. However, I’m also certain that the only way you can get benefit from it is if you build some links to it. Take for example, the two other Google Profiles I mentioned in my comment. Both of those pages are clearly in Google’s supplemental index as this query shows. You can read more about researching main index vs. supplemental index Google results here.

In the end, if you just launched a site and have virtually no inbound links (like me, yay!), then you’d probably be better off developing some links directly to your site. But if you’re a little further along in the search engine optimizing of your site, then building a Google Profile might not be a bad idea. I’ll probably do it at some point. Just remember the SEO value won’t come out of nowhere. You’ll have to get some PR and keyword relevance going to it before you’ll see any benefit.

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