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Video Transcript: I want to talk a little bit about the future and even though I said it’s not right for all businesses, we can see some changes already starting to happen in the web. There’s a great book by a guy called Eric Qualman called Socialnomics. I actually interviewed the guy on Podcast Interviews so you can hear the interview with him.

Basically what he talked about was this idea that the web is changing and what is more relevant to you as a user? Let’s say you’re on Google and you’re searching for accommodation in Europe because you’re about to go on a holiday. What is more important to you? Is it a robot that serves up a result based on an algorithm, Google, or would it be if a friend went and traveled to Europe and they said, oh, here’s where I stayed, here’s where I recommend? Obviously the latter is going to be more important to you because you trust the word of your friend more. That is worth so much more.

That seems to be the way the web is starting to change, thanks to social media platforms. We saw Facebook, they came out with the like button. There was a lot of speculation as to whether or not Facebook would be able to use that data to create their own search engine. What’s happening now, they ended up doing that deal with Bing that I talked about, so we’re starting to see already, when you like a page, it is starting to influence the search results. It’s not happening in Google but Google is starting to take into account things like Twitter and Facebook and things like that. It’s just starting now, so mark my words, this is the way that the web is going, so what you can do to build up your social community, build up your expert status, become social media experts in your niche will pay dividends long into the future.

We want to make sure that we really start to get on Facebook, build up that community, we start to use the like button, we make sure that we get twitter into our business. I think Google when they found out, Facebook started to give them a little bit of the spooks. It was about eighteen months ago I think they went together and they got fifty of the biggest heads of Google to come together and talk about the future of the web and what were the risks that Google was facing. Google said pretty much it’s Facebook and it’s the way the social web is going. That’s going to be the next significant change because that is what is most relevant, having search results tailored to you and your situation.

It’s a little bit big brother, someone watching over you but really that’s ultimately what you want anyway, not the big brother part, but having your social media marketing plan that is very much tailored to you. You see that when I talked about Amazon earlier today. This idea when you get an email from Amazon and they’ll tailor that marketing to you and they’ll say, here are some other books that you might be interested in reading based on previous searches. That’s the way everything is heading together.

Google had this meeting, they came up with a project, they named it the Emerald Sea. That was their top secret project name. Google has tried to come into social media. They had a thing they called Buzz which died quite quickly. They also had Google Wave; there were a few attempts.

Now the last most recent shot which has just happened now in the last couple of weeks is Google Plus. This is Google betting the farm on their social media. They’ve created what they’re trying to make is a facebook killer. At the moment it’s only been out for a couple of weeks. They had ten million people sign up in two weeks.

It seems to be getting a bit of ground. I don’t know whether or not Google Plus is going to take off or not. That is neither here nor there. The real key takeaway here is, Google, with some of the smartest minds in the world working for them, have said, this is where things are going. We need to get on this now or Facebook is going to come and kill us.

You might think who could knock Google off? A few years ago there was a thing called MySpace that you might have heard about. That was one of the first really well known social media sites. Everybody thought, no, MySpace is not going anywhere. Almost overnight Facebook came out and just absolutely crushed them. I think Google is a bit worried that there is the potential there for this data that Facebook is collecting to just make them a more attractive destination for the user because it is more relevant to them. They came out with this Google Plus thing. It’s still only in the early days but we know that it is already starting to influence search results and we’re starting to see social media filtering through to the search results.

They came out with a thing they called authorship, this was announced two days ago, it’s super cutting edge material. Now you can assign an author to certain posts. So you’ll be searching in Google and a head will appear next to the results. You’ll see the result and then you’ll see a little head of the author just next to it. Imagine the way that would influence search results because the eye is attracted to the photo, they’ll see the photo, it’s going to make it much more interesting user experience. Someone in position 3 potentially, they might get more clicks than in position number 1 because they’ve got a photo next to it. The eye goes there, they end up clicking there and then that photo is linked to their Google Plus account.

That way you see the photo and then you can click on their little profile to find out more about them. So what is Google doing? It’s almost like they’re giving special preference or weighting to someone who is on Google Plus. I can imagine more and more businesses will want to jump onto Google Plus because if they don’t, their competition will. Even if their competition is in position number 3, they’ve got a head next to it and it’s going to increase the click through rate.

The plan is to integrate this into everything that Google does. So in Gmail you’ll start to see in the top right hand corner, they’ve just announced this as well, you’ve got a little app that appears in the right hand corner. Now you’ll be writing an email to someone, it will recognize who you’re writing the email to and then it will pull up their little Google Plus account and you’ll find out what your friend is doing. So you’ll see the status update.

Google Plus is very similar to Facebook. When you look at it, it looks like Facebook. You can upload photos, there are activity feeds. There are a few changes that they’ve made. You can start to add friends into circles now. So instead of having all of your friends in your one Facebook account, Google Plus has this thing they call circles where you might put all of your friends into one. You might put acquaintances into another, you might put business associates into another so that way you can group who sees what.

That way you might have gone out and had a really big night on the weekend with some buddies and you don’t want your Mum to see the photo of you lying in your own vomit in a gutter somewhere, so you’d upload that just into this circle and then your Mum can’t see that one. That’s the way that the circles are going in social media platforms. They’ve brought a few other elements like that into it. I think the real takeaway here is that’s the way the web is going. So you want to make sure that you start to engage in this because it’s not going anywhere and it’s already starting to affect SEO.

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