Your Search Results, Now With Social Media Influences

Jon Guerringue Optimizing your web presence

Did you know that you can now tailor your Google search results to be more relevant to you based on your social media interactions? I didn’t! This recently announced feature cropped up yesterday as I was researching the answer to a student’s question about aggregating social media accounts in search results after my guest lecture at an NYU graduate class.

Apparently you can now connect one or more of your social media accounts to your Google Account profile. Having done this, every time you search the web using Google, the results you see will be tailored by the content in your social network: what you’ve said, and what others in your network have said or recommended. Read this excellent post I found on how Google will now blend your social network interactions as part of the overall Google search results algorithm.

The changing SEO landscape

What does this mean for those trying to optimize their sites for search results? In some ways this may be bad news. This presents another way that your site may disappear off people’s search results (or at least get placed lower in the ranking) in favor of something that one of their friends may have tweeted about or posted to their Facebook wall.

On the other hand, as with other personalized search results changes, if you are building an engaged audience through not only blog posts with comments, but also with social media, your followers/likers/friends may be more likely to see and be directed towards your site than before because of their social network connections.

It will be interesting to see how many people embrace this somewhat quietly rolled-out Google change.

What do you think? Will you add your social network to your Google profile? If you’ve done this, does it seem to present better search results for you?