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Google Search Results Getting more Personal

Updated on July 12, 2013
Google search results differ based on previous searches.
Google search results differ based on previous searches.

Your research results differ from other users - how can marketers benefit?

Google announced earlier in the year on 10 January 2012 that it would gradually incorporate even more social features into its search engine in 2012. This included personal results, profiles, people and pages in Google+. This change means that your search results now differ significantly from those of other users based on your search preferences, history and social media involvement.

Say you have a Google+ profile and do a keyword search on Travel to France; the search engine will also, apart from the traditional search, search within your friends' networks for posts relevant to France. This can include Google+ profiles and pages, even personal photos and posts as well as anything that was shared with you on Google+. Your inner circle on Google+ will thus directly influence your search results. If you are searching for a restaurant in your area, and the search results include negative reviews by your inner circle, you will definitely avoid that restaurant. Your research results will also differ from other users based on the personal profile that Google created based on all your searches.

Google posted this explanation on its official blog:

“Our dream is to have technology enable everyone to experience the richness of all their information and people around them. We named our company after the mathematical number googol as an aspiration toward indexing the countless answers on webpages, but that’s only part of the picture. The other part is people, and that’s what Search plus Your World is all about”.

If you do not have a Google+ profile, your search results will not be personalized.

But what does this change mean for marketers?

Personal Results enable users to find the information that are specifically relevant to them. Profiles in Search also enable users to find Google+ profiles with search queries. People and Pages assist users in finding Google+ pages and profiles related to specific topics, areas or brands. This has been great news for marketers.

Although many people do not like the idea of their posts showing up in search results and opt out, this provides marketers and businesses direct insight into consumers’ brand preferences and conversations within their own inner circle on Google+. It also means that if businesses do not have a brand page on Google+ yet, now is definitely the time to get one. Brand communication could become even more personalised and relevant to users as a result of more insight into consumers’ preferences.

The People and Pages new feature is especially relevant to marketers and businesses, since search these results enable users to join relevant conversations on products or brands. It boosts contextual marketing since all the conversations take place in the right context. Marketers understand where the consumers are, who they are, what they are doing and likely to be doing next. By obtaining as much information about a customer as you possibly can, the best possible marketing message is delivered at the very right moment.

The negative part is that consumers now feel more targeted than ever before and even leave Google+.


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