With Google aspiring to be a major player in the social media space, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the search giant is using its leverage to push Google+ in whatever way possible. It appears as if the Mountain View, California corporation is at it again because its news discovery product has been enhanced to be more socially appealing.
Thanks to a recent update, Google News is now the latest of its properties to connect with the company’s new social networking platform.
+1 Button strikes again
The recent update applies to the Spotlight section in Google News. When logged into their Google account, users will according to company chairman Eric Schmidt, “sometimes” see articles and other content that their friends have endorsed with a click of the +1 button. This could be content from their Gmail contacts, or connections they made on Google+.
From the looks of it, the update aims to make the news product more like the company’s social search tool, which gives higher rankings to content that has received +1’s and tweets. Of course the major difference here is that Twitter is a non-factor.
Since being launched months ago, the +1 button has been installed on thousands of internet websites. Similar to the like button on Facebook, this feature allows a user to recommend an article or blog post, and have the activity appear on their stream in Google+. With the introduction of the new social element, users who are signed into their account now have an easy way to see the news content the people in their circles also like. What is surprising is that Google took this long to plug the +1 button into the news channel.
Greater visibility in Google News?
The addition of new social aspects in Google News could benefit a marketer using this particular tool to enhance their visibility online. If your contacts in Gmail or connections on Google+ are the type to put the +1 button to use, these elements could very well pay off by helping you garner a higher ranking in the results, and thus more traffic in the process. However, while there has been a lot of talk about the +1 button’s potential impact on search rankings, it is still unclear on the influence it will have when it concerns Google News and search in general. This means that the social additions could end up mounting to a big deal, or nothing much at all.
This definitely will not be the last time we see Google integrate Google+ with one of its core web properties. Being able to do so effectively could give the company a much needed edge over social giant Facebook. Moving forward, this update could have a huge impact on Google News rankings, and search results as a whole. Will it help or hurt your marketing efforts?
If you are not establishing a presence in the social realm, it might just make visibility an issue.