The internet, and search in particular, has been moving through a new social phase in recent history. Google’s most recent initiative Search, plus Your World is taking this trend even further.
Google have made attempts to personalise search before, but this time it will deeply integrate Google+ Social Network with Google Search making it essential for businesses to review their social strategy, create a Google+ business profile and put some effort into its maintenance.
Search, plus Your World isn’t going to just present user with personalised content from Google+, but also take into account users Circles, Contacts and interests. Google’s “integration strategy” really stands out when taking into account the recent announcement, regarding merging privacy policies and terms of service for 60 individual products into one all-encompassing document that will lead to even deeper integration of search and Google+, along with other Google products. The updated policy will take effect in March this year, and will basically make all the content accessible across all the Google services. This, in line with the fact that from now on, each new Google account will be automatically joined to Google+ network, suggests that there is no avoiding using Google+ after all.
But let’s get back to Search, plus Your World.You can check original post here on the Official Google Blog, but briefly, the 3 new features being rolled out are: Personal Results, that will deliver personalised content from Google+ along with the usual web search output. Personalised content will include posts, photos, and videos from Google+ both private and public. This certainly does put enabling SSL encryption for search last year into perspective.
Second and third features are really about the same thing; that is easier access to Google+ profiles. Profiles in Search, both on SERP and in autocomplete, will allow instantly find people interested in the topic. This is however not the only way Google is going to integrate Google+ Pages with search. People and Pages block on SERP, with a list of Google+ profiles closely related to the topic.
Google realise that sometimes this innovation may not be something users are looking for, so they allow users toggle Search, plus Your World on and off with just one click.
There has been a lot of discussion going on whether it is a good direction for Google to take or is it just a way for Google to abuse their web dominance and exert an in-house social network on users. This way or another, all those new features announced by Google are really about one thing – deeper integration with Google+. This adds yet another dimension to Online Strategy of any business. Going further, it will become harder and harder to rely solely on conventional SEO and SEM. In short, the landscape of online interaction is changing and businesses are forced to change their websites to reflect this (e.g. including social element to the content) and more importantly create new content that adds value and is interesting and useful for customers.
FIRST have already started to identify how Google+ can help improve clients results. Contact us for information about how we can help you optimise this new, essential marketing channel.
*Images and video from Search, plus Your World