What Google’s Social Search Means For You

This week Google starts rolling out “Search, plus Your World”. It is the search engine’s latest & biggest push to making search more personal and social through further integrating its Google+ social network into users search results. Google search has 3 new key features:

1. It gives searchers the ability to get personal search results – pulling posts & photos from your Google+ circles.

2. Google+ profiles are made more prominent in search. When selecting a Google+ profile in the autocomplete, you will be returned results about THAT Ben Smith that you already know instead of those you don’t:

3. Searching for a topic will also return results of people who frequently discuss the topic on Google+.

Thinking about these developments for a moment (and using your imagination of what else there is to come), if appearing in search results is important for you, you would want to get a Google+ page and invest in it as best you can as you would your Facebook page.

Google is recognising the people behind the content and the influence of those using it. It has taken steps recently towards this integration such as utilising authorship tags and pulling +1 button recommendations into search results and ads. It is taking search to the point where, in this latest move, the influence and network of the people that follow your Google+ page could be more important than all the pagerank & SEO you have achieved to-date.

Last year you didn’t need a Google+ page. The network’s market share plateaued, its usage slowed after its loud launch and we were all doubtful it would actually fly given Google’s track record in venturing to the social space in the past. However, the introduction of heavily personalised search results based on Google+ data outweighs any resistance to be involved.

Your standing on Google+ will soon determine how you perform on search. This is why it is important to have a Google+ page. Because search is becoming social. And by social, Google is only really interested in Google+.

Videos & screenshots of the new features are on Google’s blog.