Updated: Google has announced the update of +1 and the article from Google is here. With Easter fast approaching, and Google’s predicted announcement of a new socially integrated service “+1” into it’s organic search listings expected as early as today, I felt this title was timely 🙂
The truth is, so many of us in the SEO world rely on Google’s Organic and Paid Search structure that every move they make can have a major impact on us.
This latest development in Google’s search rankings, dubbed +1, or Plus One, supposedly allows searchers to enable friends from their social circle to boost rankings for sites they like and trust. If you are in a social network than your friends can basically influence the results you see for a search phrase. Searchers have to turn this feature on, but this could have major implications for search as we now know it if widely adopted. This was first announced by the Google peeps in early December, but it looks as though it may be about to launch. (After all, the twitters are all astir about it!)
Despite the countless number of professionals I know who constantly doubt social media, it’s effects can be felt everywhere, maybe in your search results soon.
Google has already been dropping social suggestions into search but this could be a big step in a new direction for the search giant. That said, it’s hard to imagine Google scrapping all of the years of research and hard work they put forth on they algorithm based search results which thrive on relevance, for a social popularity contest.
More likely, we’ll see a blend of social recommendations and Google generated organic listings if the Plus One feature is turned on. This will mean less space for good ole organic listings and a new emphasis on connecting within the social graph to ensure your website and your business stays competitive. Google knows that it has to stay competitive with Facebook and Twitter, and to do so means embracing some changes. I’m looking forward to seeing how they integrate social search with organic search and how it effects rankings.