Google eliminated social search last year, it has been replaced with Search+. This is Google’s integration of Google+ with its search engine.
Search+ delivers search results based on your circles, engagement and activity on your page. However you can turn the personalization off if you don’t want your user history to be factored into your search:
Click the icon of a person in the top right of the page. Then select “do not use personal results”.
This is why making sure your profile is set up properly is important. Now you profile and your posts can show up in search results on Google.
In the results you will be given a list of potentially relevant people and pages. These will be a mix of people you have already circled and ones you have not. If they are not in your circle you have the opportunity to add them.
So how do you come up in the search results? Truth be told circle count greatly affects. So the more people who have circled you the better chance you have. Unfortunately this does encourage people to buy followers just for the SEO boost.
Of course your optimization will affect but currently it does seem that Google Plus has “curated” lists. AJ Kohn from Blind Five Year Old goes into detail on what a curated list means. In a nut shell it means that Google has picked specific well known people to appear in the top of the list. Though they are trying to improve these results a bit by including more of an expanded list.
Google does give priority to items being shared in Google Plus, however to make sure you content qualifies for their results you need to make sure your content is easily sharable.
The most powerful element of boosting your search results is making sure you have good amplification. You want people to be plussing and sharing your posts. The more people share your content the better your SEO both on and off the network.
Not sure what you amplification is? Google helps you understand the ripple effect of your posts with Google+ Ripples. Ripples will show you the amplification of your shares. The graph below shows a post that was shared by Good Morning America. The arrows off their profile show all the people who publicly shared the post. The one big circle shows another circle inside the larger one. This means that one person shared the post and then someone shared her share. In this case Laetitia shared the original post then Ogla shared Laetitia’s post.
Notice that I did say publicly shared posts. People have the option of sharing publicly or privately. Privately means they only shared it with their circles and the post is not publicly searchable. Your amplification data from Google only includes the public shares, though they do you tell you the total shares.
If you see someone who shares a post and then has number of other people share their share, that is someone who has good personal amplification. It would be a good idea to reach out to that person and work on engaging them. They could be an influencer. If they continue to share your posts you could increase your “ripple effect” greatly.
The more people who share your posts the better it will come up in search results. So do pluses affect in the same way. Unfortunately no. This is not to say they have no value, but a share is weighted significantly more.