Google Search Plus Your World: What, How, Why and When?

It’s coming. What pundits have speculatively labelled as one of the biggest game changers in the history of SEO, Google’s foray into social search is gaining momentum abroad and is destined to land in Australia in the not too distant future. Once again, Google has created an evolutionary step in search, with personalisation becoming the ‘hot’ ingredient in its algorithmic recipe, manipulating search engine rankings like never seen before.
By now, you may have discovered some of your friend’s faces (and some less familiar faces as well) appearing right alongside your Google search results. This is not Google Search Plus Your World but rather, Google’s first steps towards integrating Google+ social signals into their search results.

So, What is Google Search Plus Your World Then?

In essence, Google Search Plus Your World is just the addition of a new toggle button to the right hand side of your Google search page. However, with this simple toggle button comes two almost parallel universes in search engine results.

If you click the icon of the user on the left hand side of the toggle, you will enable Google Search Plus Your World (assuming you are logged into a Google account). If you click on the globe icon, you will get the normal, unpersonalised organic search results.

Along with the current personalised search features already appearing in your search engine results, Google Search Plus Your World includes three major search additions:

1.       Personal Results:  enabling 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.

2.       Google+ 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.

3.       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.

      (Official Google Blog)

How Does Google Search Plus Your World Work?

In a nutshell, ‘Google Search Plus Your World’ is just a pseudonym for ‘personalised search results’, which are search results based on a user-centric search algorithm, drawn from Google Plus profiles and activity.

This means that, if you visit a particular website often or if you ‘+1’ a page or article, these personal elements will contribute to creating your ‘public stamp of approval’, thus encouraging ranking increases in Google for not only you but people who follow you as well. When you log into any Google account, ‘Search Plus My World’ is enabled by default, tailoring your search results to just you based on what Google knows about you.

As Google+ is an instantaneous, open graph social media platform, your interactions, +1s and follows will have an impact on not only your own search results, but that of your Google+ followers as well. Your influence will be felt, as people are more likely to follow a trail from their dependable and reliable friends.

Why Are Google Doing This?

Ask yourself this – if you saw your friend’s Google Plus profile in your search results, would you be more inclined to click on that website? I know I would be tempted.

Even though Facebook pioneered the ability to harness the power of word of mouth marketing through their open graph social sharing platform, social approval was generally limited to the website with the open graph functionality installed or within the Facebook platform itself.

Google on the other hand have taken the concept of online social approval and are attempting to apply it to the entire internet – starting with your search results!

How Will Google Search Plus Your World Affect SEO?

A critical task for anyone performing SEO in the future will be to not only consider their standard organic results, but also the user’s personalised results.

“But how do you do that?!”  You may ask.

Firstly, if you don’t already have a Google Plus profile, I would strongly encourage you to jump on the bandwagon now. At the very least, you will become a bigger blip on Google’s ever-present radar.

Google are using G+ pages linked to website domains as a signal of ‘proof of life’ for both people and brands. You can bet your bottom dollar that Google will be looking more favourably at domains that have a linked G+ profile than those that don’t in the future.

Further to this, it is also likely that low quality link building will be further penalised and higher quality link building will provide better organic results. This means that links should come from relevant, evergreen websites that are seen as reputable in Google’s eyes.

Some approaches to consider when developing a Google+ strategy:

1.       Increase your following

Your Google+ strategy should be focussed on increasing your G+ following as much as possible. A quick way to kick this off would be a targeted EDM to your current database announcing your presence and the benefits your customers will get from following you on Google+.

 2.       Develop a unique, engaging and strategic content schedule

Content is still king. Start slow and build momentum by creating compelling content to drive a community engagement. The key is to update content as often as possible and encourage sharing of your content frequently via Google Plus. When your Google Plus connections interact with you and share your content, you have the potential to influence their search results for keywords related to your business and position yourself as an industry leader.

3.       Sort your circles out

If you are planning on building a huge following, it would be worth setting up your circles now so that they are scalable. A few ideas for some circles might be:

  • All followers
  • Industry thought leaders
  • Competitors
  • Partners

When is Google Search Plus Your World Coming to Australia?

Although already launched in the US back in January, speculation is that Google Search Plus Your World will be in Australia within the next 2-3 months. Is your business ready?

Follow Reload Media on Google plus by clicking the link below!

https://plus.google.com/118148715747815315896