Here are my final "official" predictions for your world for 2012. (Back from Cayman and a week of business travel. Thanks for your patience!) Please see my earlier entries for predictions 1-9.
Prediction #10: Google + will matter more and will affect your rankings.
“ The +1 button lets you start great conversations.” When you “Plus 1” a page or posting, you publicly recommend it. Likewise, when you’re clients “plus” your page, they’re saying they like and trust you. Naturally, Google monitors this. And uses it to rank your website.
- Search Plus Your World (SPYW) Will Affect Your Site Ranking
Google is transforming into a search engine that not only understands content, but also people and relationships. Google began this transformation with Social Search, and today Google is taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features:
- Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page.
- Profiles in Search, both in auto-complete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
- People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.
Of course, the really "big story" behind this is that the digital world is changing fast. By the time this year is over, we will undoubtedly see more changes that we're not even aware of. My exhortation to agents: you must change at least as the fast as the world is changing, or that gap between this industry and the consumer will only grow wider and wider.
Dominate your marketplace!