On Tuesday Google launched its newest update, the new Search+ which integrates results taken from your Google+ connections and includes them in your search engine results pages for your queries. This is a big enhancement for users who utilize social content frequently (like social media marketers) as it draws information from people you’ve already deemed relevant (you’re following them) and uses it to enhance your search results.
A good example from wired.com describes the changes like this: “When you search for a term — say, “Netflix,” for example — the new product will serve up private and public instances of “Netflix” pulled from people you’re connected with on Google+, including photos, links and status updates. In addition, relevant Google+ profiles, personalities and brand pages will also be folded into results. So a search for Netflix could yield the official site, a news story about the company, a link to a friend from Google+ talking about Netflx, and the like. Further, all of these results are tailored specifically to those friends in your network, so each person’s results will be personalized and completely different.” In addition Google will also be including Google+ profiles and pages in their search and autocomplete which according to Google will, “enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following,” as well as allowing you to find profiles based on specific topics and interests so you can follow them quickly and easily because, “behind every query is a community.” This is a big change for Google and it isn’t that surprising considering the popularity of their big social media competition, Facebook. Recently there has been a shift where more Facebook users were beginning to use Facebook as their source for news and information rather than heading to Google because people enjoy personalized results. This is a strong counter to Facebook’s ability to provide those results, and the blend of both personalized and general results may prove Facebook’s undoing in terms of competition with Google+. Last year Google implied in several statements that they didn’t have much Facebook data access, and in the era of social sharing this was hugely detrimental to the search giant as they were missing out on a large portion of information that could be used to help make SERPs more relevant to users. Clearly rather than fight with Facebook, Google’s come up with a new solution all on its own. If you don’t want to get these results, don’t worry, Google’s made it easy to opt out with a button that allows you to choose not to view any social results, which may appeal to some users. In addition to people just not wanting the results, Google may face some other criticisms in terms of website traffic. For instance: if Google’s providing people with an option between clicking on a link to a company’s website, or a social result from a friend that links the same page, people may choose to view content completely within Google+ rather than clicking through to the original website at all. This could cause severe reductions in traffic for some websites, which won’t make those companies happy to say the least. What do you think? Will you be using the new social search results option? How do you think it will affect your social media marketing? It will certainly encourage companies and brands who aren’t already on Google+ to create their brand pages as soon as possible. Lucky for us, you can already find GuaranteedSEO on Google+. http://youtu.be/8Z9TTBxarbs