This week Google realigned it’s search results to officially add a feature that many had witnessed leaking into search results
The new functionality is potentially as important as the switch to Universal Search a few years ago. (I say potentially because Google seems to have a knack for live testing.)
The feature is something called Google Search Plus Your World – doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue but most are simply calling it Search Plus.
The idea is that Google is going to give you the option to search with results focused primarily on those in your social circles. Currently, this has heavy focus on Google+ as Facebook and Twitter don’t seem interested in helping Google paint a bigger picture at the moment.
The functionality is switched on and off with a little selector that shows up in the right hand corner of your browser window when you are logged into your Google account. (Oddly, the feature shows up in Chrome and Safari, but not in Firefox for me at the moment.)
The results are sort of fascinating at the moment as it’s fun to see some of this data organized in this manner. Time will tell whether or not this is a killer feature, but there are some things to like and certainly some things to note.
The rel=author attribute is more important than ever. I wrote about adding rel=author a while back but it seems it’s in full swing now. I am seeing search results for generic, but important search terms produce my homepage with my photo next to the results making it stand out even more. (For the time being it appears you can use the attribute on any page you author and eventually create this result – NB: for the time being, we’ll see how sorts out.) See the images below.
Notice my image to the left of the results from my site and the “more from John Jantsch” link embedded in the results. This came about through Google’s author highlighting that ties the rel=author attribute on all my pages to my Google+ profile and it’s hard not to think that highlighting makes that result stand out on the page. (Note: these searches were conducted while signed out of my Google account.)
Google is going to force you to like Google+ – okay that may be a bit strong but right now there is very strong evidence that playing in Google+ will benefit you when it comes to showing in Search Plus. It’s do in part to the vast amount of content that Google has total access to there and I’m sure it will settle down some or Google will damage its search integrity, but for now the connection is pretty blatant. See the image below.
Go read up on the rel=author attribute and go listen to my interview with Google+ maestro Chris Brogan and you’ll be off and running in the Search Plus game.