You have probably heard that Google is beginning the full roll out of their new “Google Search Plus Your World” feature in the coming days. While it is interesting that you will now be able to see your both your own and friends’ pictures and posts in search engine results, let’s be honest and admit that we all really just want to understand how this will impact our brands, clients and most importantly their SEO.
First, the reasons why Google is making this shift:
- People do not always trust search engines
- People trust their friends and, by extension, things their friends like
- The continued grow and popularity of social media
- This helps Google+ (let’s not get into the whole Google+ vs. Facebook vs. Twitter thing)
- Personalization has been on Google’s radar since 2005
So what are the likely SEO effects of “Google Search Plus Your World” going to be? There is going to be even more of a line in the sand between the online ‘personalized world’ and the ‘un-personalized world’. In the highly personalized and niche communities on the web it will have a major impact. For instance, for those that are interested in mobile technology, they will begin to see related and personalized results from Google+ for blogs and sites about the latest product launches. On the other hand those who are searching for pest control or snow removal will likely find that not much has changed in the search engine results page. It will be up to brands and marketers to figure out which world they live in and how to optimize accordingly.
Those brands that have been social media conscious over the past few years may reap the reward in the coming months. Having a Google+ brand page and finding new ways to gain fans could become vital. If brand results are shown with higher prominence because the searcher has indicated they are a fan of that brand or product in the past it could put more importance than ever on social integration.
Altogether, the abiding message is that the marketer cannot look at a single channel but needs to continue to identify ways to integrate existing and emerging channels. The holistic marketer who looks across paid, organic, local, mobile, search and social is the one that will be smiling once the dust settles. Let the race for Google+ dominance begin.