Google releases its latest development in social search
Yesterday, Google announced their latest development in their social strategy with the integration of Google+, their own social offering, into their search results. Users, who are logged into their Google+ account, will now start to see comments from the connections appearing in the search results for relevant queries.
Its not secret that Google has a key objective of cracking the social media market. Google+ is their latest answer to this particular problem, and with 25 Million registered users since launch, it has made a promising start.
Their interest in social media, is twofold. Obviously they would love a network as large as Facebook’s which they could display targeted advertising against and boost their revenues. After all Facebook earned $1.86 billion in 2010 from advertising, and it is said this could be as high as $4 billion in 2011.
But more so than that, they are interested in social media’s impact on delivering relevant search results and signals that can be incorporated into their search engine. Google and bing have both openly admitted that they use social ranking factors such as Facebook share and retweets to influence search rankings. But since Google’s deal with twitter to deliver real time, live search results ended, the ability to include social content in search has been diminished. This latest development is their move to re-include this content, which can be highly relevant due to the peer recommendation effect, in a format they own, and so have more control over.
Social ranking factors, are the evolution of the link. Using content a contact has shared as an indication of the most useful, or interesting, content on a particular subject. And Google will be hoping that the usage of Google+ continues to rise so that this can be used more and more to influence their search rankings. This latest change, is only the start, keep an eye out for social media influencing the search engine results more and more in the future.
You can see the full Google announcement here.