ADOTAS – Oh yeah, I totally forgot that Google launched Social Search in 2009 — mainly because they kept relevant social links at the very bottom of the page. Who makes it to the end of a Google search results page?
It seems like Google and social should only be mentioned together in bad jokes — Google and social walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “Why the awkward integration?”
Of course, it hasn’t been a great week for Google’s search — or year for that matter — with The New York Times reporting on a huge black hat operation performed by JC Penney over the holiday season. But a retooling of the social aspect of its search engine could be the thing for turning the ugly tide that is moving against Google’s search algorithm.
Social results will now appear all over your results page — with those deemed most relevant appearing at the top — instead of just at the bottom. These include tweets from friends, blog pieces on Bloggr, pics from Flickr or social data from any other public site that you are connected with through your Google account.
For example, Google suggests that “if you’re thinking about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and your colleague Matt has written a blog post about his own experience, then we’ll bump up that post with a note and a picture.”
Google is also offering more options for connecting accounts publicly or privately — if there’s a site you want to be connected to, but perhaps you don’t want anyone being able to see your posts in their search results, you can opt out.
These upgrades are definitely more along the lines of what searchers are craving — instead of SEO-gamed results, personally relevant links will be front and center. Of course, there’s a gaping hole that you could drive a tractor-trailer through: no Facebook.
It’s no secret that the kids are increasingly using Facebook as a search engine, and until Google can get its crawlers on that data, any social search initiatives are going to be lackluster. A tweet just does not equal a like…
On the advertising front, what will a more social Google search mean for the SEO industry?