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Your World Plus Search (Not Search Plus Your World)

“Search, Plus your World” has begun rolling out on Google.com for logged in users, which is big news within the industry. Since the launch, we have seen high volumes of coverage, both within the industry and in mainstream media.

Search Plus Your World, providing rich social oriented results.

This article discusses the more topical aspects of the update, with their being plenty of excellent advancements for us to shout about in addition to these! If your a little behind on the news front, then the LBi blog does a good job of highlighting the main areas that “Search, plus Your World” impacts, alongside why it is so fundamental.

##Best man gets the best job? The changes announced by Google really do represent a fundamental shift in the volume of social oriented content seen on the first page of results. Alongside this, the weighting on the algorithmic process behind them appearing there is also likely to of changed. When personalised search was first introduced many in the industry were up in arms. On going updates then saw closer integration of social content, including profile updates from Twitter. This was designed to give users up to date, topical content on developments as they happened.

It appears that this update really does appear to begin to move Google away from providing results that follow the “best man gets the best job” type analogy. Building upon algorithmic signals that highlight recommended content from friends as being more relevant for you, we see an increased presence of content weighted on what your friends like or discuss. However, there is a clear focus on these being taken from a limited area of the internet in the form of Google+. This a interesting point that has also been raised in a Searchengineland articles

##Do your friends really know best? With the first page of results now dominated by personalised results - I’ve begun to realise that this is great in some scenarios, but not so great in others. When searching for news on a specific subject, I’d like to see the most authoritative source of information, not results heavily weighed by someone Google feels is connected to me (via signals from platforms such as Gmail).

I’d go as far as to say this is “Your World plus Search”, not “Search plus Your World”.

With a heavily personalised first page and a raft of search results hidden from page two onwards, it does paint a strange picture. I get the impression that this begins to move Google Search towards being a window to the Google Universe first and foremost, whilst being a generic search provider second. Google’s main source of revenue is advertising, yet they seem to be impacting results in a big way by pushing a non profit making Google+. In turn, we may well see further paid spend to cover gaps and increased resource devoted towards full bodied Google+ social strategies.

##No matter what, it’s great news for Social SEO The development of forward thinking social SEO strategies are again in the lime light. Working with social teams to achieve strong coverage, whilst focusing on more traditional aspects such as easy sharing of website content is essential.

It will be interesting to see what direction Google continues to take, with recent comments from Twitter also highlighting concerns with the new approach. The LBi blog has a nice run through by Simon Hayes, so feel free to check it out as well!