With a new revamp from our friends over at Google and their launch of “Search Plus Your World”, this newest update has faced mixed reviews from the public.
But what has actually changed, and how does this impact your online marketing? Check out the 5 things you need to know about their latest update:
1. Update Your Google+ Page.
To put it bluntly – Google+ is going to be the be all and end all of maximising your use of “Search Plus your World”.
If you haven’t already, set up a G+ page. Make it sleek, up to date. Branded. Ensure that there is continuity between platforms with one Logo and design. (See our Social Media Design Offer for details).
G+ is essentially an amalgamation of other networks, with connections, updates and shared content. The key difference is having connections catagorised in ‘circles’. Once your connections are organised, you can post to all, or selectively, depending on your content. You can focus on colleagues, associates, general, the options are limitless. Make the most of your existing CRM system. G+ circles work well if you group together interests and similarities, and you probably already have that information at your finger tips!
However, don’t neglect your other Channels though. SPYW is for Google services ONLY. Twitter and Facebook – two of the leading Social Networks are not working with Google’s latest changes, and lets face it, its going to be a little while until G+ can be set to rival these with users (currently standing at 62 million, compared to 800 million active Facebook users) and content. Remember, to have a truly successful campaign you must be present in all the platforms your potential customers are ‘hanging out’ at. This means you must maintain a consistent presence across the board.
2. Influence Others
Want to gain authority in your market and subject of knowledge? For every blog, post, or article you write, include the “rel=”author” tag, with a reference link back to your G+ profile. This sends a clout signal to Google, and is a bid to establish yourself as a social influencer. To become a bigger ‘authority’ on Google, a +1 from a G+ user with a huge following is deemed more worthy than one with inactive/less connections. (To find out about rel-author from Google direct, click here to read more.)
We all know the challenges of getting people to ‘like’ ‘tweet’ or ‘share’ our posts. Now our goal is to get it ‘+1’ed. So how do you make it happen?
Three words: Great. Quality. Content
It is crucial of course to have active, relevant and influential people featured in your circles. This will increase the likelihood of shares and +1’s which in turn knocks up your authority in the Google rankings. But the key is to have interesting content worth sharing on a regular basis. Focus your energy into creating something unique, readable, shareable. The rest as they say, will follow!
3. Every User Experience Will be Unique
Google’s plan is that every user will have their own unique search function, specifically tailored to you. There will be 3 types of G+ data that will show up in your new SPYW;
Personal results: Including data from your own G+ photos and posts, as well as content that has been shared with you. For example, if you image search for holiday destinations in France, pictures posted by you or others in your circles will feature in your search. Don’t panic, the ‘personal’ data is not publically available, you and only you will be able to see these posts in your search results. Your holiday photos from yesteryear will not start appearing in a complete strangers search!
Profiles in Search: Expect to see more G+ pages in your search and predicted text. Autocomplete will fill in relation to friends and connections, so if you type in their name, autocomplete will recognise and populate the search accordingly for “Joe Smith” heavily relying on the social platform. Featured links will also become more popular, showing profiles of Journalists, authors, and celebrities in relation to ‘what you might like’.
People and Pages: These are simply G+ Business pages and notable G+ Users. For exmple, if you searched for something generic, such as “music” in Google. Your search stream will be populated on the right hand side with links to people on G+, either people or brands deemed as an authority in the subject, or profiles of musicians and singers such as Madonna or Lady Gaga.
4. Link Building Implications
Link Building for your website is still going to be a key part of your marketing strategy, building trust and credibility and ranking your website higher in the search stream. This won’t change.
What will change is going to change, is the focus on G+ as a source of links and ways to get your content shared. The important thing to remember is getting shares of your links from “Power Users” (users with wide networks). Companies and SEOs will need to develop stronger strategies to gain the approval of influencers in their respective markets. A +1 from a top Influencer in your niche is the social equivalent of the .org/.edu/.gov backlink.
1-2 shares from “Power Users will ensure your links and URLs get distributed across a wide network of users, having an impact on all their future search streams, potentially meaning you are featured in all their personalised results.
5. The Future of Your SEO
With Google Search Enquiries, listings were SEO based/organic. But from now on, with more ‘personal’ listings, it will include things like You Tube Videos, listings tailored by your own shares and actions, as well as your social connections, and more Public Google+ Profiles.
So what does this mean for your SEO? Well, it means that it is more important than ever. Normal SEO results are going to be taking up far less of the search results page, so ranking on page one for ‘a’ keyword isn’t going to cut it anymore. What is important will be ranking with the top three positions with your keywords, thereby getting yourself noticed.
Don’t forget, SPYW is only applicable to those with Google Accounts that are signed in. For the web users that don’t have or need a Google account, or simply wish to turn off the settings (Go into your settings, then search preferences, scroll down to “Personal results,” and select “Do not use personal results.” Then click on “Save”) search and all will be working as before.
As much as you should be focusing on the social side of things for +1s and shares, do not neglect the ‘bread and butter’ of your marketing strategy. For an effective approach, you need both.
[image via Google.com]