Google has updated it’s platform with three major personalized changes. The über-popular search engine is usually the line leader when it comes to the classroom of web development, and this latest release is a huge stepping out.
- Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
- Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
- People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.
Basically, Google has combined its search engine with Google+ and PIcassa search. When searching, there will be a person icon; if you click the person icon, it will populate Google+ posts on the topic you’re searching. Let’s say your’re a huge hockey fan. You go to Google and start searching for info about your favorite team. Now, you click the person icon, and all of your friends’ Google+ musings and posts on hockey should also show up. Why do you care what your friends have to say about hockey? As Google explains, “just as in real life, your friends’ experiences are often so much more meaningful to you than impersonal content on the web.”
A quirky cute video was also posted to help illustrate the concept.
It’s super rad, but what is so significant about this? Authorship is being cultivated and promoted. Last June, Google told us, “We know that great content comes from great authors, and we’re looking closely at ways this markup could help us highlight authors and rank search results.” Now with this newest platform modification, they’ve found the way to rank results: authors with the most subject-related content will populate first.
Search, Plus Your World is encouraging the content generators out there to make what they’ve posted search-able, based on their names. Google says this is good for authors, it will give you analytics for your postings, it will also allow you to distinguish and validate your content. Mostly, it’s encouraging more people to create and actually use Google+ accounts.
This was all accomplished by linking together Google with Google+ and Picassa search. Now the biggest search engine can team up with it’s social media platform and photo sharing element. By merging all of three and making web browsing super personalized, it’s could potentially give Facebook a run for its money (if users jump on and take advantage of the technology in the numbers that Facebook has secured users).
“Google has decided that, if it is to beat Facebook, it needed to use its most powerful weapon: its search engine. We knew this was Google’s plan all along, but Google really went all-in on this one.” (Ben Parr, 2012).
Finally, what does this mean for your brand? Facebook profiles are for people and the pages are for entities like brands, corporations or celebrities. Google+ accounts don’t differentiate (yet). And thus, the allure for the businessperson is there. A brand-based Google+ account could theoretically be led right to the browser of potential new customers, if that Google+ account generated quality content (that was properly made search-able) and then fiercely networked.
Some leg work will be involved, but the marketing possibilities seem endless.