Social Search+ & Your Panic Button
Big changes are sweeping across Google. As you may have noticed, they recently rolled out Search Plus Your World, which has turned the industry on its ear. The issue? Google appears to have abandoned the very premise that built their empire, opting to discard “relevance” in favor of showing “social-personal” results.
Why? It’s Google’s latest push to win back the eyeballs that Facebook has so successfully stolen over the last several years. The search giant is now doing everything in its power to make Google+ the only social platform we will ever need.
As a result, search results are turning inside out, and you may be wondering what on earth this means to your business being found online anymore. You would be right to panic a little bit. Things are that dramatic. But you can still avoid running around like a chicken with its head cut off. First things first, take care of the most important stuff now.
Complacency = Bad Move
As a business owner, this is the sort of shift in the search marketplace that will not be best served by waiting to see how it all plays out. Given that it takes minimal effort, you would be wise to create a Google+ Place listing right away. If this requires your finally giving in and joining Google+, so be it. Google’s recent changes leave you little other option now. Google now favors their own properties in search results, so they now represent critical opportunities for your business. You can’t afford to put it off any more.
And if you haven’t noticed, that Twitter account and Facebook page you built for your business is now far less likely to be found at the top of Google results. Yes, for the moment Google has made sure of that – all the more reason for you to get your Google+ listing in order.
As you go through the exercise of building things out on Google+, take some time to tend to your Google Places listing as well – the one you see showing up on Google’s map results. It will be a good idea to make sure that the business information across all platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc..) is consistent. That can only help you with those elements of the Google algorithm that still factor core business information into results. You might also want to link to your new G+ listing from your own website, and other pages online. This will help connect the dots as well.
While building G+ circles and developing a G+ content strategy to grow your audience are also sure to be critical “to do’s” going forward, for now try not to let all of that overwhelm you. Take care of your need to exist in the Google social landscape in the first place. It’s that important to Google, so it sure needs to be that important to you.