Google has introduced a new feature on search engine results pages called “Search, plus Your World“. These features may have significant impact on how you view search results and how your website displays for others.
Look at the two images below. The first is a typic search result for “WordCamp“:
Compare that with the new search results page with the social features enabled (like to full-size here):
What does this mean for you?
First, as a person browsing the web, you may choose to turn results off if you find that it results in better quality. I’d suggest testing that depending upon what you are seeking. If I’m hunting for advanced research, I’d likely turn the results off, and perhaps even go so far as to log out of Google and browse in Incognito mode to get the most pure results.
Secondly, for your website to be ranked more highly by those with personal results enabled, it will drastically help to have your online presence thoroughly complete. Claim and integrate services that work for you, whether blogs, microblogs, photo sharing, video sharing, slide sharing, or an assortment of other places. Next, claim your Google Plus profile and connect it to your social media accounts. Finally, get networking in Google Plus. The more people that are following you, the more likely your content will display on their search results pages.
Since joining Google Plus six months ago, I’ve connected with more people and brands than at all my other social networks combined. Early adopters stand considerable advantage when a network does explode. While Google Plus may not be as established as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, it does have a lot of activity happening there. More importantly, your profile and connects are impacting search results already. More will be coming I believe. Don’t wait any longer.