This has been on the cards for a while and Google unvieled their social search on Tuesday, Search plus Your World. A bit of a mouthful to say the least!
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Here in the UK we have the benefit of watching the circus as social search makes it’s landing on google.com. The move has resulted in gnashing of teeth from critics, not to mention wails of despair as traditional website optimisation takes another step off stage.
Quite simply, Google is personalising your search results based on Google+. This what they say:
1. Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
2. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
3. People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.
People with Google plus profiles, brands and businesses with Google+ pages will have an advantage. I borrowed this pic from Google’s announcement, this is what personalised social search will look like once it is rolled out over here.
The good news (for me anyway!) is the personalised search results will only appear if you are logged into Google AND you can turn this feature off. The not so good news is, not everyone is like me and will be turning it off!
It means your business does need to think hard about using Google Plus.
Of course, there are other search engines out there. But, let’s not forget that google.co.uk provides 86% of our searches. How many of these people are logged in?
That’s difficult to say.
I know when Google introduced their “privacy” feature for logged in users last year they stated that it would affect around 10% of searches. In effect, if you are logged into Google, words and phrases used in search are not revealed to website owners. Reading around, that isn’t always the case. My stats are hovering around 15%, which isn’t too bad compared to some.
It’s worth pointing out that Facebook and Twitter will not be featuring in the personalised search results. At least not yet, who knows if they will reach an agreement with Google in the future to share their data.
Whether you like or agree with what Google are doing or not, this is the where the web is heading. Search is going social and it will be heading over to the UK too.
You have the opportunity to get your house in order before personalised social search lands. It’s time to set up your Google+ profile and business page.
Why not join me? I am scheduling time in to actually update my page yes, I know I should have done that last year!Social Search Is Here – Almost! by Jan Kearney