Many of you who are into organic SEO may be unimpressed by Google’s latest unveiling, entitled “Search Plus Your World”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, SPYW affects anyone who is both
- Logged into their Google account when they search, and
- Has a Google+ account and at least one person in their Circles.
If you meet both of those qualifications, and you go up to the upper right of your search screen and click the “Show Personal Results” button, you’ll find that any relevant content created on Google+ by people in your Circles gets filtered into the results. I follow Ed Dale, for example, and when I search for “Search Plus Your World” on Google and click “Show Personal Results”, I get a few of Ed’s blog entries in and amongst my other traditional results.
So what does all this mean?
In short, it means that there’s going to be a vicious cycle in play soon. Some SEO people are going to start leveraging hardcore social marketing techniques on Google+ in order to get their content to appear on people’s “Personal Results” (hi, Ed!). That, in turn, is going to accelerate Google+’s ascent to dominance of the social marketplace — and the more dominant Google+ becomes, the more SEO pukes are going to try to abuse it.
It will almost certainly all end in Google starting to put limits on Google+ accounts much like Twitter did. But the ride we’re in for to get to that point is going to be a quick one, and some sharp, hardworking people are going to win big from this change.
Now, will all of that matter to the rest of us who aren’t going to put in the hard work to take advantage of SPYW? In the long run, probably not. It does mean that normal SEO will be mildly less effective, as there will be more ‘competition’ in the form of Google+ results that we have to unseat in order to keep our first page placements — but competition is something we’re all used to by now, so I don’t really see this being that much of a gamechanger until something unexpected comes along and upends the whole thing in an unpredictable manner — which will happen.