What Woody Allen Can Teach Us About the New Google
January 23 2012
Woody Allen famously stated: 80% of success is “showing up.” Why? Showing up gives you relevancy, that you’re true to your word and ready for opportunity. Many people don’t know how to show up. Or they’re scared. They sit back on the sidelines, cross their fingers, and hope success will magically appear. The problem is that if you’re not relevant, interesting, or exciting, no one will knock on your door.
What does this have to do with the new Google? A lot.
If you’ve been following the changes happening over at Google, maybe you’re noticing how much nearly everything online is converging. Do a Google search and you’ll see that your results are now an amalgamation of various sources due to the launch of Search, plus Your World. The recent iteration of Google has spawned the convergence of online marketing’s big three: content, search, and social. We’re not in Kansas anymore.
A.J. Kohn, of Blind Five Year Old, wrote the Google+ bible which details how Search+ works and how it impacts the social web:
Search+ transforms your search results based on the connections, interactions and activity you have on Google+. It is the largest search personalization effort ever attempted by Google.
a. People and Pages
b. How are People and Pages selected?
c. Google+ Posts
d. Google +1 Button
e. Google+ Social Snippets
f. Google+ Content
g. Google+ Formatting
h. Google+ Brand Pages
Fundamentally, it’s how Search Plus appears to privilege Google+ results — not links suggested by your Google+ contacts, but Google+ pages themselves, regardless of your social graph — in three categories:
- Ranking of pages to determine their relevance, in the main body of search results;
- The placement of those results on the screen, and the amount of screen real estate alloted to each result;
- The right hand “recommendations” sidebar, where Google advertisements — not just the old text ads, but big graphics that follow you as you scroll down the page — have been joined, and in many cases replaced, by links and photos of “People and Pages on Google+.”
Google’s number one goal with search will always be relevancy. Google+ takes relevancy to the next level by showing results based on SEO, content distribution, and social networks. The head of Google’s spam fighting team, Matt Cutts, clarified the misconception that Google isn’t including content from the open web. He argues that “Search plus Your World does surface public content from the open web, not just content from Google+.” And he’s right (dare I prove a spam fighter wrong!) In my “Woody Allen” search below, Google returned plenty of public content in addition to 100 personal results. The personal search results are based on your own social connections, which depends on the amount of people in your circles, and what they’re sharing (note: you can easily hide personal results if you wish). It’s relevancy, obnoxified:
The new Google is the Woody Allen of search. It’s making itself relevant by showing up and being in your face. Whether you like it or not.