So recently, as we all know, Google announced that Google+ content will now be displayed in search results. Is anyone really surprised by this? Twitter is up in arms, claiming that Twitter breaks more news than Google+ and yet it’s being squeezed out of search results entirely. Anyone really surprised by this?
Google’s latest development could be seen a mile away. Is it a bad thing? To me, it certainly looks like Google believes that social media is where the most relevant custom content lives and thus provides the most relevant search results, and to some degree they may be correct, though they need to be fair in serving up that content. This would align with their recent push toward favoring fresh, new content – which traditionally would mean greater relevance; at least in theory.
All this said, the last several ‘big’ stories to break, from the Tsunami in Japan to Michael Jackson’s death to Kim Jong Il’s passing, I found on Facebook and Twitter. Google+ is in its infancy relative to Twitter and Facebook, and while it makes sense to include social media content in search results, Google is missing a huge part of the boat here.
Google claims to want to provide the most relevant search results possible, which is why many people prefer to use Google over Bing and Yahoo, but this latest change in providing results seems to me to be falling short of achieving this goal. Could this be an opening for Yahoo and Bing? I think time will tell.
So the debate will continue, lines will be drawn in the proverbial sand, and many companies will setup their Google+ pages; and they should. In fact, given this latest change they need to. Whether we agree with Google’s move or not, until someone or something comes along and changes the search marketing playing field, Google dictates the moves.