Social Search – Google Search, Plus Your World
Google made a major announcement yesterday that totally changes the search landscape in terms of what how natural (organic) search results are displayed and more importantly what gets displayed.
Google has transformed its search engine so that it understands not only content, but also people and relationships. They call this “Social Search”, and today they introduced three new features:
- Personal Results: 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.
- People and Pages: 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.
See sample below and read the whole annuoncement on the Google website.
Why This is Important to You
1. Google Plus just became even more important to you in its ability to generate awareness and drive website traffic via search. Also known as gaining competitive advantage for those of you reading this blog post.
In other words, if you have an active G+ profile and do things like:
- Post regulary to Google+. Comments are great, photos/video are even better
- Add a +1 button and G+ badge to your website
- Create a photo album and name it something that users might search on for your industry. For example if you are a Realtor, create an album called “Realtor – Victoria BC)
- Tag yourself in photos, especially in the ”Realtor – Victoria BC” album
- Encourage clients/customers to leave a review on your Google local page
Bonus Tip: create profiles on YouTube and Picasa (both owned by Google, publish content there and tag it appropriately using your name, company name, products, services, etc.
The result will be improved ranking in search results in pretty short order. Try doing a search for “Chris Burdge” and you’ll see what I mean.
2. Now even a site with relatively poor SEO can acheive a fairly high rank in search results. You simply need to have a customer/friend recommendation (the more the better) andtheir recommendations will start to appear. By connecting with your customers via social media (G+, Facebook, Twitter) and gaining followers, likes and loyalty you will benefit from their social influence. Essentially, a single “+1″ from an influential user could increase your ranking when people search for your product of service.
These are just a few of the reasons that having a soild presence on social media, especially Google+, is more important than ever. There’s a good chance your competitors are there which means they’ll be getting more of the search traffic as well.
It should be said that all this Google content showing up in search to the exclusion and/or detrement of their competitors, namely Twitter and Facebook, is not actually playing fair and I suspect that they will get a lot of flack for it, if not an antitrust suit.
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