The social signal revolution has begun folks… and not a moment too soon in my opinion. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I personally am not going to lament the loss of spammy garbage showing up in search engine results pages right next to my SERP query for “baby monkey riding pig” or “most effective way to remove a hamster from a mason jar”.
Google has opened the floodgates with the release of Google+ and the people are primed and ready to take back the Internet, order in the universe is about to be restored. Now, you may think I’m being overly optimistic… and you’re probably right.
For a few weeks now, people (mostly people involved in internet marketing) have been clicking the Google +1 button on websites and wondering where the geeks of Google are going with this “+1-derkind”. Our answer arrived mid last week when Google launched the social networking tool “Google+” to… well… to a select group of experimental chimps like myself. It’s still in the beta testing phase, and it’s far from perfect, but I have to admit… it’s kinda bitchin. A screenshot:
Now, why am I so excited about another social network that looks and acts the same as Facebook minus the cheesy Farmville/Mafia Wars games, overly intuitive ads (seriously, the fact that Facebook knows I like Douglas Adams books is just disturbing) and Movies by Aaron Sorkin… you ask? Because Google has openly admitted that social signals collected from Google+ will be directly affecting search engine results pages in the future. What does this mean? It means that the “Internet” and (perhaps most pertinent to this article) the “Search Engines” are getting smarter.
If Google can effectively aggregate all the data from its Google+ users and integrate that “social signals” data into its regular ranking algorithm criteria of backlinks and other search factors, it is quite possible that in the very near future the practice of wading through substandard websites until you find what you are looking for will be decidedly a thing of the past. Google now has a necessary tool that will allow it to ask its users “hey… what do you wanna see?” It’s a little too early to say that this new Google+ social network “thing-a-ma-jiggy” will be the tool needed to separate the wheat from the chaff that all SEO marketers have been hoping for… but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.