It’s happened. Something that has been touted for a long time has been launched completely unexpectedly by Google on 10th January 2012 via an underwhelming blog posting on their website. So what is this new, world changing launch? It’s called the new Google Social Search feature and it is the biggest fundamental change to Google ever. Could this be the start of Web 3.0?
So what is Google’s Social Search Feature?
I guess the first thing you need to know is what is social search.
As you know Google launched their own social network platform to rival Facebook last year which is called Google+. Just like Facebook it is free to join and it has the same basic concept of linking to people. This new tool has enabled Google to gather information on all of the Google+ members such as their postings, connections and pictures.
The new Google social search feature now takes the knowledge and uses it to personalise your search results so that are unique to you.
Google Social Search Examples
Let’s use an example. Say you searched for a common name like ‘John Smith’ before the change then you would be presented with thousands of John Smith’s on the web most of whom have no relationship to you. However, if you are a Google+ member and are logged in and do the same search your results will be based around any John Smith’s you know. These results will appear right at the top of your results as they are relevant to you. In other words Google will use Google+ to understand people and their relationships.
Google use another example where the author named a dog after his favourite childhood fruit called a Chikoo. When he runs the search he gets pictures of the fruit and of his dog together with search results relevant to both. Very clever stuff and something I personally thought was much further off!
What does this change really mean for your website?
So how will this change affect you, your website, or your online business? After all it means that natural search results from the wider web will now appear far lower down the search results pages. As will Facebook results, incidentally. So how do you guarantee a position of prominence?
The first thing you need to do is start your very own tribe within Google+. You need to become a brand that people want to connect to and associate with within Google+ and you need to do it now. The sooner you start the less competition there is.
I am going to figure it out and produce a list of tips for web marketeers on how to embrace the Google social search feature
Over the next few weeks I plan to figure out a campaign that normal website owner and marketeers can use in order to create your own Google+ tribe so that you can integrate your brand far more tightly to Google+ members and get your results appearing as often as possible for their searches.
So how is this change going to effect you? Does Google know what they are doing or have they gone too far? Is this Web 3.0? Drop a comment or a question below and let me know…