Updated June 21, 2022Reading Time: 2 minutes
By now you’ve noticed the Google+ 1 (now just called Google +) button in your Google searches. Many of my clients have asked these questions: What is Google Plus? Will it influence my search engine optimization? Why should I care?”
Search Will Never Be The Same
Before this historic unveiling, Google’s updates to their SEO algorithms kept Grey-Hat or Black-Hat SEO (like link farmers) from artificially manipulating and dominating Page 1 search results. For legitimate businesses, we too had to adjust in order to keep or build our search rankings. It’s a moving target, that’s why consistent adjustments and updates to a website (adding content, internal and external links) are necessary. That’s why SEO isn’t a one-time marketing event, but rather needs consistent nurturing to adjust to changes in relevant keywords for organic searches.
What Has Changed?
With this latest release, Google didn’t just announce changes to their algorithms, they significantly changed how search engines return information based upon a Google profile. Hence the Google+ 1 icon when you search. The foundation for this latest change is really based upon consumer search behavior. For example, what if a buddy raved about a new local restaurant. Your search results would take into account the relationship with your friend, and return most likely (and hopefully) relevant information.
Recently Google’s contract with Twitter expired, cutting off access to social media connections and associated information. Using cookies to track what you’ve searched in the past, Google presented personalized results by accounting for what sites you’ve visited and those you would most likely finding interesting or relevant. Now they’ve added a layer — the social media information provided in your Google profile — to return information based upon your connections, what you share, their recent searches, as well as recent search history.
How Does This Affect Search Engine Optimization?
The SEO implications are profound, because your personalized search results are influenced by your Google+ Circles. The search results you receive are segmented based upon these circles, namely who and how you categorize your social connections. Huh? Basically when you enable Google+ 1, you’ll see results influenced by people you know. As a result, page rankings can’t be easily manipulated because searches can have infinite personalized possibilities. If you thought social networking was a bunch of hooey and a waste of time, well here’s the business case that Social Currency is here to stay. Google+ 1 has been around for a month and 20 million users have signed up.
With the release of Google Plus, it begs an obvious question: Is Google turning into Big Brother? Well, that’s another blog post.
Photo credit – Top: Wikipedia