NASHVILLE, TN – On January 10, 2012, Google introduced “Search, Plus Your World,” SPYW for short, which allows users to see tailored search results when they’re signed in to their Google+ accounts.
Here’s what this means for you, as a user of Google. If you have a Google+ account and you stay logged in (as I do most always from my home computer), you should see your information across the navigation bar at the top of your page. Once you type a query into the search bar and hit ‘enter,’ if you have any personal results (such as acquaintances posting relevant topics on Google+), these will show up. For now, the search results aren’t commingled. If you look to the right of the screen, there’s an inconspicuous little toggle button where you can select “Show Personal Results” or “Hide Personal Results”. See the full explanation straight from Google’s blog.
Even if you aren’t logged in to Google, you’ll still see Google+ results on the right side of the page. In a small box, Google is promoting Google+ content under a People and Pages headline. Here, content is featured from Google+, including personal profiles and business pages, which is an incentive for people to use Google+.
Rand Fishkin, the CEO of SEOMoz.org, an SEO expert featured in a recent post about the importance of producing quality content, weighed in about Google’s SPYW on his blog.
“It’s my opinion that if [it] continues to roll out to all logged-in Google users and Google stays as aggressive as it’s been in the last 10 days with pushing Google+ for even logged-out users, the service will become a necessity for search and social marketers,” Fishkin says.
Fishkin also believes that marketers who don’t use Google+ are missing out on a huge platform, as Google is promoting its social application, Google+, through this new search feature.
If you don’t have a Google+ account, get one. As SEO Expert Ali Husayni tells us, Google+ pages for your business are absolutely essential.
“It’s a real step in the right direction. Initially, they said that they weren’t going to add that component, but they needed to have it from the get-go,” Husayni says.
Now that Google integrated SPYW into people’s searches, Google+ is even more crucial. For example, if I search for the term bicycles, and one of my friends on Google+ bought a bicycle from Bob’s Bike Shop and +1’d the store’s page, then Bob’s Bikes will show up in my personal results. As much as people like reviews, a review from someone you actually know usually goes further than a review written by a random person online. How do we know a random review isn’t one written by the business owner to promote his own business? It’s a given that we trust information more fully from people we’ve met and have a connection with.
Update Your Profile
If you have Google+, now is a great time to make sure your information is up-to-date. Since Google is pushing Google+ profiles to the top for users that are signed in, you want your content to be fresh, relevant, and accurate.
Get Your Customers Talking on Google+
Make it easy for your customers to find you by posting your content to Google+. Include a +1 button wherever you have other social networking buttons, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest links. Consider holding a promotion, such as “add us to your Google+ circle and you’ll receive an exclusive coupon code.” Having an incentive for your customer will bring your brand to the front of their brains, and having them add your Page to their circle or +1 you will be vital in their future Google searches.
For this new integration of Google+ into search results, Google is forcing us to get personal. Now’s the perfect time to be friendly in person and on the web. Having a strong SEO presence on your website and on your Google+ can help push you up to the top of the page.