by March 21, 2012 0 comments


Applies to: SMEs, Marketers, Entrepreneurs

USP: Learn how to leverage SPYW for your business
Primary Links: None

Search engine keywords: SPYW, SEO,Google

Building on the concept of Social Search that Google had launched back in 2009, the search engine giant has implemented a major search change which they call as social search. The service called ‘Search, Plus Your World’ ( SPYW) personalizes search results based on your Google+ profile (if you have one, and are logged into it).

The feature means more personalized information displayed to your search engine results. If you are logged in with your Google+ account, your search results will include Google+ photos and posts (your own and those shared with you), and other people’s Google+ profiles. So you can find whom you’re close to or might be interested in following, and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest. However, if you don’t like this feature, you can de-personalize the search results (more on this later).

While Google cites this new algorithm as a transformation that will lead to more personal results, critics say it compromises on true SERP relevance for social media integration and promotion of Google+.

Ironically, results from the two popular social networks have been pushed down Google’s SERPs. The new search algorithm saw a chorus of outrage from users and companies alike including the likes of Twitter, who publicly condemned the search giant for the change, arguing that Twitter results will now be less prominent when people are searching on Google.

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Plus, the search results don’t integarte shared content from the most popular social network Facebook or other photo sharing sites like Flickr. Google responded to this as follows. ‘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’.

And here is how Amit Singhal, the man behind Google’s ranking algorithm, justifies SPYW. ‘Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. These wonderful people and this rich personal content is currently missing from your search experience.Search is still limited to a universe of webpages created publicly, mostly by people you’ve never met. Today, we’re changing that by bringing your world, rich with people and information, into search. We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships’.

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Why personal results in search?

Every day, there are hundreds of millions of searches for people. And at times, it’s hard to find the person you’re looking for. Once you do find him, there’s no quick way for you to actually interact. With SPYW, you’ll have ways to connect with people instantly, right from the search results.

Now, typing just the first few letters of your friend’s name brings up a personalized profile prediction in autocomplete. Selecting a predicted profile takes you to a results page for your friend, which includes information from their Google+ profile and relevant web results that may be related to them. And you can have this personal experience instantaneously, thanks to Google Instant. However, if you don’t want to see the personalized search results, just by clicking on the toggle on the upper right of the results page, you can see an unpersonalized view of search results.

What it means for businesses

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If you don’t use Google+, it won’t make any difference. At least not yet. If you use Google+, it means you’re going to start seeing skewed content that your network is recommending. Not necessarily the websites that were visited, rather the sites that they have recommended by sharing Google+ (including just clicking on the +1 button). In one way it enables you to tap on the collective intelligence of users to visit sites, while on the other, offers you a massive SEO opportunity for you to get your website and web content rank higher by building up a network on Google+ and/or encouraging people to +1 your content.

As social and search becomes knotted in Google’s and Bing’s search results, search engine optimizers and social media strategist should beef up their web optimization initiatives in tandem with each other. For getting better visibility in Bing, they should fortify their Facebook business page to reach out to maximum number of users, and of course they should consider building up their Google+ page to leverage the new SPYW. So, if you don’t already have a Google+ business page, set up one immediately, and start sharing content regularly.

Google Search Plus At a Glance

1. Personal Results: This enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts-both your own and those shared specifically with you.
2. Profiles in Search: Both in auto-complete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and
3. People and Pages: This helps 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.

Keeping pace with SPYW

The move could be a marketing maneuver to trick businesses and individuals into using Google+ which is of course BAD news for social networks like Facebook and Twitter. However the truth is, SPYW is here to stay. And the only thing you can do is to go by it — by optimizating your sites and revamping your relationships in the social media. SPYW merges SEO with SMO. From the point of view of marketers and entrepreneurs, Google search plus brings in incredible opportunity for making the right connections. The change has now made it possible to find and follow all the right people in your niche industry.

Beef up your relationships in Google+

Since people with Google+ accounts are going to be shown up heavily in Google search, you have to make sure your contacts in Google+ page are the right group of people. With SPYW, being in more circles means better SEO. Also, the more people a company has in its circles, the bigger the audience will be for its message.

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