Is Google Pushing Google Plus Over Relevancy?
Remember back in the day when anyone could write a solid piece of content on their blog and start getting traffic on it through search engines? After Google Authorship, Google's latest addition that links individual posts to the author's Google+ page, Google is closely tieing their social network in with global search results.
What does this mean for blog owners? Let's take a look at a sample scenario.
After doing a Google search for "Facebook hits NASDAQ", this post by Bizjournals.com (Pagerank 2 post) is ranking above an article posted on Time.com (Pagerank 4 post). While this could be a coincidence, this is just one of many instances where a site with less overall authority comes out top over the rest of websites in search engines, simply because they are linked to an established author profile on Google+.
Google has been fairly silent about the benefits of referencing a Google+ author on blog posts, but in more than one instance, Google has confirmed that there are several hidden benefits to linking your posts with your Google+ page.
Integrating your blog posts with your Google account is fairly simple; Google has several pages that explain how their system works and how you can get started by integrating an author account on your blog.
What does this Google update mean for Google users? Can established writers from multiple blogs surface above better, more relevant content, simply because they have linked their established Google+ page? Could this potentially lead to less relevant search results?
Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineLand seems to think so, agreeing that "Google’s Search Plus pushes Google+ over relevancy". Google has also taken over the search bar on Google.com, suggesting Google+ pages in it's search suggestions.
This isn't the only way that Google has been pushing Google+ to it's users. Google has integrated the number of times a page has been +1'd by users on the Google+ network, and began displaying those metrics directly in certain Google search results.
What's the big picture here? Google seems to be losing track of what is most important in it's race to social media fame; keeping a search engine that delivers highly relevant results. After Google Buzz and Google Wave's failure, pushing Google+ integration too hard in their search results could be their downfall.