Jellyfish Agency googleplus POV


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Jellyfish Agency googleplus POV

  1. 1. Jellyfish POVGoogle+: Search, plus Your WorldBackground, implications and actions for Jellyfish clients19| 01| 2012© Jellyfish Online Marketing Ltd 2012
  2. 2. Jellyfish POVGoogle+: Search, plus Your World, January 2012IntroductionDuring the second week of January Google officially launchedSearch, plus Your World (SPYW), an update to search that heraldsan epic and arguably seismic change for the digerati, brands andconsumers. Cripes, why all the fuss?BackgroundPersonalised search in Google is nothing new (default even whensigned out from 2009 onwards). Incorporating social results (andby implication using social signals to influence rankings) is alsonothing new; Twitter results still feature in Google’s index, andGoogle have admitted publicly that good social = good rankings:Danny Sullivan: ‘If an article is retweeted or referenced much inTwitter, do you count that as a signal outside of finding any non-nofollowed links that may naturally result from it?’Google: ‘Yes, we do use it as a signal. It is used as a signal in ourorganic and news rankings. We also use it to enhance our newsuniversal by marking how many people shared an article’.What is new is the aggressive manner in which SPYW ‘pushes’ theperceived relevance and visibility of Google+ content INTO YOURFACE, where the personalised search results are strongly influencedby users’ immediate spheres of influence, including the people andmaterials they interact with in Google+. (NB – SPYW is only live at the moment).PAGE 2
  3. 3. Jellyfish POVGoogle+: Search, plus Your World, January 2012Examples – Search for a personI follow Matt Cutts on Google+, he is in one of my circles, and (quitereasonably) his Google+ page is one of the results pages. Note hisimage is presented in the search preview pane.PAGE 3
  4. 4. Jellyfish POVGoogle+: Search, plus Your World, January 2012Is this a good / better search result? Yes: There may only be oneLady Gaga, but there are hundreds of people who share the nameMichael Jackson. In any international or even country-specificsearch, one particular Michael Jackson and interest in his work risksdrowning out the others. So, a name result which deliversinformation more closely related to my social relationships (readcircles in Google+ land) seems sensible.Now, search for a brandPAGE 4
  5. 5. Jellyfish POVGoogle+: Search, plus Your World, January 2012Even though Macy’s is not a part of my social circles, theirGoogle+ pages(s) are the #2 and #3 result, outranking theirWikipedia entry and (no surprise!) their Facebook page. Now that’sjust not cricket.So personalised search that relies heavily on analysis of socialactivity in Google+ raises the worrying spectre of a Google+ pagesfrom (or even about…….) your company rating highly for searchesfor your brand name, or potentially even higher than any given mainsite for a brand that is rarely updated and experiences little-to-nosocial engagement.Personalised search also makes it far more difficult to measure andimprove what appears in any given search for your brand name; theresults of most personalised searches will be invisible to you, andchat within the relevant circles will be largely beyond your directcontrol; you would need to influence the opinion-formers/leadersthose in any given circle in order to influence the wider circle(s).Finally, try a generic searchThis one is harder to predict, though potentially if I search for cityPAGE 5
  6. 6. Jellyfish POVGoogle+: Search, plus Your World, January 2012break Italy, I am just as likely to be served a mate’s Google+ pagewith holiday snaps as I am a travel website.Practically, you’ll note the people and pages on Google+ sidebar…hard to miss, right? Well, that can only be a blatant land grabby Google to drive users / brands on to Google in a way that israising eyebrows and more across the marketing and legislativecommunity (see later in this document).Returning to the issue of search quality, I’d argue that this level ofpersonalisation at a generic search level is counter-productive inmany circumstances. The fact that my mum might have bought aNikon D3 does not make her an expert on DSLRs. When I search fordigital cameras, the result I want in that scenario is a site whereauthority has been gauged over time based on a broad range ofmetrics…..please. On a positive note, SPYW is likely to be a betteruser experience for micro personalised searches. For example,when looking for best Thai food in Clapham, a search result drivenby my friends’ experiences would be highly relevant to myinformation needs.Don’t forget mobileDesktop computers are often shared, personal devices less so. Asrollout progresses, personalised search is going to dominate themobile market before it dominates the desktop market, simplybecause a much higher percentage of users – especially Androidusers - will be signed in, and will stay signed in. And don’t forget thatwith all those rich snippets (images, video thumbnails etc.) SPYWalso eats up more screen real estate. On a small screen.So what?Is this good for users or Google? It depends on the nature of yoursearch – see examples above. But it’s definitely good for Google, asSPYW necessitates focus by anyone who needs SERPs visibility(people or brands) to kick start or accelerate their Google+strategy. This prerogative will in turn drive user numbers, increasethe breadth and depth of content delivered via Google+, and thusPAGE 6
  7. 7. Jellyfish POVGoogle+: Search, plus Your World, January 2012Google+ visibility in SERPs to a broader and broader range of searchresults. It will also enhance Google’s ability to deliver ads based onprecise user preferences (which is surely on the roadmap).How persistent will SPYW be?Make no mistake; SPYW is part of a grand plan by Google to grab notjust user numbers (where it has an advantage over Facebook) butalso user attention (where it currently falls way behind FB). And,tight integration with +1, selling benefits of social extensions toAdWords, it’s a plan all right.But any plan can be thwarted or foiled, and this is most likely toemanate from legislative pressures; here’s the letter sent by theElectronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) asking the FTC toinvestigate Google over the changes Google made as a result ofSearch plus Your World. "EPIC cited Googles decision to includepersonal data, such as photos, posts, and contact details, gatheredfrom Google+ in Google Search results."Twitter have voiced similar concerns and Facebook are likely tofollow suit. So it seems probable that Google will make hay whilethe sun shines, promote Google+ while it can, use the right handside bar for a few months, then step back and wait while the digitaldust settles.What’s a brand to do?• Set up on Google+PAGE 7
  8. 8. Jellyfish POVGoogle+: Search, plus Your World, January 2012• Link your Google+ page to your domain using Google direct connect (this will feed aggregated data on all your +1 interactions from ads, +1s from your website, +1s from Google+, into a single ‘pot’)• Enable social extensions in AdWords (shows social interactions on your PPC ads and improves CTR)• And most importantly, think about content strategies that can work alongside existing processes to encourage engagement via Google+We’re already advising clients on the details of Google+ set up,AdWords integration and content development based on brandand user data insight; do let us know if you need furtherinformation.PAGE 8