Danny Sullivan characterizes this as “the most radical transformation” to Google’s search results – ever. Google+ users will see it first, but it will eventually roll out to anyone who logs into either Google.com or their Gmail account. In a nutshell, it will add “personal results” to any Google search you perform. Much as Bing touts its integration with Facebook, in that as you search on that service, if you are logged into Bing and Facebook concurrently, you will see “social results” alongside the other search results, this is obviously Google’s plan to leverage Google+ and the network of Circles, individual “+1’s” and such into the overall search.
Given the huge market share that Google Search holds, especially those among us involved in online marketing, social media management, and especially Search Engine Optimization, this is a huge event, one sure to have immediate and lasting impact on “us” – the online marketing/SEO crowd.
The regular search User in me is excited by this, in that I will see recommendations and personal results of my Google+ connections in my results. Not a whole lot, mind you, as I’m not one of those uber-social personalities with thousands of people in my circles, or following me currently. This would be a bigger deal if Google were able to build on a user’s Facebook connections, where most social media users have more connections than they do on Google+. I know I’m in that boat.
The online marketing/SEO professional in me is somewhat curious, and worried about this development. I’m wondering how it will impact my job, pretty much. Is it possible to game the system, how much will I need to focus on Google+ promotions, how will this impact overall search results and rankings for the online properties I’m trying to promote? There has been much recent chatter about Google favoring results in the Google+ ecosystem over results on the general Internet. For example, in some instances, comments and shares about an article will rank higher than the original article itself in a Google Search. (https://plus.google.com/102459213278031746871/posts/9LB9uoSfD2i)
This ability to promote search rankings via connections and the use of a social network, while in theory is much or at least in the ballpark of regular SEO activities like linking, obtaining backlinks and such, is likely to cause issues within the SEO community. This is compounded by the fact that Google+ – the social network in question – is to a large extent, becoming Google.