Google search received one of its biggest updates in a decade yesterday. Essentially Google has made it pretty much mandatory for any and all individuals as well as companies to get a Google+ account to gain any search accreditation. Google+ will be a part of everything Google does on the web and mobile, and being that Google is the number one search engine; you’d be silly not to jump on this growing band wagon.
This Google+ infused approach assumes personal connections as well as relevance. Any links shared by your Google+ connections are given more accreditation and will show up in the first page of web search results with the individuals profile avatar on the left. You will also be able to see, based on keyword relevance, Google+ posts. To put in terms you can easily understand, Google indexes the Google+ posts just like every other page, but they will show up in your search if the individual/poster is connected to you via the Google+ network. Images posted to Google+ will also show up in web and image search results, again, only to searchers who are connected to the originating person who posted the photo being searched. Lastly, like Facebook, in the search bar you will be able to ‘Google’ specific people who have a Google+ network profiles and see content from people you are connected to.
Jack Menzel, Google’s web search product management director, mentioned in an interview with VentureBeat, “Everything we show you, we label that very clearly and explain why that’s showing up.”
The social search integrations, which Google is calling “search plus your world,” can be toggled on and off by using the “person” and “world” icons in the top right corner of search results, basically allowing you to view or hide your personal search results from the Google search.
Next you may notice the promoted Google+ accounts. On the right side of the results page, you will see featured profiles and pages, along with a link reading, “learn how you could appear here too.” Though these featured accounts are currently algorithmically determined, we can see these being direct competition with Facebook’s social ads, which is HUGE! Facebook has been banking some pretty amazing revenue from their geo-targeted ads based on social graph data. With Google+, Google is on its way to building a powerhouse of even more rich social graph data to pull even more direct and specific social ad marketing.
Menzel told VentureBeat, “The more information you have associated with your Google+ profile, the better it gets. For this launch, we’re just talking about web search and image search,” said Menzel, “but I wouldn’t rule out improvements to those other products.”
Google+ results are coming today to web search, and although the company can’t talk timelines for future rollouts, we fully expect to see Google+ results in Google News, Google Maps, Google Shopping and other search properties soon.
Google+ is not just a social network; it’s the wave of a personalized search. Good or bad? What do you think? Share your comments on Google+ and personalized search below…