Percolate is very excited to announce that starting this week, our customers will be able to publish both long-form and short-form content to Google+ directly from our platform.

This announcement is important for two reasons. First, Percolate’s core mission remains to help brands create content at social scale. One of the most direct ways to describe the seismic shift that’s taking place in media is to point to the growing number of platforms where brands can reach large masses of consumers. With Google+, our customers can now reach another potential 540 million people through Percolate, easily and effectively.

Second, our integration with Google+ is a signal of a much larger trend, one that brings social much closer to search than it ever has been before.

We’ve been very interested in a study from earlier in the year by the SEO company SearchMetrics, correlating the impact that various factors have on search rankings. What is most apparent is the rise of social: 7 of the top 8 factors affecting search results are social signals.

Search-social

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Linking behavior has always been at the backbone of Google’s technology, dating back to Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s original Stanford paper, The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.

Since its inception, the Google search engine “makes use of the link structure of the Web to calculate a quality ranking for each web page…largely by counting citations or backlinks to a given page. This gives some approximation of a page’s importance or quality.”

Clearly Google’s approach to search has evolved over the years to stay authoritative, but links are still tremendously important. Social has always been a great source of link references as people share content with one another. It’s perfectly reasonable to see social signals rise in authority as platforms mature.

What does this mean for brands? A social strategy is an SEO strategy, and high quality content has to be at the center of both.

Areas where brands have traditionally spent on SEO (ie. keyword position or HTML length) have decreased in importance, with social signals (primarily based around reactions to content) taking their place. Google’s own advice is to focus on producing high quality content that creates a good user experience. Percolate is eager to help, and happy to welcome Google+ as a new partner.