Tuesday ushered in momentous news for the digital marketing industry with Google’s announcement of Search Plus Your World – a revised social search experience that entwines Google+ content with standard search results. You can now toggle between non-personalized, global results and tailored results containing content shared by you and your Google+ connections.
Google is undoubtedly using its 65% market share in search to draw people to its social platform by making it easier to discover information you care about, people you know, and Google+ profiles and brand pages to add to Circles – all within Google.com. In the example below, when I search for “Marcel LeBrun,” his Google+ profile and latest post populates in my search results.
Here’s how it works:
Cool. So what does Search Plus Your World mean for social media marketers?
It’s Time to Board the Google+ Train
When one social platform makes a significant change, people often start to predict the demise of another. Search Plus Your World does not mean the end is near for Facebook or Twitter, but what’s now clear is that Google+ is gaining prominence.
Google+ as a social network has evolved immensely since its initial launch, gaining momentum along the way. Likewise, incorporating only Google+ posts and photos into Search Plus Your World is just the beginning. There’s already talk about whether Facebook and Twitter data will someday be included in personalized search results. And since every Google product you use is connected to your account, Google could feasibly enable us to search within our own Google docs, Calendar events, Music library, Contacts, Gmail messages and more. In essence, Google becomes not only how you find the nearest reputable plumber; it’s how you search your life. Imagine the impact this could have on how consumers spend their time online.
No matter how much social media efforts seem splintered across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and beyond, brands need to be present where people are looking for them. Given Google’s substantial lead in the search market, and that even before Tuesday’s announcement Google+ has become heavily braided into search, the simplest way for brands to increase their visibility in the world’s most popular search engine right now is by getting up and running on Google+. If your organization does not have a brand page, get one! Play around and get comfortable.
Once on Google+, here are some additional pointers to help brands and individuals get in the groove:
1. Use Search Plus Your World to Grow Your Network
The more you share and connect on Google+ over time, the more likely the content you’ve shared will surface in your connections’ search results. Connect your other social media profiles to your Google account, including blogs you contribute to. Grow your connections by searching for someone you want to connect with, or a browse a topic of interest. Click on the “XX personal results” to see who in your network knows something about the person or topic, and you might learn something new or discover some fodder to use in an introduction.
2. Optimize Google+ Content for Search
Social media practitioners and content strategists strive to stray from keyword-stuffed messaging in favor of authenticity in voice, tone and language. Keep humanizing your content, but keep in mind that Google+ posts and photos are more likely to appear if they contain keyword(s) often searched by your network of connections. Don’t forget about optimizing photos for search and social sharing either!
3. Get Employees Involved in Creating and Distributing Content
Every individual and brand now plays a heightened role in his or her connections’ quest for information. Brands can help direct people to useful information by creating and sharing industry content as always, but with a new dedication to Google+. Maximize impact by educating and empowering a employees to use Google+ to do the same.
What about Radian6 and Google+?
As for the Radian6 platform monitoring Google+, it’s a huge priority for us. Stay tuned for more news on that front. In the mean time, join us on the Radian6 Google+ page and learn more about our strategy here.
What are your initial thoughts about Search Plus Your World, and how are you or your organization using Google+?