Article:

“Search Plus Your World”: Google Rolls Out Social Search

Once again, Google has changed the way that they display search results. But this time it’s different.

Google has gone one step further by integrating content from their social media platform, Google+, into regular organic search results.

Google calls this new format is called “Search Plus Your World”. Of course, it will only be applied to users signed into Google+, and limited to those searching in English.

You may remember Google+ as Google’s own social networking site. Google+ allows users to connect with others to share articles, photos and more. If you’d like to find out more about these features, please read our article on Google+.

How will these changes affect search results?

  • Pretend you’re connected to another user on Google+ who shares a pumpkin soup recipe with their Google+ connections
  • Sometime later, you go and search ‘Pumpkin Soup Recipe’ on Google.
  • The article your Google+ connection shared will come up at the top of your search results, in the newly implemented Personal Results bar.

Have a look at the image below – we’ve highlighted the personal results bar with a red box.

Social-Search-Changes

It doesn’t end there. When a user is signed into Google+, Google will try and predict search queries for that user based on what matches their activity and connections on Google+. In practice, this will mean that what users do on their Google+ profile will now influence search queries.

What does this mean for my SEO strategy?

The first thing to keep in mind is that these changes will only be applicable if the searcher is signed into their Google+ profile. The number of Australian Google+ users was estimated to be 540,000. While this is not a huge number, usership is growing steadily. So don’t panic, but don’t bury your head in the sand, either!

The most important lesson to take from this is that social search is here to stay, as social media continues to be integrated into organic search.

It’s becoming increasingly evident that companies need to have a full digital strategy in place. This will ensure that your businesses online presence is enhanced by the move to social search.

Be mindful that not all businesses will be affected by this change. For example, if a business sells a really technical product, that very few people share information on, then the emergence of social search will have very little impact on you at this time.

On the other hand, if your business can benefit through social marketing, you should consider rolling out your digital strategy.

Remember you can always contact Bang Online if you would like to develop a digital strategy for your business or organisation.