We are only 10 days into the new year, and already the world of search could be about to be turned on its head! The Official Google Blog has just announced Search, plus your World and at the same time landed a potential killer blow which not only flips Local Search Engine Optimisation upside down, but Social Search too!
So how could this impact on Local Search? Well, Google are introducing 3 new features to the search experience for signed in Google users:
Personal Results: Any Google+ posts shared by anyone in your Google+ Circles can now be found in your search results. Imagine now that you are a local business on Google+ and all your fans (ooops have I just used Facebook lingo?) share your content, the potential reach in Google could be huge! Because its not just your fans who wll see the shared posts for a realted query in Google, but your fans friends too!
You can even use Facebook insights give a good insight into what your potential reach could be on Google+. Using a local business I help manage, this particular page has 431 fans, however the ‘Friends of Fans’ total is 128,896! Now imagine all those fans are your fans on Google+ instead and all share your content……instantly Google has been transformed potentially for over 128,000 people. Obviouisly there are certain limitations, ie all users have to be signed into Goolge etc, the 2nd of Google’s new features may just give non Google+ users a nudge in the right direction…..
Profiles in Search: The best way to explain this part is to quote Google’s blog…… ”typing just the first few letters of your friend’s name brings up a personalized profile prediction in autocomplete. Selecting a predicted profile takes you to a results page for your friend, which includes information from their Google+ profile and relevant web results that may be related to them”.
Potentially with every name search a user undertakes, they are being reminded that Google+ exists, and Google+ users are all over the place. It will only be a matter of time before the non Google plus user becomes curious and explores what Google+ has to offer.
People & Pages: Search queries for topics such as Football or Celebs, now produce an additional result on the right hand side of the page, displaying prominent people related to your subject. Its easy to see how this could benefit local businesses on Google+ E.g A search for Plumbers in Leeds may just show “Joe Blogs Plumbers” in Leeds. Another opportunity for Local businesses on Google+.
Of couse, even for signed in users, there is the option to switch between Search Plus Your World & No Personal Results giving the opportunity to customise results as you see fit which is a great move for Google leaving the control with the user.
There have been many discussions in the SEO world reecently regarding the future of Search Engine Optimisation and the impact of Social Media in 2012 with many different opinions. And with SearchEngineLand.com’s post on this same subject confirming that “Search Plus Your World doesn’t cover content on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Flickr”, the answer at least for now, is that the future of SEO and Social Search is most definitely……Google+