Are you “Hot” on Google+?

Michael Bergbauer - April 9, 2012

If you’ve explored Google+, whether from your personal account or the one you are using for your business, you’ve probably noticed the “What’s hot” button in the left-hand navigation. What is “What’s hot?” It’s another Google algorithm at work – selecting the most popular posts from across Google+ and compiling them into one place.

Currently, the “What’s hot” algorithm doesn’t take any personalization into account when displaying results. Although many of the posts may not be relevant to you, there are still the benefits of discovering new, interesting things and seeing what types of content are drawing everyone’s attention around the net.

That second point is important. The marketing benefits of getting your content featured as “hot” are great. You gain the potential of having your content seen, shared, and interacted with by the entire social network – even people who don’t have you in a circle. Being featured can definitely be considered a viral success. So, to appear in the feed, you must cater to user interests.

Google does not divulge what specific factors can push a piece of content into the “What’s hot” feed. However, a little observation and common sense indicate the piece has to have the makings of popularity. Nearly every single piece of hot content has an accompanying image and several comments. They also have lots of +1’s, as well as shares (although, these amounts may be skewed by appearing in the “What’s hot” feed – which will dramatically increase +1’s and shares just from sheer visibility).

By creating image based content that engages your users and invites a rapport with them, you increase your chances of appearing in the “What’s hot” feed. Monitor popular trends, and give your spin on it. As with all things SEO, quality content that considers the end user will win the day.

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