Updated April 16, 2011Doc Sheldon
In the Friday Dojo Chat, David and Terry shared some findings they unearthed during their run-up to the Regulators show. They found a number of interesting bits about the Social Graph integration into the SERPs, as well as some +1 findings.
While I listened to the Regulators program last night, I played around in Google a little, trying to duplicate what Dave was describing. I wasn’t able to duplicate all his results, but I did manage to see one thing that apparently didn’t occur for him.
For instance, he noticed that Google is even looking at secondary connections. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see that example, and couldn’t find any evidence of it myself.
The +1 button, as David explained to us, doesn’t re-order the SERPs rankings. In a screenshot of a search for SEO Training, you can see where he and two others had +1‘d the result.
Unlike the +1 notations, however, which are run on an opt-in basis through Google Labs, social search affects everyone’s SERPs. You’ve probably noticed things like this in your search results lately:
An interesting point on those social connections is that if you mouse-over them in the SERP, a small pop-up will tell you where you’re connected with them. I even found one instance in which a mouse-over of the same individual on two different results gave me a different connection point that puzzled me a little bit.
In the example above, the first two instances of Bill Slawski show me connected to him via Twitter. But the third, which is a result featuring his Twitter account, shows us connected via Quora. My first thought was, perhaps it showed me Quora as a connection node, simply because it was a Twitter result.
Then, I did another search, for David Harry.
That time, on the first result shared by him, of his Huomah site, I was connected to him via Quora. But on the second result, we were connected via Facebook. That pretty much removed any theory I had given thought to on the last SERP.
Next, David had said that the social graph results were only appearing on the first page of the SERPs. Last night, I found some on page 2 & 3, but I couldn’t duplicate that today, until I did a search for SEO Training Dojo.
So, it appears that +1s can appear after page 1, just not very often. We’ll probably learn more about that with time.
So, don’t confuse +1 and the social graph… they’re too very different things. If and how +1 may ever play into the rankings remains to be seen, but for the time being, they’re little more than eye-candy.