Google recently announced their new feature called “Search plus your world”. This is Google’s attempt to socialize search. Right now the option is not permanently available and it keeps disappearing from their search page but the impact of their decision is huge.
This basically makes posts shared by your personal connections more relevant in search. This is heavily influenced by Google plus. Since they don’t have access to Facebook or Twitter data this is their attempt to use social sharing in search.
On the right hand corner of the page you will see these two options.
The one on the left is personalized search which will index results from Google Plus and it is active when you get personalized results. The one on the right is if you want to see results without personalization. The way you were experiencing it before the results were personalized, just select this option to turn off personalization.
I did a search for Hotel Internet Marketing and this is how it appears. It showed me 9 personal results and 13 millions other results. The personal results are coming from people I follow on Google plus.
This is how it shows on the results page, with a personalised result and shows an image right next to the result.
My second search was for revenue management consulting and my profile is 4th. Everyone knows the higher you are in Google ranking the more traffic you drive to your site. The notable thing here is that the results ahead of me are of companies who have been in this business for years but I am easily able to catch up to them with almost no effort.
This is a scenario if someone searches for Revenue management strategy. He/She is going to get to my post which talks about strategies on revenue management. Why? This is because Google placed a high relevance on your personal connections. So, if someone in my Google plus circle searches for this term he/she is going to get my post as the top result. I outrank Xotels which has been doing this for a while and is a bigger company. It is a known fact the top 3 search results get the most traffic on Google.
You can see the impact this will have on search overall if it gets personalized permanently. Right now there is a debate that Google is using their position in search to boost their Google plus adoption rate.
Whatever the case may be, one of things made Google so powerful and reliable were the quality of the results and the delivery of the search experience.
And personalizing search may not result in the best search experience.
This is simply because the search result is coming from your connection and not based on how high quality is the information. I could have low quality content and easily outrank companies producing good work.
Here is a great video by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz explaining the impact of this personalization in greater detail. It is about 12 minutes long but very valuable in explaining the impact you will experience because of this.
After seeing the video if you want to take advantage of this recent change and optimize Google plus for SEO then you should look at this post. It goes in depth about how to get the best out of these recent changes.
Google Plus SEO
It is still early days of personalization and in its current format if it is rolled out to everyone you will see the impact of this and you will have to embrace this platform if you aren’t already.
What do you think about these changes Google made?
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