My latest article at Practical Ecommerce, read it in full here.

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The pieces are rapidly falling into place for Google’s increasing integration of “social signals” into its search algorithms. With the oddly isolated “+1” button launch at the end of March and the seemingly abrupt end of its agreement with Twitter in early July — see “Google Loses Access to Twitter Stream, Suspends Realtime Search,” on Mashable — it seemed that Google was dropping the social ball yet again.

Instead Google surged forward with Google+, its month-old social network based on sharing specific content to specific circles. From the users’ perspective, it’s like Gmail and GTalk combined with Facebook, but far more engaging. From Google’s perspective it’s the missing piece that connects the social dots between its products and provides a unique source of social-signal data to feed its ever-growing algorithms. Assuming Google+ realizes its potential, Google has the beginnings of a revolution on its hands.

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