Hot off the press TODAY from Mashable: Google Merges Search and Google+ Into Social Media Juggernaut
As Google Fellow Amit Singhal noted on the Official Google Blog: “We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships.” This is one of those paradigm shifts that takes us into territory where no man (or search engine) has gone before.
The implications are simply mind-blowing — and transform Google Plus from what some people might consider YASNY (“Yet Another Social Network — Yawn”) into a vital component of Search Optimisation.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. Rolling out NOW, around the world: if you’re logged in to your Google account, you get to choose whether to see search results that are shaped by your PERSONAL networks or not.
2. If you opt for Personal Results:
Say you’re looking for a vacation destination. You can of course search the web, but what if you want to learn from the experiences your friends have had on their vacations? Just as in real life, your friends’ experiences are often so much more meaningful to you than impersonal content on the web. With your world in search, you can find:
- Google+ posts. You can find relevant Google+ posts from friends talking about an amazing trip they just took, whether they’ve shared privately with you or publicly. You’ll find links shared by your friends, such as activities, restaurants and other things they enjoyed on their trip.
- Photos. You can find beautiful vacation photos from your friends right in your search results page. You can also find your own private photos from Google+ and Picasa, based on captions, comments and album title.
Watch the video to see how this new feature works:
3. Profiles in Search
Every day, there are hundreds of millions of searches for people. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the person you’re looking for. Once you do find him or her, there’s no quick way for you to actually interact. Starting today, you’ll have meaningful ways to connect with people instantly, right from the search results.
Now, typing just the first few letters of your friend’s name brings up a personalized profile prediction in autocomplete. Selecting a predicted profile takes you to a results page for your friend, which includes information from their Google+ profile and relevant web results that may be related to them. And you can have this personal experience instantaneously, thanks to Google Instant. So when I search for [ben smith], I now find my dear friend Ben every time, instead of the hundreds of other Ben Smiths out there (no offense to all of them!).
4. People and Pages
Starting today, if you search for a topic like [music] or [baseball], you might see prominent people who frequently discuss this topic on Google+ appearing on the right-hand side of the results page. You can connect with them on Google+, strike up meaningful conversations and discover entire communities in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.
Google is also introducing a prominent new toggle on the upper right of the results page where you can see what your search results look like without personal content. With a single click, you can see an unpersonalized view of search results.
- We’re currently digesting the implications of these unprecedented developments and will update the materials in our next Marketing Through Google Plus course (starting January 25, click on the link for registration details and our Early Bird Offer for bookings received by next Wednesday).
We really can’t overstate the importance of this latest development. What do YOU think? Share your comments below.