Google Search Plus Your World
If you’re in the US, and when you search on Google.com in English, you can now access 2 kinds of results: either classic links from the whole web or links coming from your Google social network (Google+) and photo sharing service (Picasa).
In this new social search, Google displays statuses, photos, circles, and profiles that may interest you from Google+, as well as business & celebrities pages linked to your search. Photos from Picasa can also be displayed.
Here is the official video presenting the new social feature:
Users can simply decide whether they want to get social results or unpersonalized results or not. They can simply choose to turn on/off the toggle button displayed below:
Social Search isn’t New
It isn’t the first time Google includes contents from social networks into its search engine.
In December 2009, the search results page displayed real time status updates from Facebook, Twitter or some blog posts related to the query into a box and then a dedicated page. This feature was removed in July 2011.
In the meantime, Google released the +1 button to its search results page in March 2011. The button was connected to the new social network Google+ in June 2011. Content liked by circles of friends were given priority in the search engine results.
Social Search for Better Search and More Money
With this new feature, Google strives to improve the quality of its search results. However, it’s also a good way to promote Google+ that is still small compared to Facebook and Twitter.
And the idea behind getting more and more registered users is also getting more money from advertisement. Indeed, social networks enable advertisers to run targeted campaigns that are generally more expensive as better targeted.
According to eMarketer, 10.6% of all marketing expenses will be allocated to social network advertising in 2012, so Google wants to get a share of the cake.
A Fierce Debate
Following the announcement, some voices said Google was a threat for the Internet.
According to Wired co-founder, John Battelle, Google excludes Facebook from its social search, and this is harmful for the Internet development.
Some others think Google is pushing its own services too much, abusing from its leading position. According to the famous SEO specialist, Danny Sullivan, the role of search engines is to redirect towards the best information even though not present in-house.
And What About My SEO?
With this new feature, Google makes search more social, and therefore more personalized.
Is SEO dead? As every major update on Google search, not it isn't, it will just evolve. Previously to this announcement, Google decided to turn on secure search for signed-in users, affecting many search queries.
If you aren't familiar with Google+, I'd recommend you to read why your should create a Google+ page.
What do you think about new Google social search feature? Are you excited about it? Do you fear it? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.