Google Plus Makes Search More Social

Google Introduces “Post” and “Circles” Button To Search Results

We all know how frequently Google updates its search algorithm and thus we knew it would not be long before Google brought ties to search results and its new social network. In fact Google announced earlier this week the that search results on their search engine will now include recent “posts” from a brand’s Google+ brand page plus the ability to add that brand to your “circles” on the Google+ network. So it has begun that search is becoming increasingly social.

For now Google is slowly rolling out this feature to all brands and all search result pages. A screen shot below demonstrates exactly what a results page will soon look like.

As you can see the query is, “WWE.” The first result is of course the WWE website. Underneath you find snippets of the WWE website and links to corresponding pages. One of these snippets is now the corresponding Google+ brand page. In the screen shot above this snippet is inside the red box. As you can see it includes the most recent status update from the brand page itself. In the upper right hand corner you have the opportunity to add this brand to your friend circles.

The implications of these social search results is great for marketers. Essentially Google is forcing all organizations to create a Google+ brand page and to actively update this page with information pertaining to the target audience. Companies that participate will appear much higher in search results than those that do not simply by rule of “relevant search.” Relevant search refers to a portion of Google’s algorithm which provides search results based upon your search history. As long as you haven’t cleared the cache or cookies on your computer, Google provides you information based up on your search history. Now with a social element added, if you are logged into your personal Google account when you search, results will be tailored to those Google+ brand pages that you subscribe to along with the interests of your friends within your “circles”. To summarize Google is meshing your interests and your friend’s interests with the results they will provide you via their search engine.

Refuse to be Social and Pay the Price

Those companies that refuse to be “social” online will now suffer the consequences in Google’s search results with a lower website grade and ranking. Plain and simple, if your company does not have an updated Google+ brand page that is linked to your website, Google is essentially going to index your website as “incomplete”. Thus you will be ranked lower than your competitors who are participating in social and who are taking advantage of relevant search results.

We are curious… are you in support of Google’s changes to bring the aspect of social into search?