How Google's ''Search Plus Your World'' Affects Your Business

by Corey Creed on Jan 11, 2012
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Google’s new “Search Plus Your World” is now rolling out to signed-in users in English.

As usual, there will be a lot of talk about the big picture of what Google is doing and ho
w it will affect life on this planet.  But let’s take a look at exactly what this means, especially for businesses and marketers.

Who It Affects

Users will only see adjusted search results if they are logged in to Google.  This tends to be people that actively use Gmail, Google Plus, Google Docs, or Google AdWords or Analytics.  This number is actively growing.

You can get an idea of how many of your users are logged in by checking your keyword referral statistics.  Google does not show what keyword they used to get to your site if they are logged in.  It will show as (not provided).  For Social Fresh, 31.8% of Google referral traffic was logged in to Google.  For most sites it is around 10% (but growing).

What It Does

When a user searches on Google, they will now automatically have their results personalized based on their Google Plus activity.  As of right now, they are primarily focused on three areas.

1.  Personal Results – Allows you to find your information and the information of these that have shared with you (in Google Plus, that is).

2. Profiles in Search – Google will generally direct you toward Google Plus profiles.

3. People and Pages – Google will encourage you toward Google Plus pages and profiles related to the specific topic or area of interest you are searching on.

The Bottom Line

Most marketers are focusing on the fact that social is influencing search results.  As true as that is, it’s not the top story to focus on at this point.

The greater story, in my opinion, is that Google is pushing more and more toward Google Plus, as opposed to the web in general.  This is something smart marketers have been noticing and starting to prepare for.

In other words, Google’s new “Search Plus Your World” is actually “Search Plus Google Plus”.

This is their attempt to push users, businesses, and marketers toward using Google Plus more.  With almost 100 million users, it seems to be working.

What’s Next?

Look for Bing and Facebook to do something very similar or even more impressive in the upcoming weeks or months.  The battle lines have been drawn.

UPDATE:  After this post (and others like it) hit the Internet, Matt Cutts (often Google’s unofficial spokesman to online marketers) took to his blog and stated that this new feature does not just incorporate Google Plus.  It also surfaces public content from the “open web”.  This would include sites like Flickr and Quora, but clearly not Twitter (who’s a little irritated) or Facebook.   Of course, we still do not see them actively encouraging using these sites over Google Plus.  Far from it.
Post Author

Corey Creed was the Director of Training for Social Fresh. He worked closely with the Social Fresh Academy and other online and offline training initiatives for Social Fresh. He has also served as the President of HIPPO Internet...

  • Does anyone else think that this really irritates Mark Zuckerberg when Google does stuff like this to channel traffic and attention to Google Plus instead of Facebook?

  • Of course it irritates Zuckerberg, but that’s business. I really prefer G+ to FB because, relatively speaking, I trust G+ with my data and privacy. I just wish more of my FB friends were active on G+, but with this development, perhaps that’s in the works.

    Thanks, Corey. Always learn a lot from you.

  • Clearly Twitter was pissed. Shocked that they came out so quickly and publicly. I suppose they wanted to get the attention of federal oversight folks and congress. Not sure Facebook ever thinks their content will be indexed and show in search results by Google. They’ve never really had a previous agreement there.

  • I don’t think Facebook minds not being in Google’s index.  But I also think they underestimate Google’s power to drive good traffic toward Google Plus.  Look for an announcement that Google Plus hits 100 million users very soon, IMHO.

  • Anonymous

    Corey, are you seeing content shared by brands to G+ as very important? Or do you think marketing efforts should be focused on getting *users* to share brand content on G+? We definitely see how Google is forcing the general public (and brands) toward G+ using their search engine, and we have a presence there, but how should we allocate limited time resources?

  • The short answer is that it’s too soon to tell.  We don’t know.

    But certainly G+ is something we need to start putting on our radar with this new change.  I would start by checking your referral data.  If almost all of your visitors are not even signed in, then it certainly is not worth worrying about quite yet.  Then again, the handwriting is on the wall.  The sooner we get started building our audiences in G+, the wiser.

  • Anonymous


  • The drama continues.  Kudos to Danny Sullivan for pressing the issue in this post and video –

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  • Akthorington

    They may have 100 million users but how many created accounts and don’t use them like me i do use Facebook everyday….thats where my peeps are.

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  • I think that twitter and facebook will reply very soon with new products. Just wait and see!

  • New products?  What type of product by Twitter or Facebook would counteract what Google is doing?

  • If you want to see the full scope of what Google is doing with this right now, watch “This Week in Technology” episode 336.  The first 15 minutes or so show exactly how and why this is alarming to many, how and why the government may get involved, and what it means to marketers.

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