Google has taken another step towards the merging of search results and social media with the addition of “Personal Results,” search results taken from the social media activity in Google+.
Kurt Steinbrueck published an excellent article titled Google+ Invades Google’s Search Results explaining this on ChristianSEOGuys.com
Google is now using people’s connections via Google+ to influence the results people see in the search results. You have to be logged into Google and have a Google+ account to see the change. Any content that has been shared by you, the people in your circles, and the people Google suggests you might want to connect with (depending on how publicly the content was shared) will now show up more prominently in your search results if that content is relevant to your search.
While you do have to be logged into Google and have a Google+ account to SEE the change, neither is necessary for you to FEEL the change. That’s because even if you don’t have a Google+ account, where your website is displayed in the search results for those people who do have a G+ account are being affected.
For example, let’s say you run the Apple restaurant and because you’ve optimized your site for search engines it was showing up in the search results ahead of one of your competitors, the Banana restaurant. But the folks at the Banana have a G+ account, they’re sharing articles about it in G+ and their friends are sharing those articles as well. There’s a good chance Banana’s website is going to be displayed ahead of Apple’s in the search results for the people who are friends with the Banana restaurant on G+. And to make matters worse, the Banana restaurant will also probably show up ahead of yours when friends of the friends of the Banana restaurant search. Follow that?
Of course, the opposite is also true. G+ is still relatively new. (Individual accounts launched in June, business pages in November.) So, you can be the one taking advantage of this opportunity and getting a jump on the competition. Here are the steps to get started…
- Create a G+ account for yourself
- Create a G+ page for your organization
- Invite your friends & contacts on other social networks to connect with you and your organization on G+
- Listen, ask questions and learn how to engage with others using your personal G+ account.
- Begin sharing your organization’s content – announcements, blog posts, pictures, videos – on it’s G+ page.
I have not been a big user of Google+ to this point, but I see the writing on the wall and it says that Google finally figured out how to leverage it’s near monopoly in search to make it’s social network impossible to ignore.
Do you feel the need to use G+ because of its impact on search results?