Search Plus MY World??
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself blogging about Search Plus Your World, Google’s proposed algorithm update which could systematically change the way we operate SEO.
It seems that as G+, Google’s flagship social media platform, gathers speed, a new age of search could be arriving quicker than we thought.
Panic posting has begun. Those not yet aware of G+ have seen absurd requests from strangers requesting their presence in ‘circles’, or to ‘hangout’, confusing social terminology that has also resulted in an ever so slight decline in their Twitter activity.
September22nd 2011 was the day I first joined Google Plus, after persistent nudges from targeted ads on my Gmail account. As simple as the account setup was, my first post was ‘Why does Google feel like Facebook?’. Looking back, as ignorant as that was for someone who works in the Internet industry, it’s decidedly apt. At the moment, G+ is a sort of half-way house between Facebook and professional network LinkedIn; not quite a place you can post about your hangover, but more relaxed than a platform that assesses you purely on your CV.
The most popular social networks all operate in different ways, requiring a separate dictionary of jargon (hashtagging, anyone?), but the biggest difference between them is the way in which we select friends, followers, connections, circle members etc. For example, I use my G+ account to gather information from leaders in my industry (SEO, if any of you are interested), Facebook to keep in touch with past and present friends, and Twitter to fuel my obsession with the culture of celebrity. LinkedIn terrifies me, and I’m forever checking my ‘stats’ to see who has been nosing at my modest list of achievements.
All these networks have had an almost equal hold over people in different ways, but G+ threatens to topple that relatively level hierarchy. Search Plus Your World will mean that when you search for a term on Google (and let’s face it, if you say you use any other search engine, you’re the adult version of an ‘alternative’), it will be influenced by SOCIAL ranking factors rather than just the traditional PageRank. So every time you +1 an article, every time you share a post or a video, Google will puzzle together these factors of your personality and use them to generate search results that are designed for YOU. How considerate!
Well. Search Plus Your World is only available to those with a G+ account, which is only available to those with a Gmail account. A typical Google user friendly system, yes, but why should you feel pressured to join a social platform you might not want? Many find it difficult enough keeping on top of one or two social networks, so what makes G+ soooo attractive? Do you really NEED Search Plus Your World?
Well if you’re an online business owner, yes. As I said, G+ is going to change things for SEO’s, and that will start with the optimisation of people’s Google Plus accounts. Now a powerful factor in Google Search, these accounts, just like websites, will need to be optimised to help drive traffic to a company website.
N.B. Don’t mean to plug too much, but my company, Domaincheck SEO, will be one of many who has introduced G+ Optimisation as a service.