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Yesterday, Google rolled out yet another new feature for Google+ that lets you start a conversation directly from search results - and contribute to a topical Google+ stream.

In a post on Google+ (of course), associate product manager Alex Unger said that if you search for a keyword of phrase like basketball from within Google+, you can then create a post directly from the results shown.

He added that all you need to do is look for the share box, and you'll see an opportunity to "join the discussion" about whatever you've searched for.

This means that when you post from the search results page, it automatically includes a link back to the original search stream. This way others can join the active conversation as it unfolds."

 

This is yet another move to position Google+ as a central hub – as well as more closely connecting search and social functions.

Up until the announcement of this new feature, you could only comment on an existing post or share an item when searching for something on Google+.

This now removes one step in the search and share process, which makes it easier to start a conversation and keeps people in the Google loop.

But could this also be testing the water ahead of plans to introduce this to Google's main search functionality?

At the moment you can only +1 a search result from Google.com, but if this were to be added to Search, plus Your World, this could drive even more clicks to highly-ranked listings.

Vikki Chowney

Published 19 January, 2012 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

249 more posts from this author

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John Courtney

John Courtney, CEO and Executive Chairman at Pay on Results SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media, Digital PR, PPC & CRO from Strategy Digital

"This now removes one step in the search and share process, which makes it easier to start a conversation and keeps people in the Google loop"

Fascinating new morphing of search and social. There will be more developments to come I am sure.

over 4 years ago

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Ben Acheson

Launching social conversations from search results is a game-changer. And another step in the merging of search and social.

over 4 years ago

Andrew Lloyd Gordon

Andrew Lloyd Gordon, Digital Marketing Expert, Speaker and Trainer at New Terrain Limited

This is an amazing development. Surely, very soon, we'll lose the mental distinction between, and probably the labels of, 'Search' AND 'Social'?

over 4 years ago

Daniel Phillips

Daniel Phillips, E-Commerce Manager at HJ Hall

Why would 'normal' users want to start a conversation in the middle of a search?

It's slightly ridiculous and the only people who'll be doing this are those trying to promote their sites and a handful of people at Google.

The SERPs aren't a destination or a forum for discussion - they're a route to somewhere else.

The same logic (or lack of it) with regards to the +1 next to results in the SERPs. How can someone rank a result/page/site if they haven't yet visited it, and unless they have a vested interest are many people going to +1 a page in the SERPs that they visited previously?

over 4 years ago

Andy Williams

Andy Williams, Digital Marketing Manager at Koozai

I'm kind of caught in two minds:

1. It's pretty cool
2. But why would I want to?

I'm still struggling with this gradual move away from giving me what I want - new results. If I carry out a search I really don't want what I have already found or what my mates have found to be returned to me.

And as cool as this function is, its yet another step away from why I use a search engine in the first place.

over 4 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

@Daniel

It's chicken and egg for me. 'Normal users' might, if they had the option to. Once upon a time, apps were confined to the uber geeky - then Apple did a huge piece of edu-advertising... and we all know what happened there.

I wouldn't dismiss this just yet.

Oh, and re: +1s, I do so when a result comes up that I regularly revisit and find useful. There's logic to that.

over 4 years ago

Daniel Phillips

Daniel Phillips, E-Commerce Manager at HJ Hall

@Vikki - when you +1 a result are you saying the page is generally good, or that the result is relevant for the search you've just done. The two are often very different things and I guess you're probably doing it for the former - but do 'normal' users do the same?

Also, Google promotes sites I've +1d or people in my circles have +1d in my personalised results. That's all well and good, but if they're not relevant for the search I'm doing, why are they being shown to me? It definitely puts a fog over the results, and that could well be the reason that I find myself struggling to find relevant results more and more often recently.

My whole problem with it is that it's another clumsy attempt by Google to get in on the social thing.

Andy sums it up, you use a search engine to find something. The journey is not the goal, and Google's SERPs aren't a destination.

over 4 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

@Daniel Definitely the former, it's a giving a nod of approval as an afterthought.

I agree with your points, but as I've seen time and time again - a muddled attempt thrown out into the blue by Google is no skin off the company's nose. They learn from things quickly and develop to response to flaw - so I can't write it off completely.

I have strong views on the success of Google+ as a whole, but that's another story...

over 4 years ago

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F elix Adewoye

In my opinion this is a flawed strategy by Google to become social. I agree with Andy and Daniel the major question is "why" would i want to click a plus box before i have landed on my search result.

This just shows me that "social" and "search" should be keep separate.

over 4 years ago

Felix Adewoye

Felix Adewoye, search & e-marketing at mvgmedia

This is going to make search practitioners jobs even more complicated. We are now in a wait and see scenario with this.

over 4 years ago

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Dyna

@daniel @andy Really wanted to +1 your comments :) What bemuses me is that we (SEO/SEM profs etc) will all feel the need to jump into every new thing Google puts out - just because it's the big G. Put out by someone else, it would probably just die a death - instead it will gain popularity through our promotion and use of it. YUK!

over 4 years ago

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Neil Jackson

I agree that traditionally Google has been part of the journey, not the goal, but we have seen a change in approach not least through the acquisitions of ITA and launching flight search or setting up Credit Card comparison in the UK. For me its now all about speed to the destination and if Google can deliver that more quickly through their own properties, and retain relevancy, they will.

over 4 years ago

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