Google announces "Search Plus Your World" informing the masses of their intent to include Google Plus in their universal search results. But have you considered how Google Plus may affect some of Google's vertical searches?
The Case of Steve Bitter
What you have above is a google image search for "Steve Bitter". Now Steve is a common fellow with no real online optimization. What is striking is how Google Plus seems to dominate this page. Steve has a google plus account. Steve's Google plus image ranks #11. In the top 10 there are 7 google plus images. Yes, 70% of the top 10 results are google plus. All of these google plus accounts link to Steve Bitter's account. But some how, poor Steve's actual image falls below all of the other images. Most likely, Steve is lacking some authority on Google Plus. Either way, Google Plus now dominates this search within the image vertical.
Many people may not attempt to optimize for image search, but there are some ground rules to image optimization. The authority of the site the image is hosted on plays into the image SEO. The content surrounding the image is the primary SEO element that plays into image optimization. A good solid page about scorpions control will boost images in that page in relation to scorpion control. And then the image name. The image name is an important part of image SEO. Links to that image throughout the web are also beneficial.
The images ranking highest in Google's image search for Steve Bitter are titled "photo.jpg". All of the profile images from plus.google.com that comprise 70% of the top 10 image results here are named photo.jpg. The only linking SEO are that these images can be found on Steve's profile. But even still, the images actually named "steve bitter" are ranking below the photo.jpg. Other SEO factors? Links do count, but they are all plus.google.com links from other profiles. Steve Bitter is consider an entity, which will change results. The website authority of plus.google.com must be fairly high in google's search algorithm. And Steve Bitter's page has content relative to Steve Bitter. But Steve's page isn't very active and not a lot of meat to his content. And Steve's actual image gets beat out by other authorities since it links over to Kate Morris, and Angela Morabito. Oddly if you do an search by image for Angela Morabito's profile image then you end up with Chad Northrup's google plus page on top of the search. All of these results are without being logged into google.
Search Plus Your World
In search plus your world, google looks at your friends and their associations. In the image search this translates to entity identification and then giving results based on those ties. Here is what Kate Morris looks like with my Search Plus filter on in image search:
All of the images on the first page of this image search are Google Plus your world results. Google Plus now dominates their vertical image search.
The Next Chasm
I have not yet seen Google Plus creep into the video search results. Perhaps, they have no need since Youtube already stands supreme in online video. As of today, Google's Search Plus Your World does not change the map vertical either. But, I can only guess that with time it will. I fear that Google's Plus will slowly change the face of not only universal search but of all Google's vertical searches.
And that is your search engine pest report from your local pest control guy.
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