Google Push Users Towards Google+ in Search Results

July 27th, 2012

In what appears to be a new development in Google results this morning, Google are now including Google+ profiles on the right hand side of search results on google.co.uk. First pointed out to us on Twitter by Tom Jepson, this is the first time any of us had seen this feature. Furthermore, it appears to have been rolled out further [...]

In what appears to be a new development in Google results this morning, Google are now including Google+ profiles on the right hand side of search results on google.co.uk. First pointed out to us on Twitter by Tom Jepson, this is the first time any of us had seen this feature. Furthermore, it appears to have been rolled out further in google.co.uk, having checked google.com, google.com.au and google.de for good measure. It would appear that Google are updating the Google Knowledge Graph and trialling the new feature in the UK before rolling out elsewhere.

What does this look like?

Firstly, as you can see in the image above, a search for “SEOmoz” displays their G+ profile picture (a particularly nice shot of Roger), information about how many people have SEOmoz in circles, and then recent activity in the form of links to G+ posts.

Is it the same in every case?

No. A search for “Olympics” displays a snippet of content sourced from Wikipedia, in addition to intelligent info, such as the schedule. However, unlike SEOmoz, the London 2012 logo links directly to the official website rather than the G+ account. Why the inconsistency? Presumably because Google deem the user intent to be different: users searching for SEOmoz are perhaps more likely to be interested in their social activity, and perhaps it’s too risky for what is likely to be the most popular search term in the UK for the next few weeks.

Google Search for "Olympics"

See results about [subject]

A search for “Danny Sullivan” brings up two options – Danny Sullivan (technologist) and Danny Sullivan, a former racing driver. Clicking on Danny Sullivan (technologist) takes you to a search results page pertaining to the editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land. Once again, Danny’s picture links to his G+ account, but rather than displaying recent posts, we see four links to other individuals that “People also search for”.

Danny Sullivan Google search

Faux Pas!

As a side note, for fun rather than importance – Google don’t always get it correct! A search for ‘Alex Ferguson’ (manager of Manchester United) displays Ryan Giggs amongst the ‘people also search for’ result. However, in this case, rather than a picture of Giggs himself, we see a picture of his non-famous brother sourced from the Daily Mail.  At least Google’s algorithm is not alone in getting the two brothers mixed up.  Thankfully, if you look in the bottom right of the image below, there is an option to send feedback to Google informing them that one of the options is incorrect.

Alex Ferguson Search

Google also show “People Related to”

A search for “SEO” displays ‘People related to seo’ – in this case, linking to a Google search for Danny Sullivan and Matt Cutts. Barry Swartz also wrote about this today on seroundtable.com, demonstrating examples for running, apple and social media. As you might expect, the results page for Danny and Matt link to their Google+ accounts, not their personal or otherwise associated sites. This feature only appears for searches within smaller niches where it’s possible to pick out a small number of influential people. A search for “football” or “music“, for example, shows no ‘people related to’. This particular feature has been rolled out to the wider Google community, as well as google.co.uk.

"SEO" Google Search

Interesting developments and we can clearly see that Google are trying to encourage more ‘normal’ (non-tech) users towards Google+.

Let us know what you think by tweeting @trafficdigital

 
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  • http://www.welcomebeach.com/ Charlie Mcmiller

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m certainly delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

    • admin

      Thanks Charlie, we hope to see you back here again soon!