Plenty of speculations, discussions and theories have led to internet marketers and social media developers believing that there is a high chance that Google+ has an enhanced connection with Google search results. In lament’s terms, Google favors its social network more than anything else.
That doesn’t seem too irrational, now, does it?
Also Read: Pinterest Introduces a New Follow Button
Google+ and its affect on search results represent a small piece of the internet speculation map, however, here are some clues and therefore food for thought to convince you that there is indeed a connection, its strength, still undefined and solely for you to determine.
This article is purely speculative in nature, with conclusions drawn from research and personal experimentation and may in fact misrepresent the actual truth as much as Columbus believed to have arrived in India. So tread with caution and never forget to experiment yourself.
There is a high chance you have long noticed the two buttons on your Google search results – that is, if you are connected to Google+. The default setup displays both public and private results.
Note: You can always swap between the two, on the top right corner.
Public results have been around since the birth of search engines. You may have never visited a dictionary on the word “altruism” but if you search for it, your public results will display relevant data to the data applied by your search keyword(s). Plenty of factors determine the ladder of results. If Sarah’s dictionary has the most traffic on the word “altruism”, her website will be displayed first. If John’s site has Schema and less traffic, it will be displayed second. If Jessica used backlinks and has a stronger connection with Sarah’s dictionary, she will be displayed second, followed by John.
And so on.
Private results were introduced on Google shortly after the launch of Google+. Some folks, like the European Council and this particular article on CNN argue that Google knows too much about you. A small example of that would be our aforementioned private results.
Note: Private results include public results as well.
As previously, you have never visited a dictionary website on the word “altruism”. Particularly, you have never visited Sarah’s highest-ranking dictionary. You have no connection with Jessica’s second-ranking dictionary, either. However, you follow John, or you have shared a particular John-post on Google+.
Here’s the case: I have observed instances in which Sarah’s highest-ranking dictionary remains first in search results, while John’s website pops out second, connected to that particular Google+ post, rather than the website itself, while Jessica’s second highest-ranking dictionary displays third. Other cases, John’s dictionary displays first, topping even Sarah’s, especially if I interact with John on Google+ and that interaction contained the word “altruism” – the one I’m looking for on Google search.
The conclusion is that, in any case, Google+ seems to affect search results, especially if you are active on the network and despite the vagueness of my assumptions with regards to how search engines and search results work, I constantly see examples matching the one described above.
Although Microdata is a whole different aspect of boosting your search results, I have seen some correlation between Google+ and related/significant links added as part of your itemscope tags. While every other site and network’s relation to an applied search depends heavily on the former’s traffic and content relevancy, Google+ seems to be an exception to that rule.
Schema applies immediate changes because it tells search robots that this page is organized. Like a welcoming mother. Part of your microdata setup can include related links to social media profiles and compared to Schema’s rapid search result changes, social profiles take longer, if not affected at all.
With the exception of Google+, which just pops up as soon as the search engine refreshes your content. According to my opinion, that is solid proof that there is some enhanced relevancy between Google+ and Google as a search engine – with minimum thought, it seems quite logical, don’t you think?
Sadly, I can’t find any online documentation on this subject.
As of recent, Google decided to effectively remove author images from search results, which means that if you have included authorship in your blog and have successfully linked your Google+ profile with your author name, your profile picture will no longer be visible in search results.
Also Read: [How-to] Add Google+ Authorship to your Blog
Google explains that their attempts to clean up the visual design of search results follows an initiative to improve the interface and accessibility on mobile and cross-browser platforms, which no longer includes the author image. The rest of the information will be displayed normally and will continue ensuring increased credibility in search results.
There are plenty of speculations on how Google+ authorship impacts search results, while some case studies have taken a step forward into deciphering the connection between the two forms of content annotations, other Google+ and Google search experiments are left to the judgement of the reader.
Conclusion: In any case, Google’s not talking.
Would you like to add anything to this story? Share your insight on the comments below.