Google+ Project goes live
Polly Holbrook | 29 June 2011
PracticeWEB's Search Marketing Manager, Frankie Wallington talks us though Google's new project which went live yesterday.
It was announced yesterday that Google was launching the Google+ project, Google’s latest attempt into social media. I signed up for Google Wave and Google Buzz and was totally disappointed so only clicked on the link to read more, because it’s my job. However, I was completely shocked and impressed! Google have really put some thought into this latest social media adventure and it’s going to be causing a few headaches at Facebook.
However, Google say that they are not trying anything new (read not trying to beat Facebook) what they are trying to do is improve how people already use Google. Google+ will allow you to build relationships with people, much like Facebook, however with Google’s circles you can put people into groups. I may have a group for friends, family, work colleagues etc. allowing me to communicate with each group in different ways. Very different to Facebook, where someone you’ve not seen in years is lumped right next to your closest friends.
- Other features include:
Hangouts- which lets you create video chats- spontaneously. Basically tell people you are “hanging out” and they can pop over via a web cam and say hi.
- Huddle- for group conversations (great when trying to organise an event with multiple people)
- Sparks- basically finds stuff you might like so you always have something to read or watch when you have some time.
- Instant Upload- take a photo and it’s uploaded. This one scares me a bit I’ll have to see it in action before I’m convinced.
A few months ago I spoke about a trip team search took to the Distilled Link building seminar. Rand Fishkin, of SEOmoz, spoke about social media playing a much bigger part in search results, essentially the more people like something or the more they tweet about a product or a site the better it will perform in the search results.
As well as this, we had Google’s Panda update which started to use machine learning algorithms. What this update allowed google to do was take sites that people said they did or didn’t like using a set of quality raters such as “would I trust this site enough to give my credit card details?” and scale that to every other site on the web. You’ve ended up with search results that aren’t just based on content that is optimised for search terms that get linked to a lot, which can create search results full of sites that you don’t really want to see but have been manipulated, you have search results that should throw up great websites with interesting content, great design, positive user experiences and less spammy ads.
Couple this with what the Google+ project will allow you to do with sharing user experience and opinions. Essentially you’ll be able to “like” certain sites or AdWords ads and put a comment next to why you like them. So, if I do a search for a product or service and I see that one of my friends has +1’d one of the search results I’m fair more likely to go on their recommendation.
Basically the way we use the web and the way search results are presented to us is about to get a real shake up! I’m excited.