When Shall We Three Meet Again? Um… catch you on G+?: KPI Call Google’s Latest Move
We said it would happen and it has. Last night, Google unveiled the first of the new Google+ brand pages. A couple of weeks ago, we put out a press release saying,
“…as Google seek to improve the quality of their search results and continue their personalisation campaign, the Google+ data will at some point prove irresistible to them as a ranking signal”
And last night, in amongst all the flim-flam about O2 and the Muppets now having their own pages, they also unveiled the new “Direct Connect” feature. From now on, if users of Google Search place “+” before a brand name, then they will be automatically directed to the Google+ page of that brand (if they have one). Now, the exact use of this feature is up for debate. It seems, on the face of it, more than a little gimmicky. We’ve already discussed on this blog that people are increasingly trusting Facebook pages over company websites, but it’s a long way from there to the suggestion that searchers only want a company’s public face. The belief that this will become the way in which people now interact with companies is based on a fundamental misunderstanding. Previous search filters on Google (e.g. “site”, “=”, “inurl”) work exactly because they filter. The purpose of Direct Connect seems to be to limit.
The other side of the argument is that Direct Connect will not replace the existing uses of Google Search at all, but is instead a foreshadowing of greater integration between Search and +. Google’s strength remains its ubiquity and if people can do a Google Search and a social network search from the same box, then that might be enough over time to lure people away from the like, white and blue of Facebook. In SEO terms it’s great news. It reaffirms our previously stated belief that, as far as Google is concerned, good SEO is about building a good brand. No tricks, no cheats. Social media and blogging is already a key strategy we recommend to all our clients. If you are active and regularly showing your engagement with your topic, then in online terms your brand comes alive. A common mistake of so-called “invisible” sites is to see the Internet as a billboard. It’s not. It’s a market place like any other and you’ve got to be out there hawking your product in the pubs, the clubs and the social networks.
Understanding SEO strategy is about simple, logical thought and understanding the reasons online businesses act as they do. There’s no conspiracy; Google want to deliver good quality, relevant links to their users. All we do is use our expertise and experience to predict how they will do that. Although we can’t claim foresight, we can claim a clear and logical head. If you want to work with an SEO company with a proven track record of anticipating where Google is headed next, drop us a line.
On an unrelated note, we’d also recommend you keep an eye on Silver Blaze at the 3.20 at Haymarket.