Only this week, we posted a blog on our site which (amongst other things) discussed what we can expect of Google over the next 12 months. In particular, we looked at how Google+ needs to persuade whole friendship groups (and not just individuals) to migrate over from Facebook, in order to achieve any sort of success.
Whilst this process may prove difficult, what Google+ has got on its side, is a sibling which is the most popular search engine in the world. I read just the other day that Google is the search engine of choice for 91.28% of UK web-users. That said, you better believe G+ is going to use its big brother to increase its own popularity.
Google has steadily incorporated various social features into its search engine results pages...
We've spoken before about the little additions which Google has added to its SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) over the last few months, including the '+1' buttons and the 'You shared this' annotations for example, both of which showcase Google+ features within Google SERPs. This 'social overlay' which appears across the Google search engine is a useful feature to have, and certainly helps raise the awareness of the company's social network. I understand we should also expect realtime search to return to the Google search engine shortly, following the collapse of the Google-Twitter agreement several months back. Of course, this time around, Google will be powering realtime search itself, by using G+ data.
...and now Google is on its way to becoming a true social search engine through the brand new 'Search plus Your World' feature
A couple of days ago, Google also announced the launch of the 'Search plus Your World' feature, which looks to include additional features into the social overlay. What is clear from these movements is that Google sees 'social' as an area which it must delve into. Social is certainly here to stay. The web-world has changed and is now all about mapping relationships, connecting friends and importantly, using friend recommendations to personalise and customise search results.
I can see Google promoting Google+ through search. If web users are made aware of how a Google+ profile will help enhance their Google search results, more and more people will start setting up Google+ profiles.
I conducted a search on Google this morning, and was surprised at just how much 'SERP real estate' Google is giving over to it's social layer. If you click on the image below, you'll see what I mean! If this isn't a sign that Google believes their future rests in the social realm, I don't know what is!
The question is, have you opened a Google+ account in order to benefit from all these features?