We are only a few weeks into the new year but 2012 has already seen a big announcement from Google and the latest addition to their search armoury. This week Google announced the arrival of “Search plus Your world”. This seems like another step closer to fully integrated personalised search which gives the end user search results based on what their friends and social circles have recommended. Google announced the 3 key areas that this new personalised search will focus on:
1. Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
2. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following
3. People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.
This will not really come as much of a surprise to many in the SEO industry due to the fact that ever since Google launched their own social media platform Google Plus last year there has been a significant push towards delivering the end user a richer and more personalised experience. For some time now savvy internet users have questioned some of the overall relevancy of certain search queries but if you have website returned in a search query returned because your best friend recommended it, well what can be better or more trusted than that?
This latest development form Google has not everybody happy and a few people – namely the big wigs at Twitter whose official response to the news was “For years, people have relied on Google to deliver the most relevant results any time they wanted to find something on the internet.
“Often, they want to know more about world events and breaking news. Twitter has emerged as a vital source of this real-time information, with more than 100 million users sending 250 million tweets every day on virtually every topic. We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone. We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organisations and Twitter users.”
However, Google countered this argument by saying that that Twitter and also Facebook have made it a lot harder for them to include results from their websites by limiting the access that their search engine spiders can collect.
So are Google unfairly using their position as the most powerful internet company in the world to drive more web traffic via their own social media platform? Or are they merely breakdown the barriers between online search and social media by bringing the two another step closer together?
One thing is for sure 2012 is already hotting up to be another exciting and intriguing your for SEO.