This past week Google announced its somewhat controversial “Search Plus Your World” feature to Google Search. When you are signed into your Google account (Google+, Gmail, YouTube…) you will now begin to see aspects of Google+ show up in your search results. This is an optional feature that can be turned off, but you can imagine the magnitude of this feature moving forward.
Last night I did a Google Image search for “Wrangell-St. Elias” to look for images of this beautiful region of Alaska. Who showed up first? Some of my friends and professional colleagues that I am connect to in a handful of online networks, including Google+: +Jon Cornforth +Carl Donohue +Scott Slone and +Ron Niebrugge made up the top 13 images. Why is this important?
1.) Because their images showed up first because I am connected with them.
2.) Because I would much rather see their images then random ones when reaching a location to document myself.
Search Plus Your World
When you add someone to your circles, content those people publish will show up in your search results if relevant to your initial search. When you +1 content on Google+ or the Internet, you are basically recommending that content and that will influencing the search results of those that have connected with you. See how it works?
Web site designers are already beginning to cry fowl at the new feature, saying it is breaking up the fabric of search…and more realistically their jobs when it comes to SEO and web design. The reality is that this IS the future and there is no stopping it. Twitter is already connected with Bing and prioritizes search and I can almost guarantee you that Facebook will jump into the game at some point. Currently Google accounts for 67% of search on the internet, which is a huge number and regardless what tech bloggers want to say, I only seeing that increasing. The general public is interested in getting content shown to them and if that content that shows up first happens to be connected to people they have connected with online, they will eat it up. Is this perfect, no. Does it need more advanced filters, such as those that were alluded to in the TED talk, “Filter Bubble”, ABSOLUTELY . But this is the future. This is the direction that we are headed online. Personalized content.
This was one of the reasons I made a huge bet and choose to make a huge investment with my time as soon as I heard Google was launching a social network. If you are active on Google+, there will be benefits to your content being found outside the network. Those that want to fight or ignore these facts will only be left behind. Twitter and Facebook will NOT allow Google to index their public posts, because they know that any social network’s biggest value is its content. With Search Plus Your World, they knew this and made a solid bet. The FCC is looking into this feature because some have said it creates a Monopoly. My bet is that nothing comes from that because Twitter and FB will never give up their users data. Google+ is where it is at, atleast for me…
Welcome to the new personalized Internet!