We all know that Google is constantly changing the game. They make the rules and we better play by it or lose at it. Google caused a major surge again this week by launching what they call ‘Search Plus Your World’.
What it does is mix what you’ve shared privately and that which comes from the web into a single set of listings. The change is said to already be live for those searching while logged into their Google account and who’s searching in English. This new feature plans to make search easier to fuse the two together so it’s not necessary to choose the different options and switch.
There are concerns across the web that privacy may be compromised, but testing shows that although it seems that private content is shared live, it is said to be private results. Other concerns are that content shared may not be intended to be shared to those that receive the results. It looks like a new search engine war is looming as Google seems to be favoring its own platforms.
Let’s have a look at more detailed features and how they could affect you.
Personalized and social search before the roll-out
Since June 2005, Google have been playing around with different approaches to personalized results. And throughout testing this new way of search, consumers were automatically opted in to this option without being approached. Around 2009 social impact were measured on content and it started to influence what is listed in the results. They were segregated before but since February 2011 have been fused with other results.
A marriage between personal, private, public and social
Danny from searchengineland covers this update nicely referring Amit Singhal’s personal search screenshots. There are 2 views available in Search Plus Your World. The personal view is on by default and personalizes the listing based on your connections and your own behavior online. This includes using influences from the Google + platform.
Here is what personalized results will now include:
- Everything that used to appear before search plus your world launch
- Pages and sites from the web, boosted by your own personal behavior.
- Pages and sites boosted because of your social connections. (You’d note the note “You shared this” or “YourFriend shared this”…)
- Public Google + posts, Photos or Google Picassa photos
- Private or limited Google+ posts, Photos or Google Picassa photos shared with you
Yep, private content will now be visible all across the web.
This is all only when you’re logged in. You still have unbiased search results if opt to see un-personalized results. So it is your Google’s world. You’re not private among your friends and social connections anymore.
Facebook and other social media platforms shut out?
Facebook is probably one of the biggest depositories of private content. However, Facebook is not included in this new search, neither is any other social media platform. The reason for that is because Facebook and Twitters’ terms of service do not allow Google to deeply crawl them.
Suggestions for pages and people remain in the Google camp.
When you search for something keeping personalized search on, you tend to get compromised results that makes no sense to your search. SPUW update may contribute to credibility and trust but not relevance.
How it’s going to Impact SEO?
SEO is unaffected as long as search is unpersonalized. However, I’d try to see more of positive factors when I know I’d go by the updates.
1- It becomes more challenging than recent panda update because getting people like your content (something you don’t control) is tougher than getting unique content written (all under your control)
2- Get more and more Google+ connections so you get maximum chances of connecting to your audience and influence maximum personalized results.
3- This is going to influence local searches bigtime. It is easier to control (rather maximize) your local connections and influence the search results ensuring better business, sales and branding.
As is evident, Google favors Google. Naturally. If I was Google, I would probably do the same. If you were ignoring Google plus for any reason, you have no good option but to start using it now.