Wow. Busy day yesterday for Google here in the UK and from talking to friends in the US and Australia a big day there as well.
Google+ is currently in a field trial here in the UK
The new Google+ UK Field Trial has rolled out and is very interesting. It is a Facebookesque system that provides video rooms called Hangout where you can jump onto a video sharing space with colleagues or friends – that’s very cool and an interesting threat to Skype’s group video chat. The video experience is first class. Google have come up with an innovative way to handle friends which is by simply adding the ability to organise your friends into Groups called Circles (similar to tagging in LinkedIn). Also there is an interesting feature called Sparks which is providing a Flipboard-like interface to information that you might be interested in. I will report more on that later on Google+ in the UK.
Google+ in the UK is affecting search results
The really interesting thing about this is that I was running one of out SEO trainings yesterday (right at the time that Google was rolling out the new black and white look n feel and adding +1 buttons here in the UK which was interesting to see change as the day progressed).
I happened to do a Google search which showed a friend’s website on the first page for a competitive keyword. The only reason his website was showing on the first page for me because he’d +1’ed his web page. None of the other delegates at the training could see his website on their first page results!
The additionally interesting thing is that I have not actively connected to that friend via any Google service. Google worked out my relationship with him based on all of the data they have on me (I assume he must be in my address book).
Previously I was skeptical about how the +1 button would effect search results but by introducing Google+ into the picture as well and seeing how Google are able to use my data my search experience could get much more influenced by my social connections and relationships very quickly.