I do love the little things that Google do and this time of year does not slow them down. The Zeitgeist video is nice and a great reminder of the last year as experienced by everyone else, but this year they have given us a recap of our own year too.
For those Google+ users amongst us who allow the auto backup of our photos, we have been experiencing auto awesome for some time now. It has come a long way from the original brightness enhancing and colour balancing with some nice festive touches on the run up to Christmas. They have added snow to create festive scenes and recognised Christmas trees and lights and added twinkle to perfect the photo.
The new year approaching has given us one more feature. For the last week or so, Google has been creating and rolling out videos of our year, taken from the photos and videos that have been uploaded.You should have had a notification that it is there, but if not just try looking at your photo section of google plus and it should have arrived over the last week.
Sadly, I have taken rather too many work photos and not enough personal photos and it has left me with some random street scenes from around Cheshire and North Wales but I still enjoyed watching the video. My New Year resolutions are now to take more photos of the family and only use the work camera for work photos – or at least to delete them from my backup…
I work in search engine optimisation, as such the lines between my personal interest and work interests often blur. Mostly because my work is so Google-centered.
For the geek side of me (and Google fanboy) it annoys me when people dismiss Google+ as being ‘pointless’ or something equally as scathing. Saying things like ‘people don’t use it’, ‘no one will move from Facebook’, ‘blah, blah, blah’ – utter nonsense. My Google+ feed is full of plenty of great content. It’s a much better looking platform than the other social networks and things like circles, autoawesome photos, YouTube integration (tentative subject alert!) make it superior.
From an SEO perspective it drives me mad when clients won’t use Google+ for the above reasons (or laziness) because it’s a Google product, therefore it’s logical it’s bound to have some impact on your search rankings.
So Moz posted this whiteboard Friday video that basically makes (and proves) my point.
If you have the time to watch I’d advise you do. Even if you don’t own a business it’s relevant to you.
Google are pushing Google+ hard. You might have noticed. Any Google product you sign up to will force you to have a Google+ account. Gmail? Google+ account. YouTube? Google+ account. Oh, just bought a new Android phone (or tablet)? Google+ account.
And even if you don’t use it it’s still there and you’ll be using Google signed in to it as well. Tracking all those searches and personalising your search results accordingly. It’s genius really. Facebook aren’t forcing you into it. If Google had done this year’s ago they’d have much more data now. They want to beat Facebook at their own game so they can have your personal data, your behaviour, your search interests. All with the intent of selling you stuff via adverts.
Why does this matter? Well, if you have a Google+ account and actually use it to follow people then you’ll notice things from them appearing in the search results when you make a relevant/related search. Makes sense, as you are more likely to trust things from people you follow than from random sources on the Web. What does this mean for business? They need to be on Google+ and to entice you to ‘circle’ them so their posts, pages and sites will appear in your searches higher than their competitors – even if they wouldn’t normally rank.
Food for thought.