Google Plus Had Graph Search First
Facebook made all the tech news a few weeks back when they revealed “Graph Search.”
The idea of a Social Search Engine that serves different results based on what your friends like, what their interests are and what they recommend makes sense for Facebook.
If I want to know which of my New Hampshire friends likes to ski (many) I can search for them and find them.
If I find myself on a business trip in my hometown of Philadelphia I can search for restaurants my friends in Philly like. (Doubt I’d have to use it for this, since I know the lay of the land!)
Here’s the irony…
Google has sort of already been doing this with Google Plus.
Yes Google Plus seems to be the nightclub that opened to compete with Facebook’s social seen but never got off the ground. A bunch of us took a peak and signed up for an account. However – after a couple of visits Google Plus really could not get many people back in the doors. So Google is finding other uses for their vacant nightclub. Hangouts on Google Plus seem to be the most popular feature.
Back to “Social Search”…
There’s no question your search results on Google will vary slightly. No one knows exactly the formula but I know for sure my results change based on whether I am logged in to my Google account or not.
Search Engine Optimization is constantly changing. Google Plus was already a “Graph Search.” Your search results will show your Google Plus contacts that have publicly hit the Plus button on a website.
Action item one is to be sure you have the Google Plus button on your website. Action item two is to do your best to get some of your contacts, web visitors and connections to publicly plus your website.
Hmm… Sounds like the idea of getting as many “Page Likes” as you can on Facebook so you can better optimize Graph Search, doesn’t it?
I really think Google is making a mistake trying to make their search engine “Social.”
Yes we want to read reviews and get some “Social Proof.” But do we really want the most relevant results to be based on the information we are looking for and the problem we are solving? – Or… do we want to see which of our friends was looking for the same info?
I think people like the anonymity of search. They might “like” a website but just because they like it does not mean – they want to tell the world about it via their social networks.