Google Search Plus your [Favorite Author]
If you’ve followed any tech news outlets this week, you’ve probably seen that Google released a new product called Search, Plus Your World. If you haven’t seen it yet, the short version is that Google began mixing more pages into your search results that were shared (or +1’ed) by people you’re connected with. Google has shown some customized results for years, but they were the exception rather than the rule – the majority of search results were picked by the almighty Algorithm.
The media response has been fairly caustic, with fingers being pointed at everything from privacy complaints to the foretelling of antitrust investigations. Two of the more salient objections to this product seem to be:
• Danny Sullivan over at searchengineland.com seemed most concerned that Google+ suggests people to follow on Google+ for a variety of searches, even when it’s not clear that a user is even looking for a person. This feature is pretty aggressive – you can see in this screenshot that the Google+ information for our CEO Julie Schoenfeld pops up for me even before I finish typing her first name:
• Techcrunch seems to have really locked onto the Google+ vs Twitter battle, covering several different angles of the fact that Google+ results are included but tweets aren’t. A twitter employee (a former Googler, no less) even jumped into the fray, youguessed it, with a tweet:
I think it’s fair to say that there haven’t been a ton of positive posts about the change, and there may end up being something to all of these concerns. Googler Matt Cutts, however, showed some example searches that had very useful social results, and I can see some features (like the social image search) being really useful. It’s still too early to see how this feature will turn out, but I’m really excited for one aspect that is particularly important for news publishers:
This change will further promote individual authors and publishers of news articles rather than just the Title/URL combo usually seen in search results. Authors who really connect with their online audience and work to build out their network are going to be rewarded – not just in the passive consumption like twitter and RSS feeds, but in active consumption modes like search!
You’ll still be able to be able to follow publications and news sources like you have been, and the effects of doing so increase every day, but I’m really excited to see individual bloggers and authors highlighted in the same way!
If you haven’t implemented Google+ buttons on your site or hooked up your author bio page with your Google+ account, now’s the time. Don’t worry if you don’t see an immediate traffic firehose – it took a while for Twitter to really catch on and drive traffic as well. While you’re at it, go ahead and add the Perfect Market Google+ account to one of your circles so you can see more posts like this in your search results.
- Chris Muller, Advisor at Perfect Market