Google's new "Search plus Your World" service, introduced this week, will have a big effect on search marketing. It'll make traditional search marketing less important, while making it even more important for marketers to recruit brand advocates on social media.
Google this week introduced a big new change to its flagship search service, tightly integrating Google+ social connections. The changes are threefold, as explained by Google Fellow Amit Singhal on the company blog.
Personal Results displays information users share on Google+, including their own photos and posts and items shared with them by people in their Google+ circles. So, for example, if a user searches for information on shoes, she might see a link to a shoe product page that she posted in the past, or one that someone in her Circles shared with her.
The challenge for marketers: Get their products shared by brand advocates on Google+.
Question: If a Google+ user Circles a brand page, and that page shares content, does that content also show up in future searches by the user, the same as if it was shared by an individual person whom the user had Circled? I've asked Google, and I'll post an answer in the comments if and when I get it.
Update 1/12: I have my answer from Google; they're posted here.
Profiles in Search, in both autocomplete and the search results, serve to find people the user is close to or might be interested in following. Question: Will this feature also apply to brand pages, so if a consumer starts typing F-O-R, he might be directed to the Ford Motor Company brand page?
If this feature applies to brand pages, consumers running Google searches on brand names or related subjects ("cars," in the Ford example) might find themselves directed to a Google+ brand page rather than the corporate Website.
People and Pages, whereby Google search will suggest profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest that a user searches on, and the user can easily follow those profiles and pages. Marketers will want to make sure their brands are featured in those recommendations -- but how? Get lots of people to Circle the brands, post lots of compelling content... is there anything else?
SearchEngineLand's Danny Sullivan does his usual painstaking explanation of the details of Search plus Your World (which tech bloggers have cleverly nicknamed "Search+.")
Social connectivity is a great way to serve search needs. Links shared by a person's friends are more likely to be useful to the person doing the search. Google has been integrating social connections into search results for years -- this is just the latest, big step. Likewise, other Search+ features are also promising. But what about Twitter and Facebook? Linking search results with those social networks would also improve Google search, perhaps even more so than linking to Google+, because those services are more mature and well established. But Google won't search those services; it says those services won't allow it.
Search+ is likely to raise antitrust concerns by government prosecutors, writes blogger M.G. Siegler. Indeed, Twitter expressed concern over Search+, and Google has responded.
What do you think? How can marketers use Search+?
— Mitch Wagner , Editor in Chief, The CMO Site
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