Google is giving its social search product a revival by including posts from its own social network, Google+, into its SERPs.
Sagar Kamdar, Google Product Manager, explained how this will work:
Let’s say I’m logged into my Google Account, and I search on Google for [uncle zhou queens]. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this restaurant, and we’re visiting NYC soon, so we want to figure out all the best eats in town. I also happen to have Andrew Hyatt in one of my Google+ circles. Oh, and it turns out he just made a public post on his Google+ account about Uncle Zhou in Queens which will show up in my SERP results. Cool! Now not only do I get some great reviews on the web, I get a review from a friend about a restaurant with recommendations about what dishes to order.
Kamdar also mentions that the Google+ updates will only be visible if a users chooses to set his updates as public and if the searcher is connected to the original user on Google+.
Since searchers would always prefer to rely on reviews given by their friends rather than an unknown person, Google feels this rollout is a good step towards making search more relevant and personalized.
But there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make this feature work.
- You must be logged into your Google account
- Your Google account has to be attached to Google+
- Your search term has to be directly relevant to the title and content of a Google+ post put up by someone in your circle
- The post has to be public. Private posts on Google+ aren’t going to be included in the SERP’s
- The searcher has to be connected to the Google+ poster via Google Circles
With Google+ business pages on the horizon, this social feature adds a lot more value to Google+ as a social content marketing platform. Marketers might soon be able to share their brand related content with even more Google+ users.