Google+ is like the social network that haunts us. Every time you think it is time to move on or you actually have the hang of things, they change it up! Continuing on their path of evolution, Google+ announced on September 25, that they would be bringing “a richer hashtag experience to Google search.”
This isn’t surprising. Google+ released hashtags on the social network this past May because other social networks like Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr were finding an increase of use from connected conversations. Now, with these hashtags integrated in Google search, relevant content can be found across all platforms with one condensed search.
Zaheed Sabur, Google Senior Software Engineer, posted on Google+ about the new updates:
- When you search for a hashtag on Google, a set of related content may appear to the right of regular search results.
- You will only be able to see posts that have been shared publicly, or shared specifically with you.
- If you click on any of these results, you will be directed to Google+, where you can find a full set of related content.
- You can also find links to search for hashtags on other social media sites. This update will be available in the US and Canada on google.com and google.ca.
Take a look at what we found when we tested this out. A search of “#ALDS” on Google pulls up a ton of different results, and most noticeable are the new hashtag results on the right hand sidebar. Google has even built in the option to scroll through the different pieces of Google+ content.
The right sidebar rotates through content tagged with the searched hashtag. When you try this, you will more than likely see personalized results based on those users in your circles. Personalized posts will be the top results.
What does this mean for you?
Ok, so maybe I was a little harsh earlier when I knocked Google for being so self-affirming. The introduction of hashtag searches presents a great opportunity for marketers, especially those who have gone the extra mile and really connected with those in their circles. Content that is posted on Google+ is more important than ever now that Google is pushing it so high up in search results! If you are a small business owner really working your Google+ circles, you have the opportunity to rise above your brand name competitors.
Ahh, the power of social.
Have you been using hashtags on Google+? Have you noticed any traffic increases as a result?