Are you used to seeing your website appear in Google search results on the first page without scrolling? As of yesterday, you may have noticed a change. That’s because, in many searches results, Google is including Google+ comments above everything else on the page. Google is calling this search style, “Google Plus Your World.” Google’s Jack Menzel explains with an example:
“Google+ results will be blended in with the traditional ‘authoritative [organic] results,’ but clearly annotated. Type in a topic of interest, like ‘Rome,’ and along with maps, travel info, historical references, you’ll find a post your friend wrote in Google+ about a recent trip to Rome [if a friend has indeed mentioned Rome].”
Google is placing these comments above the organic information we are used to seeing. So, this is pushing organic search results below Google+ comments and Google ads. Therefore, if you are in the top results for your keywords, people may now have to scroll to see your website. This also means that less websites fit on the first page of Google results. Obviously, this will have a significant effect on SEO.
Since Google results are becoming saturated with Google+ comments, Google has made it important for businesses to ramp up activity on Google+. If you want to show up in those comments, you have to get Google+ members to mention your business frequently. The more people mention you on Google+, the more likely comments about your business will show up. This is going to require businesses to implement A LOT of social interaction. Keep in mind, you can’t set up a business account with Google+ and never engage in it. If you do, as with any social network, you are wasting your time.
So, Have Google Shot Themselves In the Foot?
A lot of people are wondering if Google Plus Search will last. Many users are reporting it’s unhelpful, and the FTC is questioning whether it violates privacy rights. We think it’s possible this technique will backfire on Google. Keep in mind, if you are logged out of Google when you do a search, you will see less Google+ comments on the screen. That means organic search returns will appear higher on the page, giving many people the information they want faster. The same goes for a searcher who doesn’t have a Google+ account at all. They will see less social comments on the screen, allowing them to see organic results faster. So, if people avoid logging in to Google, and they avoid getting a Google+ account, Google has actually pushed people away. What I’m about to say is a long shot, but, if enough people are annoyed by the social search results, they may – GASP – use a different search engine. People probably won’t go that far. But, Google have shot themselves in the foot with new products before. Perhaps they are doing it again.