Google’s recent launch of ‘Search, plus Your World’ has really stirred things up, and many people are looking at it as either the beginning of a new revolution in personalised, relevant searching, or as the end of reliable search results. Some have decided already that it’s killed off SEO, and others are seeing huge potentials in new areas.
To be honest, it’s far too early to call, but certainly it’s going to be a major issue which we will all need to keep a careful eye on throughout 2012. Make sure you monitor your traffic using a tool such as Google Analytics, as the chances are high you’ll be finding things changing over the next few weeks and months. Possibly that will be for the better, but who knows?
On the face of it, the concept sounds good. After all, if you’re looking for a great pizza place in town will you rely on search results delivered up by a robot, or your friends’ recommendations? By having your search results affected by what those within your social network are recommending you can enjoy results which are tailor made, and more reliable.
Yet of course it’s worth bearing in mind two things. Firstly, the social network in question is of course Google’s own, leading people to consider it an unfair consolidation of services before it’s even begun, and secondly, standard organic results are likely to be pushed down still further as the Google+ results take precedence. With sponsored listings, social network listings and Google+ listings all appearing at the top of the results it may well be that organic results don’t even begin until page two, which could be bad news for those of us who spend our days pushing those organic results up.
So what’s the answer? It certainly isn’t to give up, go home and take up pottery. In fact it could well be a wise move to take a moment to re-evaluate your use of social media marketing. If you haven’t already rolled out Google+ buttons across your site and blog, now is the time to do it. If you haven’t created a profile, now could be a good time to get started. In fact we’d recommend taking Google+ a lot more seriously than most people did in 2011 when it was largely seen as a mere shadow of other social networks. Now we’re seeing it being plugged in to real search results it’s shaking things up quite a lot, particularly if your business operates within a niche that has an active community (think Social Media, SEO).
How do you feel about Google+ affecting search results? Is this a good thing, or is Google shooting itself in the foot? Is SEO threatened by this, or do we all just have to change course a bit yet again? Share your thoughts and views below.
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