Social media has been progressively getting more intertwined in Google’s results for some years, and today Google announced this process has taken another significant step forward.
The major enhancements announced today can essentially be broken down into 3 sections:
Social search results mixed in with other results
Social search more comprehensive with integrated notes
More control and simplicity in connecting accounts
1. Social Search Mixed in with Other Results
Since including social results back in 2009, Google has always placed the social results at the bottom of the SERPs, below all the other web results. Now you’ll see these social results fully integrated into the standard organic results based on relevancy.
“…social search results will now be mixed throughout your results based on their relevance (in the past they only appeared at the bottom). This means you’ll start seeing more from people like co-workers and friends, with annotations below the results they’ve shared or created.”
2. Social Listings Are More Comprehensive
Now that the results will be directly integrated into the organic web results, Google has added annotations to make it clearer.
“Second, we’ve made Social Search more comprehensive by adding notes for links people have shared on Twitter and other sites. In the past, we’d show you results people created and linked through their Google profiles. Now, if someone you’re connected to has publicly shared a link, we may show that link in your results with a clear annotation (which is visible only to you, and only when you’re signed in).”
3. Easy Account Connection and More Control
Appealing to the privacy concerns of Google users, Google now allows you to connect accounts outside of the public domain.
“Third, we’ve given you more control over how you connect accounts, and made connecting accounts more convenient. You can still connect accounts publicly on your Google profile, but now we’ve added a new option to connect accounts privately in your Google Account. (After all, you may not want everyone to know you’re @spongebobsuperfan on Twitter.) In addition, if our algorithms find a public account that might be yours (for example, because the usernames are the same), we may invite you to connect your accounts right on the search results page and in your Google Account settings”
This latest social search enhancement has significant implications for search engine marketers and website owners alike. Social media marketing as a part of your SEO strategy is more integral than ever.
Of course the social search results will only be visible if you’re logged into your account. So if you want pure organic results without your social network bias, then simply log out for now.
For more information on the new social media search results, watch this video from Google.
Rene is the marketing manager of ineedhits.com - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for Gooruze.com - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.