This month, on January 10th, Google launched “search plus your World”, essentially mixing up search and social to provide more personalized search results to users who fulfill their need for information using the search giant.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of outcry over the updates to the algorithm, with many marketers grumbling that they don’t want personalized results.
The fact is, a typical user who doesn’t have their mind focused on SEO, actually does want personalized results, because personalized results deliver a more effective search experience.
And let’s face it, Google is in this for the money, so improving the search experience of the average user is going to improve return use and keep those people coming back, clicking on adds, and using the service.
One of the biggest complaints though is that Twitter and Facebook aren’t given as much face time in the search results as Google+ where social results are concerned. What both Twitter and Facebook are afraid of is that they’re “giving” “their” social graph to Google, thereby allowing Google to easily grow its own social network because it would make it very easy for Google to suggest friends to you or say “these friends of yours already use Google+, shouldn’t you use it too?”.
So by opening up, they’d open their books to a competitor.
What’s upsetting people is that this handling of information should be up to the user, not the platform. When this becomes the choice of the user, Google should then favor the social network they are most active on, where a lot of the sharing takes place.
Thus, if I’m more active on Facebook than Google+, it should be highlighting information from that platform over others. Right now, it seems like Google is mainly highlighting information from Google+. Like other attempts to improve search from Google, this one is raising some eyebrows around the world of SEO in Tulsa and beyond.
It’s certainly food for discussion.
It’s not something we can get rid of unfortunately. When you boil all these changes down to the base of the stock, you’ll find that updates like this are made not because of corporate greed on the part of Google, but because of what people are doing and what they want.
We made social a big deal, we made social networking a part of our daily lives. We put the emphasis on it, now Google is bringing it into the mix.
It’s like cream and coffee folks. Once you mix the two together, you can’t get the cream back out of the coffee. This is a done deal and there’s no way back. Search and social have officially teamed up. Instead of grumping at all about how social feeds and personalization can affect website ranking, you need to consider how you can leverage that personalization to effectively improve your standing among local competitors.
This doesn’t mean SEO in Tulsa – or any other region – is dead. It just means you once again have to evolve your strategy for getting face time with your own customers. The formula to success didn’t change: you have to keep building relations / followers / an audience, create great content and make sure people notice it.