I attended the Search London Meetup this week and listened to some really interesting presentation by Lisa Myers, Founder of Verve Search and Paul Chaloner, Head of Social Media at Fresh Egg. Both had very interesting presentation on the future of search engine marketing and the impact that the use of Google+ will have in the future, but first a bit of a re-cap for those who are not involved in the in's and out of the search engine world.
What is Google+
Google+ is a social network from Google, it is a little a cross between face book and twitter. It enables you to share content with other people and friends much as you can do in facebook or twitter, although in the case of Google+ you add them to circles. As social network it's ok, but why would you want to put the effort into maintaining Goggle+ as well as facebook and twitter. Especially as so few people use Google+. I have just imported my entire address book of 3,000 people into my Google contacts and only about 150 people are on google+. The reason Google+ is important is it's impact of search results and the link is makes to the authorship of articles.
Authorship of Content.
The problem with Google search results is that the rankings can be influences by link building techniques and so SEO companies have got very good at generating backlinks to improve the ranking of a site. They want to move towards a more personal experience, were the person who makes the recommendations and writes about a site being great affects your search results. So for example is one of your friends recommends a restaurant or holiday the this will improve the chances of that it will appear in your search results. Even more interesting they are also interested in the authority of the person who writes and article about your restaurant. If a restaurant critic with a very strong reputation recommends a restaurant by writing about includes a back link that will be a very strong signal of quality.
Why will Google+ be important for Search in the Future?
To facilitate this Google have established rel="author" link between your web page and your Google plus profile. For now you just get a small profile photo in the search engine results, as shown below. This is significant because it will increase click though rates and indicates you are a trusted author. As time passes through this can be used by Google to identify has written about which website and the authority of the author in the domain. We think this will become increasingly important in determining search engine results. So if you are not on Google+ and have yet to set up rel=author, do it today.