Google has finally done it. They have gone and made their search results even more social with new functionality they are coining as, “Search Plus your World.” Notable industry experts are going on record as saying it is the most radical transformation we have ever seen in Google search results. I am sure many search engine optimization professionals out there are shaking in their boots. And for good reason really, SEO is turning more into an aspect of social media marketing everyday. Really, with this change Google SEO has become more social media marketing, when logged in and using the personal results feature, than SEO!
Watch a Video on Google Search Plus your World
Watch a quick video on Google Search Plus your World so you can get a general idea of the update. Next we will go through the features one by one.
So let’s take a look at these new Google features and then determine how to use them towards our advantage.
What is Google Search Plus Your World?
The concept behind Google Search Plus you World is fairly straightforward. Now, when you are logged into Google and do a search you will not only be presented with normal search results but also content that has been privately shared by people in your network. Google will be giving users who are logged in and do a search the option to toggle between personal results and normal results by clicking a simple button in the upper right hand corner of the Google search page. Furthermore, now when you do a search it will show the number of personal results and the number of other (normal results). If you like, you can only view personal results, which would only include things you or someone in your network have shared on a Google property such as Google+ or Picasa.
According to Google, these are the main changes taking place.
- Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
- Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
- People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.
According to Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land, “Search Plus Your World doesn’t cover content on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Flickr. Or any social network or place where content might be shared to a more limited audience. Currently, “Search Plus Your World” would be better described as “Search Plus Google+” Sullivan is exactly right. The personalized search results will only include items that have been shared on Google networks. In most cases, Google +.
Concerns with Google Search Plus your World
Critics have expressed strong concerns already about these new features. For one, when you do a search it appears as though your own private content is now listed in public search results. This, however, is not the case. It only appears this way. The content is actually secure. Remember back to when Google moved logged in searches to SSL connection? Now we know why right? To secure the log in before this update!
At this point the information is actually secure, or at least we think so. You could of course reveal unwanted information to someone if you stayed logged in to Google and walked away from your computer, as they could browse through your personal results. But this is true of really any website on the internet that you participate in while logged in. According to Google, “This means when you’re signed in to Google, your search results—including your private content—are protected by the same high standards of encryption as your messages in Gmail.”
The Search your World People and Pages Feature
There has been some controversy over the People and Pages feature. Essentially, now when you do a search you will be presented with relevant Google + profiles and business pages in the sidebar.
“Starting today, if you search for a topic like [music] or [baseball], you might see prominent people who frequently discuss this topic on Google+ appearing on the right-hand side of the results page. You can connect with them on Google+, strike up meaningful conversations and discover entire communities in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.” – Google
This provides a whole new form of Google + profile and business pages search engine optimization. Google will now automatically associate certain items on Google + with specific search queries. This will results in pages and profiles showing up in the sidebar when a specific query is completed. This means we need to find a way to associate Google + business pages and profiles with the correct query. Presumably, this is determined based off the information filled out on the Google + profile/page, the profile settings, the popularity of the Google + profile/page and the search engine query.
Final Thoughts on Google Search Plus Your World
This new feature in Google has not been rolled out to everyone yet. It should come out in English to the main Google property first over the next few days. Google says, “Search plus Your World will become available over the next few days to people who are signed in and searching on https://www.google.com in English.”
We are holding our tongs and trying not to make any rash predictions at this point. However, it would appear this update just brought a whole lot more of Facebook type functionality to Google, when selected of course. It would also seem that this update resulted in a giant change for SEO, making Google + business pages and profiles even more critical. Might want to download our Google + business page whitepaper! 🙂
What are your thoughts on the new Google Search plus Your World update? Comment below!
John E Lincoln on Google +!