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Google: This Time, It’s Personal

Google Social GraphJeff Atwood said (loudly) what many others were thinking: That there was “Trouble in the house of Google.”

Then Matt Cutts told us that Google was tweaking their algorithm to do better at excluding content farms and then announced a Chrome extension to crowdsource that effort.

And now Google is getting personal. On their blog last Friday, Google announced three changes that were all based on the searcher’s social graph. These changes are:

  1. Social results used to be second class citizens relegated to the bottom of the page, but now they will be interspersed throughout the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) based on relevance.
  2. They’re annotating results that were shared by friends in your social graph. For example, searching for “jeff atwood google trouble” may return a link to his blog post with my mug below it and a note that says, “Jon DiPietro shared this on Twitter.”
  3. In addition to allowing you to configure social accounts publicly in your Google Profile, they will now be allowing you to link accounts privately through your Google Account.

Since I wrote about Internet marketing’s new currency last August, Google has been on a slow but steady march to incorporate more and more social search results into their algorithm. Last week’s announcement ups the ante significantly. Traditional SEO is still important – and always will be. But remarkable content and an extensive online social circle are increasing in importance every single minute.

Get that blog going. Start engaging online. And make sure your website has strong calls to action with well constructed landing pages.

DO IT NOW…

Here’s a video from Google that explains social search (and hints at how important it is to have a complete Google Profile):

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