Starbucks & The Economist Admit To Using Google+ For SEO More Than Social

google-plus-logoLast Friday, a New York Times report on Google+ spotlighted Starbucks and The Economist as two brands currently using Google+ to impact search efforts.

Alex Wheeler, Starbuck’s vice president of global digital marketing, told The New York Times, “When we think about posting on Google+, we think about how does it relate to our search efforts.”

According to the The New York Times report, Starbucks has only three million Google+ followers compared to its Facebook page’s 36 million Likes. The New York Times says Starbucks, “Updates its Google+ page for the sake of good search placement, and takes advice from Google representatives on how to optimize Google+ content for the search engine.”

While The Economist’s senior director of audience Chandra Magee did say journalists at The Economist take advantage of Google+ features like Hangouts, she also commented on how Google+ improves the brand’s SEO efforts.

“There is potential there [on Google+] to help us get in front of new audiences,” Magee told the New York Times, “But it also helps with our SEO strategy because our posts on Google+ actually show up in our search engine results.”

The New York Times reports Google offers brands incentives to sign up on its social media network, giving companies with Google+ profiles, “Prime placement on the right-hand side of the search results, with photos and promotional posts.”

The New York Times says nearly half of 540 million monthly active users on Google+ do not visit the social network. When asked about Google+ integrations and the push-back Google received after it began requiring YouTube comments be made via Google+, Horowitz said, “We are attuned both to what people say and to what people do.”