At the beginning of 2012, Google launched “Search Plus Your World” — a change to the way the search engine performs that promises to make internet search more personalized than ever.
“Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. These wonderful people and this rich personal content is currently missing from your search experience. Search is still limited to a universe of webpages created publicly, mostly by people you’ve never met. Today, we’re changing that by bringing your world, rich with people and information, into search” (Google Blog).
This development follows the launch last year of Google+ – Google’s own social network that turns the whole search engine into one giant social network, and makes connecting online more like connecting in the real world. Now, your personal Google+ platform will be integrated with Google Search.
That means that when you perform a search, not only will Google search the world wide web for results, it’ll search your Google+ world — drawing on content from inside your Google+ social network for incredibly personalized results. Exciting? Sure. But it changes Search Engine Optimization (SEO)quite a bit.
Up until recently, Social Media was an important part of any good Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign. Now, with the launch of Search Plus Your World, it’s an absolute essential.
“Since Google is the most influential search engine and they are clearly integrating and favouring results coming from people’s Google+ circles, this becomes the most important social outlet to focus on from a SEO-Social perspective. No more ignoring it” (www.agent-seo.com).
In that sentiment, all of Stir’s comprehensive and customizable SEO packages include Social Media Marketing, Management, and Engagement – that’s including (but not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and (of course!) Google+. So, Search Plus Your World has changed how your SEO agency will have to think about and incorporate Social Media. What else? Keyword/keyphrase usage (both on- and off-page) and link-building (among other aspects of SEO) will have to be approached quite differently. In reality, you need an expert now more than ever.
Further, during these early days, some people have expressed concern about security and privacy now that personal content is going to show up in search results. Google assures us that we needn’t worry:
“Unprecedented security, transparency and control — When it comes to security and privacy, we set a high bar for Search plus Your World. Since some of the information you’ll now find in search results, including Google+ posts and private photos, is already secured by SSL encryption on Google+, we have decided that the results page should also have the same level of security and privacy protection. That’s part of why we were the first major search engine to turn on search via SSL by default for signed-in users last year. This means when you’re signed in to Google, your search results—including your private content—are protected by the same high standards of encryption as your messages in Gmail” (Google Blog).
These developments might seem scary for businesses just trying to get a feel for social media and search engine optimization. But they shouldn’t. The internet is always changing, and — once we all get our head’s around this new search style — the results will be exciting.
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