With the introduction of Google + comes a new wave of search related activity. Since its launch earlier this summer, Google has got webmasters and SEO enthusiasts hot under the collar by hinting at a more personalised search for all it’s users. The effects of this can be seen already by anyone that has a Google account (+ or Google email).
The first glimpse we saw of Google venturing down the personalised search route was with the onset of the +1 button, the equivalent to the like button on Facebook or LinkedIn button which can be seen on almost every website at the moment. Also when you do a search on Google you also have the ability to +1 any website on the results page simply by clicking the button beside the result you like.
You will also notice that the sites you visit most will appear in the search results before any other, which renders old fashioned SEO totally invalid. This of course is a major concern for all those who work in the web business and make their living by providing on-site and off-site SEO to websites globally.
So how do we get around this? If you are a webmaster or SEO expert it’s time now to expand your business to include SEM ( Search Engine Marketing). This can be achieved by working more closely with Social Networks and garnering ‘likes’ ‘+1’s and ‘fans’ for your clients. Encourage all of your clients to include social bookmarks throughout their site and explain the importance of Social Networking to them.
The unfortunate truth is, that the best way to get a site to appear in a personalised search is to have the details already in the users cache. Now old fashioned SEO will still have a part to play as typically it seems to be the top 5 results that are affected most. Keyword implementation is still as important as it has always been, as are backlinks, meta tags and descriptions. However if you are going to play the game then you need to play it to the end and play it to win.
SEO should now without doubt incorporate marketing in a big way and those that ignore this will do so at their peril.
For webmasters who are working on client sites and need to see the true value of their SERPS, then it is possible to turn Google search off. Keep in mind though that the majority of users won’t have done this.
The bottom line is adaptability, if you are an SEO expert then you will be no stranger to this, this time though it’s a big leap, not just another change in the algorithm. Use social networking to your advantage and spread the word about clients websites through, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, Google + and any other platform you can lay your hands on. Register your clients business on Google places, allow a check-in option for the place and encourage customers to use it. If your client can offer a free app then get them to do so, basically anything that draws an audience to your clients site. Once they have visited the site once it will appear high in their personalised search results.
I, more than anyone, understand what a worry this has been for users and businesses alike, but it looks like we are stuck with it now. The only solution is to do what we have always done and play them at their own game, and lets face it we’ll always be the ones who come out on top!