Google Plus was one of the new things that launched itself last year and within days of it arriving it was being called a failure many reviewers. Because it wasn’t being used by as many people as Facebook and the media had called it “the Facebook killer”, it was written off as another Google cock-up.
But were they too hasty?I’ve written many times about how your SEO and web design efforts should involve more than just the odd blog post now and then and it was a very holistic process and I’ve also banged on about why ‘social’ is actually very important. Well as if to cram it down our eager craws some more, Google is now taking it one step closer with a more personal search.
You’ve probably already noticed this whilst searching yourself, maybe for your own site. You search for “Car lease” and your little site is at number three. You jump up in the air and squeal with joy because you’re beating National Leasing and you’ve not done any seo at all!
You then go down the pub and tell everyone:
“Hey, I haven’t done any SEO at all, so tell them SEO people to just shove it, I’m number three, I am, with NO WORK!”
“So how many visits you getting?”
“Errr, three a week…”
What’s happened here is our chump has actually been a victim of ‘personal search’. You see, Google has recognised that he’s been on his own website a lot and that it’s all about ‘car lease’ so it’s decided he must love it. It therefore pops it high up on the results – lovely. But very wrong.
Now it’s getting more personal
Google has now decided that if you’re using Google+ and many of your friends are too, that when you search for something you may prefer to get the answer from one of your colleagues. So, if you so decide it will now give you a list of results that include those from blogs, chats, photos, circles etc. And you know what, this makes perfect sense.
I’ve mentioned before why social networking works and why it’s very similar to breakfast clubs and the like. I’ll explain it again though because I’m convinced nobody listens.
Let’s say you want a fence fixing. You could search for “fence fixer” on Google and look for someone there, but it will probably be with a wary eye, I mean, you don’t know these people and they could be from anywhere. However, when you’re talking to a friend down the pub (I go there a lot, it’s my kind of networking) you mention your fence problem and your mate Jimbo says “Hey, call this guy, he’s a top man when it comes to the whole fence fixing lark”.
Now, you don’t know this guy from Adam, but he’s been recommended by someone you trust and therefore it seems a fair bet that he’s OK too. You have trust by proxy and so you call him, he fixes your fence and Google has nothing to do with it.
This is what Google is now aiming for with their new personal search. You do your search as per normal but they may now include a bunch of results from people who have chatted about your dilemma in the past. One of those chats will have a link to a fence guy and boom – trust by proxy again.
It’s not here yet though and I doubt it will make much difference until more people are using G+, but you never know, this could be the start of something big and it means that the brands who get themselves using G+ more will probably see the benefits in the future.