Date: 18th January 2012
The benefits of these innovations are well documented. I want to look at what Google has done more recently, and how this could change how businesses promote themselves online.
Google is going social – and in a big way. By now you’ve probably heard about Google+, Google’s new social network. On the surface, it appears to be just a competitive product to Facebook and Twitter. However, Google has much bigger plans than that, as evidenced by changes to Google’s search engineannounced last week. These changes are rolling out now.
In a nutshell, Google has embedded Google+ into its core search engine product in three key ways:
Google’s search results are tailored more specifically to you (they already were to a certain extent by using your location and web history, but this now goes further). Relevant content shared by you and your connections on Google+ will get a ranking boost, appearing higher in search results than they normally would.
Google+ profiles and pages will appear in the Search Auto-complete and in search results.
As in the screenshot below, a search for photography blogger Trey Ratcliff brings up his G+ profile as an Autocomplete suggestion…
And if you then click on that suggestion, his profile appears, including a button allowing you to immediately follow him on Google+
On the right hand side of the Search Results page, Google will now show suggested G+ profiles and pages for some high level topic searches. For example, the following may appear in a search for “music”…
These changes are a major overhaul of Google’s search engine and there’ve been many calls in the blogosphere that Google has abandoned its objectivity and is unfairly favouring its own social network over rivals Facebook and Twitter. Excellent analysis of the issue was made by my favourite search blogger Danny Sullivan. Check it out here.
Regardless of whether or not Google is being unfair, it’s obvious that having a Google+ page is a very important weapon in your arsenal. Here’s why:
For marketers there are some additional features – but I’ll leave that for another blog post.
Finally, you might think having yet another social media profile to maintain is a time waster, but for those businesses that rely heavily on the web, Google has made G+ almost impossible to ignore.
By the way, don’t forget to follow Xero on Google+!
If you don’t already have a G+ profile, follow these steps…
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