Last week Google made another change to its algorithm.
This is an update they’re calling Search, Plus Your World.
So what is this change?
How will it affect SEO services?
And how will it affect your Internet business?
Basically Google now includes three factors in an individual’s search results.
These are all taken from a searcher’s Google account and experiences from specific websites:
- Personal Results: Photos, posts and preferences from your Google + account and other Internet properties. This includes what has been shared and things that people in your “Circles” share with you.
- Profiles in Search: Search results from people in your Circles, plus anyone you might want to follow – Based on your interests.
- People and Pages: What people and Google+ pages are related to a specific topic. This will make it easier to follow someone because you can immediately add them to your social account.
It’s the intention of the Search, Plus Your World to incorporate personal contacts into search results. For instance, here’s what I get when I enter the phrase train for a marathon:
Two of the top results come from comments and shares in my personal circles.
Does this give me the best results? Honestly I don’t think so. If I wanted to ask for advice on training marathon, I’d go to an expert (or search for a website.) I wouldn’t go on Google + and look at other people’s experience with a marathon.
Anyway, it doesn’t really matter what I think. What’s important is to understand how this update impacts your Internet business. And the best way to do this is to see what the experts have to say. So I’ve compiled six blog posts on this topic:
On the official Google blog, Amit Singhal provides an overview of the Search, plus Your World update. This is a great place to start because it shows what Google wants from a website:
“Search is pretty amazing at finding that one needle in a haystack of billions of webpages, images, videos, news and much more. But clearly, that isn’t enough. You should also be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to… all from one search box.”
I always look at what Matt Cutts thinks when there’s a change to a Google algorithm. That’s because he does a great job of explaining things in a straight-forward manner.
“I was reading some of the comments on tech blogs, and I wanted to clarify something: Search plus Your World does surface public content from the open web, not just content from Google+.”
Best Lesson 2:
“I hope that helps to make my point. Search plus Your World builds on the social search that we launched in 2009, and can surface public content from sites across from the web, such as Quora, FriendFeed, LiveJournal, Twitter, and WordPress.”
All Internet entrepreneurs should understand how the search engines work – Especially anyone who depends on Google for their web traffic. I recommend Erin’s post because it raises a lot of questions about the “best practices” after this change:
“…Search+ essentially forces brands to use their Google+ pages much like their own website. That means brands should integrate their main keywords into Google+ posts to increase their relevance in important searches. But again, this must be done in a natural, non-spammy manner.”
Best Lesson 2:
“… if guest blogging is a part of your SEO strategy, which it should be, you need to ensure that each site that publishes your content is using the
rel="author"tag that leads back to your Google+ profile so you gain more clout and authority from Google.”
Danny does a great job of giving a non-biased look (in my opinion) at the new change to Google. He explains how it generates its results and what might happen in the future:
“Don’t like the idea of personalized search? Disappointingly, Google didn’t go the opt-in route. Instead, you have to deliberately opt-out.
You can opt-out permanently through the Search Settings area on Google. You can also opt-out on a per-search basis using the aforementioned toggle. Click on the globe symbol, and you’ll see unpersonalized results.”
Jon provides a great list of actionable ideas. In this post, he talks about something called Google Profile Authority or GPA. The goal is to be positively connected to people in a market and make sure you’re sharing only quality content (including your own.)
“Bottom line, if you want to be as visible as possible on Google, you will have to immerse yourself into their social ecosystem. What hasn’t changed is creating good content and fostering meaningful online relationships.”
Does your Internet business rely on local search? If so, then you should check out this explanation of how this update has (and will) impact these search results:
“Google has long tried to find ways to surface the best information, but “best” is a relative term. What is best for me in one SERP (steak) is personalization, while in another it is universal (longtail seo). It almost seems like Google is giving up trying to surface content across the board, and instead is letting us choose.
I appreciate that move, Google, and it was obvious you were heading in this direction. But I did not know that it was going to be so drastic. Honestly, I think it hurts the overall search experience. Local results are buried because of personalization as we see, I have to switch back and forth to see universal or personalized.”
Your Thoughts on Search, Plus Your World:
There are a lot of things that can happen from this algorithm change. Some of it will be good. Some of it will be bad. Right now, I have a lot of questions about this update:
- Does this signal the end of niche sites that don’t provide in-depth, “sharable” content?
- Will this favor massive authority blogs that are “connected” over small niche websites?
- How will sites like Facebook and Twitter respond?
- Will SEO now emphasize “Google + Optimization?”
- Will we start to see long Google+ articles filled with keywords?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Search, Plus Your World change. Answer any of these questions. Or feel free to voice your opinion…Take Action. Get Results.