How Google’s “Search Plus Your World” Update Changes Social Media (guest post)

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This past week I had the pleasure of hanging with my friend Nicholas Montgomery at a conference here in Toronto. While there we had the opportunity to chat about Google’s new “search plus your world” product. Since then, Nicholas has blogged about this upcoming release. It’s such a great read that I asked Nicholas if I could reproduce his article. He agreed.

Enjoy the read and please leave your comments below.

Nicholas Montgomery is the Technology Expert for The Marilyn Denis Show (CTV) and an intern at Sprouter. You can follow him on Twitter, like his Facebook page or read his blog.

Search Plus Your World

At the Socalize Toronto Conference yesterday several hundred people gathered to talk about social media. Pretty much everything social media was discussed: Facebook ad targeting, Twitter chats, 3D virtual worlds, Google+ and more. I learnt a lot about Facebook marketing and how to measure traction. But there was one very, very important game changing social media aspect which almost everyone I talked to was completely unaware of. This is important game changer for social media is Google’s “Search Plus Your World” search update.
It will have a major impact on the dimensions of all searching on the web.

If you have not heard about “Search Plus Your World” and you’re involved in anything on web from blogging to startups to marketing, you need to read this and know it inside and out now. The early adopters are going to reap the greatest rewards.

What is Search Plus Your World

Google’s search algorithm is a secret and we don’t know exactly how it determines the rank of pages in results. We do know that for years the number one factor for page ranking was how many other sites linked to your site. If a high quality site like CNN or TechCrunch links to you, that link back will have a greater impact than many links from lower quality sites. For the past few years Google has personalized search results based on geographic location, language, what you’ve previously clicked on as well as other factors.

Now, Google is now taking personalization to the next level by making what your “Google+” friends have shared or “+1″‘d a new factor. If you add me to your Google+ circle and you search for “The Marilyn Denis Show” my bio page and segments will be on the first page. Not because they’re the best optimized or have the most link backs or any other factor, but simply because I shared them and you have me in your circle.
A massive 94.23% of referral traffic on this blog comes from Google. Even with Bing as a competitor, 65% of all searches done on the internet are on Google.
This will soon be rolled out to everyone, but you enable the feature early here.
Let me provide you with some examples of the power of Google Search Plus Your World and Google+. Note: click on images to seem them full size.
Cars on Google Search Plus Your World
To be placed above the paid results of a very competitive keyword like “cars”, it only Ferrari 7 218 people to add the brand to their circles! That’s nothing! They may not have even invested anything to get those fans, but they’re beating out Scion, Kia and Hyundai who are paying to appear on the search results page.
One thing you may have noticed is that it isn’t including results of Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, Foursquare or any other social network. Google is going full force with Google+ so do not expect this to change. The presence you’ve developed on Twitter and Facebook means nothing to how your brand is ranked in Google results.
I have Robert Scoble in one of my circles on Google+ and he happened to share something on Google+ relating to cars so it automatically went to the top of my results page.
I happen to have Chris Prillio in one of my circles and his blog posts have been appearing on almost every single search result I do, just because he has shared the article on Google+. I log into Google+ once a week, but the people in my circles are having a huge impact on what I see in search results.
Brands sharing on Google Search Plus Your World

If you’re a brand, a brand page can also influence what I see in my results. So if I added Ferrari to my circle after seeing it when I search for cars, they will continually influence my results. Searching for a fast car or iPod speakers? They might have shared something relevant and Ferrari’s pages will be at the top of my results.
Even if you search for Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, you get his Google+ profile, which he has never posted on.

Mark Zuckerberg Search Plus Your World

Even in the search bar a Google+ profile pops up. Even for just typing the first few letters of Britney Spears.

What if I’m looking for a social media expert? I’ll see the people I have in my circles rather than other people. Most importantly, I’ll only see people on Google+.
Social Media Search Plus Your World
If I’m a music startup I need to build up a huge following on Google+. When my followers search for anything related to music I’ve shared, my startup shows up.
Music Search Plus Your World

The message is clear: If you’re not on Google+, you need to be on now. By having someone add you to their circles, you can continually influence what they see in search results and when they search for anything relating to your business or brand.

I spoke with Karim Kanji, co-founder and parter of Third Ocean, at Socialize Toronto. He shared the same excitement of what this can do for brands.

Google is the default search engine for the web (mobile/desktop/laptop). Google Search Plus Your World puts your content on the front page that our social graph has interacted with. Brands that take advantage of this and build their following an engagement will be the early adopters and winners as our friends’ interaction with brands, pages and content.

Search Plus Your World is in its early stages is continually changing. It will be rolled out to all Google users very soon. So go test it out yourself, add me to your circle and share how you’ve utilized it. I’m learning more and more about this new change everyday and will keep posting more updates of how brands can take advantage of it.

Leave your thoughts below. On Google Plus? So am I at http://gplus.to/karimkanji

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One thought on “How Google’s “Search Plus Your World” Update Changes Social Media (guest post)

    Nicholas Montgomery (@NichM) said:
    January 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks for re-posting it Karim. Glad you found it useful. After reading this and looking into Google+, if you could only put your energy into developing a presence on two social networks what would they be? I think it would be Facebook and Google Plus, with G+ replacing Twitter.

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