A lot is speculated every day about the future of Google+, one of the main topics is how the social network will affect search.
So far we are all just talking about the great potential and what we want it to become while Google doesn’t say much.
But Google decided to bring out the big guns today with the announcement of “Search, plus Your World”. This is basically the integration of Google+ into search results and it represents one more big step into the world of personalized search, or social search.
Let’s look at what this means in terms of features…
Who can see this?
In order for you to see the new changes you need to be logged into Google+.
3 Main features
There are basically 3 Google+ elements being integrated into search results:
Which includes content that has been shared with you or publicly by your Google+ connections into the search results. In other words, posts and photos shared in your Google+ community are now part of your own personal search results.
Profiles in Search
When you are looking for a person on Facebook you use the search box and Facebook returns the results for those people. Same thing happens on Google+ but now you will also get this in your search results on Google.
This is also part of autocomplete predictions as you see on regular searches.
Once you got your results back, you will be able to “circle” people right from the results page without having to visit the profile on Google+. You stay on your search.
People and Pages
As part of your search results, you will find people and Pages related to the topic you’re searching. For example, if you are searching for “Real Estate”, you will see people and Pages that are relevant on that topic. These results are going to appear on the right hand side of your results page and you will also have the option to circle them right from there.
How about Privacy? What if I don’t want it?
I knew you were gonna say that. Well, for most people the first thing to come to mind is how their content is going to be shared or what are they going to see in the results. These following bullet points are important for you:
- This works the same way Google+ works, you have options to share content. You can share something “Publicly” or to specific Circles, people outside of those circles will still not see that content.
- Everything is secured through SSL Encryption
- You have the option, with a toggle button, to turn it on and off if you don’t want to get “personal results”
Nowadays everything is optional on the web so relax, continue having your coffee…
Before I forget, here is the nice presentation video:
So that’s in regards to new features and the logistics, let’s look at the marketing side of things.
If you think about it, every day that goes by the Internet leans more and more towards the people that creates relevant shit. In recent weeks we have read from several sources and random predictions that 2012 will be huge for Content Marketing.
Do you see how all this can have a powerful impact on your content marketing efforts? What if someone is searching for Fishing Equipment and your profile or page shows up on the results page?
The possibility to circle people from the search results page on related topics is a great way to find relevant people you might want to connect with in your niche. Granted, you can do that inside Google+ but we’re talking about the use of Google Search here. You still use it, right?
This is huge for community building and relationship marketing and we will be talking about this in 2012.
I think this is a big step for Google+ because it’s leveraging its strong points. This is not one of those updates we all see as “trying to catch up” with the competition. Facebook is clearly very weak on search, I don’t like blowing things out of proportion as I’m sure you’ll see some individuals do today with this announcement but, I think Facebook should at least be thinking about it and looking at future plans for search.
This is very positive for Google+
What do you think?
Do you see this as a big step both in search and social networking? Do you like Google is moving more and more into social search? How will this impact your online marketing approach? Share your thoughts with me in the comments. Or if you have any questions, feel free to ask.