Archive News

15 May 2011

An Education in Google Plus and Google’s ‘Freshness’ Update

Google are looking at ways of staying ahead of their competitors and a great way to do this is to bring out new features. The first is Google plus for business and the second an algorithm update; both are very exciting ventures and have all types of organisations on their tip toes.

Google plus has been out for a while now but Google has previously disallowed businesses to join and have blocked any organisation who attempted to join the social network. They have now scrapped this opening the door for businesses and brands to create their own Google plus page.

Local companies are now able to create pages, which have additional features such as a map of the business location featuring its address, phone number and hours of operation. This makes it much easier for a follower to physically locate a business.

As a business, you are also able to change the names of the pages that you create unlike Facebook. Furthermore, on your personal account you can choose whether to log in as your business or yourself, making it so much easier for the admin to keep the pages updated. You are also given the general features that come with social networks such as share photos, share videos and share links.

Google+ allows pages to be followed only if they have been followed first. This is different to Twitter who allow business to follow people on the hope they will follow-back.

As a business account, you are able to have multiple pages to allow for a whole overview of the business. I.e. Nestle would have different products from cereal to chocolate.

As Google are such a high profile company, their new update was always going to get a thorough look over. Looking at different review sites, the jury is still out on whether Google+ is the real deal but it is early days and a lot more is to come from Google – we will have to just wait and see.

“While there is no question that down the road Google+ Pages may do wonderful things for brands, the freshness update is something that marketers should be concerned with right now”1

The second is the algorithm updates that they have made to the search through January and early February. This update will provide the user with more up to date and relevant results to approximately 35% of the searches.

The ‘fresher’ results and ‘faster autocomplete’ are the two main areas that Google have looked into improving. This will provide users with current, up to date results in searches made and will give faster suggestions to searches made.

The new update will also be better at checking your spelling and providing you with the correct result. You will also see an improvement to the image quality and images section on Google to make it more user-friendly.

Another main area they have improved is the way to determine the date of a document, so that you will see fresher results at the top of your search. Also on top of this they have updated the way they determine the related search at the bottom of the search page so that you get more relevant results.

Overall, to the general user, they will just search an item and find what they are looking for without caring how it happened or how hard Google have worked on the finer things to make the search more up to date and more relevant. These updates show the determination of Google to stay ahead the game and to provide the best possible search engine they can.