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.
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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...