Staff writer: Brjden Crewe
There was a time once when internet marketing firms thought Google+ was simply a social network website trying to catch up to Facebook. Now it’s seen as part of a much bigger plan for Google to expand on social and personalized search. I’m sure by now, most of you have gotten a glimpse of the new Google search experience known as Search plus Your World. Personalized search engines are even more personal with the SERP, which seems to be giving more “raw” rankings for data and searches.
A quick overview of how Search Plus works is simple: If you already have an account with Google, your Google profile would have been folded in with Google+ even if you haven’t officially signed up. In essence, your profile in the Google+ community has been created and dormant until you engage in it. Google users are able to experience the personalized Search Plus results as well as active Google+ users, who can see even more personalized results based on content shared with Google+.
Google explains in its official post on Search Plus, Google explains that what people can now see in the Web SERPs is:
- 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;
- 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; and,
- 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.
Bottom line, the search engine algorithms that made social, behavioral and personalized search possible, are now rolled into the Search Plus feature which can even be used by businesses from restaurants to internet marketing firms. No longer taking these cues into account, the non-personalized results option available to Google users are now unavailable. A user can switch between non-personal and personal results with a simple click of a button. There are three viewing options of the SERP: personalized results, non-personalized results (free of most the cues that have personalized searches in the past), and Google+ personalized only results.
If you’re doing a search in the default view of Search Plus, the content that appears in the SERP integrates items like:
- Photos. You can find photos from your friends directly inside of your search results page. You can also find your own private photos from Google+ and Picasa, based on comments, captions and album title.
- Google+ posts. You can find Google+ posts from friends and family whether they’ve been shared privately with you or publicly available. You’ll also be about to find links shared by your friends and family such as restaurants, activities, etc.
Search Plus is social/personalized search on steroids. And with businesses such as internet marketing firms, who are always looking for an edge in being able to make their internet searches more personal, Search Plus may be the answer that not only businesses, but individuals have been looking for.