Webmaster Reaction Towards Google Search, Plus Your World

Jan 11, 2012 • 8:44 am | comments (14) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google Search, Plus Your WorldYesterday, Google announced one of the biggest changes to their search results, maybe ever.

The results, when logged in, will be extremely personalized with a high level of integration with Google+. Google described it as being "able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they've shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to... all from one search box."

The three core and new features include:

  • 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.

This sparked a bit of a debate around various communities on the internet. Obviously the privacy community, the social community and of course, the webmaster/SEO community. I wanted to share some of the feedback from SEOs and webmasters in the forums.

Overall, they are worried, like they have been with Google's previous personalization attempts. The one good thing, as Danny Sullivan explained in his detailed write up on this release was that searchers now have a clear toggle on and off switch for personalized results - will they use it and will Google keep that toggle, remains to be seen.

Here are some of the Webmaster comments:

It is, on first appearance, a bit unsettling. I reserve judgment for now, because a lot of times my first reaction to any change is resistance and suspicion - and then over time I can appreciate it.

keep screwing with the sauce........

Yet another way of squeezing out the small publisher. Google now has an excuse to manipulate search results however they want for each individual user. If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times...Don't count on Google to continue to bring you new users forever.

Since the "your world" results can be toggled on and off, I'd think it won't make too big of an impact. But then again, I just finished typing "ostrich - meet sand" so maybe my mindset is affecting everything at the moment.

Then you have Twitter calling this a bad thing and Google defending themselves by saying "We are a bit surprised by Twitter's comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer, and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions"

Matt Cutts touches on how it is not just Google+ content shaping the results, but also Flickr and they want to add more, if the social networks allow.

Here is a video on it from Google:

In any event, there is a tremendous amount of discussion and coverage on this at Techmeme.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld, Cre8asite Forums, Google Web Search Help, Google on Google+ and Matt Cutts on Google+.

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Barry Shbarry

01/11/2012 02:28 pm

"Doing a generic search like [werewolf] or [photos] and getting back a picture of you or your friends is a pure, magic moment." THIS is why I go to Google, to find out my dog's name like in Amit's example or to get picture of friends when searching for werewolf. Even Barry is not being a Google wh*re with this feature that will cut our traffic a lot more than Panda.


01/11/2012 04:40 pm

Google+ is terrible. This is terrible. I just want some clean search results. 

Daniel Milstein

01/12/2012 12:43 am

That is true,Barry. As an author and business man, I can relate to how you said, "This sparked a bit of a debate around various communities on the internet". I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you're talking about.  Can't wait to read more from you!


01/12/2012 01:33 am

I just wonder how this will affect companies doing SEO work for their clients. With so much personalization of results, you can hardly track SERP positions any more. So, they will probably have to rely more on other metrics, such as conversions / traffic growth.

Jahangir Saghani

01/12/2012 06:08 am

I think this will make  your world bound, if you search anything by login, you can only experience the results from your nearby or your friend's  activities! have to logged off if interested to search widely, so this will be little time consuming!

Rob Abdul

01/12/2012 09:51 am

Hence why I logout of Google when I search for anything. 

Warren Lowe

01/12/2012 11:30 am

I don't think we can say the toggle function makes any difference. 90% of the people who search google never touch ANY of the settings for the results. Only now and again will some try using the options to narrow down an image search or somethnig. But for the most part people will either turn it on or off once and then leave it the same way forever

Robert Shirilla

01/12/2012 12:15 pm

We are a small business with several eCommerce sites and rely heavily on Google traffic.  In 2010, we were hurt by the large brand domination in the SERP.  We plan to be proactive in the Google+ arena and hopefully regain converting traffic from “Plus Your World" --- Wish us luck!

Nick Stamoulis

01/12/2012 02:18 pm

Conversions and traffic growth should definitely be the focus of an SEO campaign.  It's impossible to guarantee rank and due to various factors rank is always changing.  Focusing too much on rank can make you crazy.  

Get Ranked

01/12/2012 03:32 pm

How funny would it be to search for some type of rash and see your friends pop up.


01/13/2012 06:51 am

If this is the case, then how will SEO survive ?  How will SEO' rank in personalized results and general results ? This is a big and a major issue.  It will be back to PPC, that's what google needs!


01/13/2012 11:23 am

There is also other side of that, who do you have in Circles on Google plus? Friends? I don't have any there (I have Facebook for that), on Google Plus I connect only with people from the industry. Do I want to see where people from my industry go on holiday? Would I go where they recommend to go? Or would I choose a travel site which other seo recommends? Well, not really. I don’t know this people personally. Since I don’t have travel bloggers or friends who travel a lot in my circles, I actually can't see recommendations in SERP which I can trust. I think Google still has a long way to go (I am not saying it will not work, I am just saying that at this stage it is annoying for some of us

Link Building services

01/14/2012 08:45 am

Huh....what a terrible, these days... i see google, changing their algorithms.... and i think yesturday google panda updated...


01/16/2012 09:51 pm

I've switched to Bing for my searches now.  Yes we need Google for or on-line businesses to keep ticking along, but hey Google needs to start playing fair. Who wants G+  pages to show up at the top of search pages every time you type a keyword in, Google that's who.  Now I wonder why that is. If this continues small on-line business owners just won't stand a change of ever being found in the SERPS, instead you will get useless G+ pages dominating the front page and where does that leave the rest of us. Dead in the water, you won't find a life jacket or  rubber ring there either, nope eventually Google will simply watch you sink. Who wins Google of course, more for them, nothing left for you.              

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