Search Plus Your World
With search and social seemingly getting more and more tangled up in Google and Bing’s algorithms, search engine optimisers cannot ignore social media. You have to accept if you want to keep up. For instance, Bing incorporates Facebook data into its search results. And now Google has taken a giant (and some might say taken a risky) step with the introduction of Search Plus Your World (SPYW). What is SPYW? In a nutshell, if you are signed into your Google account, your search results will be stirred up to include content such as links, images and videos that have been shared by friends in your Google + social network. If this is new to you, you can read more on the official Google blog. In this post, I want to talk about how this new feature will affect your search engine results…
Search Results Visibility
The biggest and most obvious impact on search results is visibility. Let’s pretend I am the user in the official video below. The results from SPYW are definitely more visually appealing — they feature more product images and thumbnails of content that have been shared by people in my Google+ circles. These results can also be more engaging, as they include opinions from people in my circles. So if I want to be entertained and get a review of a product or service by people who are more likely to influence my decision then Google SPYW is great. However SPYW is only as powerful as the people you have in your Google+ circles. If we use the example in the video, the people in my circles have shared content and opinion on paperclips in the past, making SPYW really useful to me for that particular search term. But let’s say that one day I decided that I wanted to research some new shoes for an event in the future. I go to Google and find more traditional search results, but a lack of SPYW results for this query making my purchase decision a little bit more difficult. From there, I might conclude that SPYW could not be that relevant for ecommerce SEO. But that premise is based on my interactions on Google+ so far, which will determine the deeply personalised results I will receive on SPYW. For a start most people in my personal Google+ circles are web developers or in the SEO industry, so opinions on shoes are not on their radar. Most of these people are also on Facebook and Twitter, and if they were ever going to offer their opinion on shoes it would most likely be on one of those networks. Finally, I haven’t ‘+1’d any shoe brands. All of these factors specific to my interactions in Google+ limit Google’s SPYW usefulness in an ecommerce query for “shoes”. So my mission becomes to transfer more of my friends on Facebook and Twitter (which are more varied) onto Google+, which will build the strength of my circles giving me more informed SPYW results.
So How Can Ecommerce Sites Benefit From SPYW
So if you are an ecommerce site battling it out there with the competition in the SERPS, how can you improve your visibility using SPYW? Here are a few points to get you started:
- If you don’t already have a Google+ business page, set one up.
- Share content on Google+ regularly, this means sharing product images, videos, news and updates and, of course, links to products. Maybe even some personal opinion.
- Build your network. It does you no good to post content if you don’t have a group of followers to share it with. One way to do this is by adding a Google+ link to your website that links to your Google+ page. In addition, add the +1 button to product pages, which enables people to recommend your products and services. Once people add your page to their Circles, add them back.
Top Search Plus Your World Tip
- Make it easy for fans to +1 content on your ecommerce site.
Arming an ecommerce site with sharing buttons is quite like outsourcing your social media to your customers. A marketing team can only share so much content on its own, and quite often that content sounds just like marketing. Potential customers can spot this content a mile away. So content and opinions from actual customers/users (especially good ones) and strategic community management will be critical to your social success and will have a big affect on your bottom line.