1 post tagged social sidebar
1 post tagged social sidebar
Google - “Search, plus Your World” (SPYW)
One of the first major implementations of social search this year was the “Search, plus Your World” by Google. Google search results can now include photos, posts, and more from you and your Google+ friends and connections. Note that you need to be signed in with Google+ to be able to find personal results in your search results page.
It is natural that we are more inclined to trust recommendations that come from our friends and your connections. With personal results, we can now see these alongside the normal search result entries.
Here is a video that further explains “search, plus your world”;
The personal results that follow from using “Search, plus Your World” are marked with an icon so that you know that they are just for you.
See the above example from a search I did based on “social media tips”. The results are personal to me so that is why you need to be signed in to Google to see yours.
On any given search, you can toggle to hide personal results. To do this, simply click on the globe icon in the top right of your search results page.
Below you see the exact same search term used, but this time without Personal results enabled.
Google+ business pages can benefit from “Search, plus Your World”
Companies can benefit from “Search, plus Your World” with their Google+ business pages. If you create great content you will start to have people following your updates by them adding you to their Google+ circles. They will +1 your posts and start sharing and commenting. This will make your content appear higher in Google’s search results pages when your followers and others connected to your followers search using related keywords to your posts in Google with the personal results turned on, while logged into Google.
Here is an example. I am connected with Mary-Jayne MacDonald, I know her and we work for the same company. I searched in Google for “AVENT is a leader in parenting and baby products” with personal results switched on while logged into Google. A post shared by Mary-Jayne appears as the top result for me and the Avent web site that carries the line “AVENT is a leader in parenting and baby products” as the first sentence on the site appears 3rd in the results list.
This is a great way for your company’s content to reach new people that might not have found your content directly. Make sure you thoroughly plan your Google+ presence first. Do all the right things like have a content plan, editorial calendar, community management, crisis procedures etc.
“This isn’t the entire Internet, it’s your entire Internet”
Jack Menzel is Google’s Director of Product Management - Google Search. He recently said “This isn’t the entire Internet, it’s your entire Internet”. “With Google+, we understand who people are, and we use that”. Google+ data is indeed spreading!
For me with my social search test drive with Google, I gave it a pass!
But not everyone shares the joy of “Search, plus Your World”
If you use Internet Explorer with Google as the search engine and select “show more search tools” after doing a search, you will not find the option for “Personal”. If it was there, you would see the related posts from your Google+ friends and connections. Search, plus Your World does not work in Bing either.
“Don’t be evil”
“How much better would social search be if Google surfaced results from all across the web?”. This is the opening statement on the focusontheuser.org web site. They created a bookmarklet that you can install on Chrome, Firefox and Safari which, I quote “uses Google’s own relevance measure—the ranking of their organic search results—to determine what social content should appear in the areas where Google+ results are currently hardcoded”. Their point is that “Search, plus Your World” focuses on promoting Google+ over the other social media results like Twitter and Facebook.
Confused? Here is a video that explains what focusontheuser.org is trying to tell us all.
The example highlighted is not so relevant now as Jamie Oliver now has a quite active verified Google+ profile with 916k followers to date.
The focusontheuser.org has not impressed everyone, as you will notice in the comment stream of the video on YouTube.
If you really want a basic search result, without any Google enhancements, select “Show search tools” after doing a search and then select “Verbatim”. Verbatim gives you the search result using the exact keywords you typed without Google applying personal results or doing any of the other things that it normally does to the search result, i.e.
- suggesting spelling corrections and alternative spellings
- personalizing your search by using information
such as sites you’ve visited before
- including synonyms of your search terms to find related results
- finding results that match similar terms to those in your query
- searching for words with the same stem, like “running” when
you search for [run]
You will not see social search results enhanced in any way, but if you like it like that, so be it.
Bing - “social sidebar”
Bing has a new feature – “people who might know”. Their philosophy is that you might ask your friends for a recommendation or advice as an offline task, so they have placed this new sidebar on the side, and not mixed it in with the search results on the left. You can find out more about this new feature here - “Introducing the New Bing: Spend Less Time Searching, More Time Doing”. They also have a new center column that might appear, called Snapshot. Snapshot brings relevant information and services related to your search right on the main results page including maps, restaurant reservations and reviews so you can take action. The roll out is selective. Microsoft announced that “social sidebar” went live on June 1, 2012 for all people in the U.S.
I have to wait my turn for my social search test drive with Bing, so no judgement yet on that one.
There are other changes on the horizon for organic search. There has been a recent announcement that Bing will partner with the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Google already has the “Knowledge Graph” implementation, which I really do like.
Twitter - “People you follow’ search results”
Twitter is not standing by watching Google and Bing have all the fun with Social search. On the 6th July Twitter announced the introduction of search autocomplete and ‘People you follow’ search results to twitter.com. I quote.. “you can now see Tweets about a given topic from only the people you follow when you select the ‘People you follow’ view.
Viewing Tweets about a topic from just the people you follow is a great way to find useful information and join the conversation”.
The “see what your friends have done in search” bug.
The “see what your friends have done in search” bug is spreading to other things. The Chrome Web Store will now start showing app recommendations based on the apps your Google+ friends have voted up.
So what do you think about the new Social search implementations for Google search, Bing and Twitter?
I have seen this view expressed about the Google+ Search, plus Your World:
“So what? Google wants to advertise they’re own social network on they’re own search engine?? There is nothing wrong with that at all”.
The Bing “social sidebar” has its fans and people who do not like it as well. Here is one of the negative comments I read - “You will never be Google. accept this”.
For me, I have used the Google “Search, plus Your World” personal results many times, and I have it switched on without fail. I have not been able to try out the Bing “social sidebar” yet, or the Twitter search changes, but I am eagerly looking forward to giving them both test drives. Social search is here to stay, and it can only get better. So jump in and try them out in your own test drive.
About The Author:
Clive Roach is the social media strategist for Philips Healthcare. He is active with strategy development, activation, governance, projects and educational training activities for all aspects of social media within Philips Healthcare. Clive has been working in the eMarketing area since 1997, and previously held roles in engineering, design and sales. Clive is also practical in addition to his current strategic role. In addition to this blog, he tweets daily on three Twitter accounts, has two Facebook fan pages, Google+, Pinterest, So.cl, Instagram, and participates in many other social networks.
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