Has Google Changed Social Search Optimization for the User or for them selves?

With the ever growing presence of social media, many experts in SEO have already mentioned the way that search engine optimization should continue to progress towards the social media platforms.  However with the recent changes that Google has made to the way that users search for content on the internet, it does seem to be giving out signals that the only personal and relevant information can be acquired through these searchers using the social platform Google+

The Changes

The Changes labelled “Search Plus Your World” are the update that Google defines as the first step to understand not only relevant content through out the web but a way to incorporate the users relationships and interests into their search queries. This basically boils down to three areas of change. The first one being the “personal search” As mentioned above the means the ability to find information just for you, the second is implementing a profile search so that people with the same interest you might want to follow and finally pages that might be of a specific interest that will enable you to follow them.

I am a lifelong cricket fan and below is a search result that I have pulled out when searching for the term cricket. Here you can see the changes that Google have adopted when searching through search plus your world.

Google Search

The Effects

Now when it comes to getting spam and rubbish removed from the search rankings most can be relatively happy with the way Google are looking at viewing things. However this particular change has brought out some strong opposition against Google. Many see the new update as a complete change in mentality and ethics and when studying the update it is clear to see why.

While Google has pushed to increase the amount of social aspects in its algorithms it seems too have left out the two rather large social media sites Facebook and Twitter.  Now considering that Google’s statement is that it is introducing social media into its search to improve results that an individual will search for, the fact that it hasn’t included Facebook and twitter is both detrimental to Users and companies and here is why?

The fact that now 800 million users are now on Facebook, and there are 175 million accounts in twitter, it seems baffling that Google would not include such a presence when it comes to social media. Therefore many have come to the conclusion that Google is now not thinking of the User audience but in fact the livelihood of its own Social media platform Google+.

Users searching are now offered Google+ pages of people and profiles that they might like to follow on Google+ on the right hand side, but not Facebook and Twitter. If we take an example of the searched term above, Cricket. The profile pages on the left are those of famous Indian cricketers. However compared to the 14,000 circles that Gambhir is in, compared with the 189,000 he is in on Facebook, Google have clearly missed the point. Or is the fact that they are using the powerful search tool to fuel the needs of their 3rd Placed Social Media program.

This change has provoked a furious from those at Twitter and Facebook – with the lead lawyer at Twitter

Alex Macgillivray, called it a “bad day for the internet” and he is unfortunately correct.

 

The stance that Google has now is completely unethical and could even be in breach of anti-trust laws. Another way to look at it is if we think of Google in terms of a physical business. It’s pretty certain that Google does have a digital monopoly on the searching world with 65% of searches in the USA coming from Google and 90% in Europe. A business using a monopoly like this to push other areas of its business is illegal in the US and I don’t expect Twitter and Facebook not to jump on this topic.

So the question that companies face that are on Facebook and Twitter is do I need to throw my budget at Google+?

 

Well the answer is yes? If you have seen the Emergency Whiteboard Friday by Seomoz Rand tells us the reasons for why every marketer now needs a Google+ Strategy. Now this is considered quite astonishing as Google search plus your world is clearly twisting the arms of companies to make sure that if they want to be found in circles and profile pages in Google searches – they will need a Google+ strategy.

 

Written by Annabel., Digital Marketer for Chillisauce a company specializing in Corporate Events

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