Google is on the move again making minor adjustments to the SERPS. Usually that means within reasonable amount of time we will be seeing more bigger changes at Google, so it is time to keep our eyes open again. Yesterday we spotted that Google is now offering you the possibility to thank your Google+ friends who +1-ed an item so it would show up in your search results. Today we can highlight another three changes to how Google displays personalized results in the SERPS.
Conversations in the SERPS?
As you know Google+ is a platform with a lot of conversations, it is one of the (few?) things people consider to be better than on other Social Networks. Now conversations always attract attention, especially when those conversations involve either yourself or someone you know. This morning I commented on a post of Samantha on G+ where she asked who would be attending the UK Searchconference tomorrow. Since I am speaking there, that was a quick yes for me :). When I later did a search about the UK Searchconference I spotted this: It seems as if Google is putting not just Google+ posts as personalized results in the SERPS, but if necessary they will also add the conversation into the result pages. One thing is important here: you have to be logged into Google and doing a personalized search, otherwise you will not see this. But there might be more to it. I am not sure yet whether it is just showing conversations I am involved in or also where connections are involved in. It could very well be the first. Still, it will trigger people to click on Google+ results and it will get people more involved into Google+. Smart move Google.
Two other things I spotted is something which could very well have been there for a while. I am not sure, but they do have a significant meaning so I wanted to share them anyway. The first one is shared videos. Below you see a personalized search result which is showing a Google+ post. The interesting part here is that it also shows you the video which was shared, as a thumbnail. You have to go to the actual post to play the video. Again, a smart move by Google to get people to go to Google+, after all the thumbnails will trigger people to check it out.
Thank you for completing your profile
After my post yesterday Searchengineland said Google “Meets its manners”, it was being polite by allowing people to thank their peers. Now here’s another example of Google ‘being polite’: Again, it might have been there longer, but it does have a nice line to the change we spotted yesterday.
We always ask this question: why is Google doing this? In this case there are a few reasons. Google is ‘personalizing’ search step by step, and these are just small steps. Would they have implemented it all at once it would have scared the pants out of people, now they can get used to it step by step. Secondly Google is trying to get more people to interact on Google+. There has been a lot of discussion about activity and growth on Google+ and Google has been actively trying to change the way people look at Google+. For that they need people to go there and not just be there, but also do something. These changes make people interact (they hope).
So what’s next?
Chances are we will be seeing a lot more of these minor changes, and maybe even bigger ones in the next few weeks or even days. Knowing my luck it will be tomorrow just before my talk, so I can change my entire presentation again ;).