New Focus on Google Plus
Well, Google is at it again, rolling out updates to their search algorithm. With this large search update, they are looking to integrate much more heavily with Google+ and other Google services like Picasa, in an update they are calling: Search Plus Your World. Google has stated that it is interested in making search more relevant to users by providing results more recent and closer.
Back in November, Google updated their search algorithm (update code name Caffeine), which goal was to show more relevant, but also recent results to people searching. The nov. release favors websites that continually update with new content, and makes having an easy-to-update website even more important.
With that in mind, Google announced this week that they are personalizing search results for users. On the release, Google stated:
We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships.
So what does this mean for you? Here are some takeaways from the announcement:
- A large step in the direction of Google integrating more Google+ into web results. Is your company onboard yet?
- When searching for news it can now be easier to see what your friends, contacts, or popular profiles on Google+ (like CNN, high-profile bloggers, Mashable, etc.) are saying. From there it is easy to jump into the conversation as well. However, this extends beyond just showing you posts, but images, videos, and other items.
- Ability to search individual/company profiles right from search now with auto-complete.
- Thankfully you have control over whether these results display or not. We wish other web services followed suit by giving customers choices over updates like this…
Personally, we feel like this is a great step into just making a search engine more useful, but expect it to take some time for people to catch on. Really the linchpin of this system and what will determine longevity will be Google+. While I find it a better system overall than Facebook or Twitter, the growth of the product has really stalled. Many people do not know of some of the great sharing features that it has, which trump Facebook, or neat features like hangouts. It will probably take a very very large blunder by Facebook, or extensive media blitz/celebrity endorsement to start migrating more mainstream to Google+. What we have to applaud Google for is while this is a great evolution of the search engine; they are not imposing their thoughts on you by making it optional.
Here is a video on the new feature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8Z9TTBxarbs
Google article on the release: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/search-plus-your-world.html
What do you think? Tell us below.