By Paul Morris
An interesting study came out this week from Moz (previously SEOMoz) showing the direct correlation between Google +1s and Higher SEO Rankings (above diagram).
In short it suggested that +1’s were now being directly used in Google’s algorithm.
What has ended up coming out in the wash, and directly from Matt Cutts, is that +1’s are in fact not used directly in Google’s algorithm.
Though what I take from the great Moz research is that Google+ posts do pass SEO benefits not found easily in other social platforms. e.g. shared links pass link equity, semantic relevance (unique url, 50 characters in title tag, ability for detailed subject analysis thus direct correlation to higher rankings, etc) and direct authorship integration (that will at some point surely be used to influence where you rank).
So in summary due to many +1’s on a site resulting in a shared post on Google+, which in turn creates a followed link back to the post and thus aiding link building activity, it would be folly to not at least consider developing your brands Google+ standing.