Google Personalized Search & Author Verification: Powerful Combo for Content Creators

Today Google announced a change to the way it presents its search engine results that evoked breathless proclamations from the technorati like these:

“Google+ could change the entire way we use the Web — and drive millions of Web sites who depend on Google to change how they attract customers.” – Business Insider

“… a significant blurring of the line between the web as we know it and the web as you and your Circles of friends know it.” – Mashable

“Google’s search results are undergoing their most radical transformation ever, as a new “Search Plus Your World” format begins rolling out today.” – Search Engine Land

What’s Changed About Google Search?

I recommend reading the posts linked to the blog quotes above for details, or Google’s blog for details. But in a nutshell, the new “Search plus Your World” as Google is calling it brings Google+ content (public and/or shared with you) into your search results more strongly than before. (Did you notice the sly inclusion of “plus” in the feature name?)

The effect will be strongest for users logged in to Google+, but all users have some access to the Personal side of the new SERP. The new layout includes a toggle button that allows searchers (for the first time) to turn personalized search on or off (the off position is known now as “Global,” and will show results the way you saw them until today if you weren’t logged in to Google.

Here’s a bouncy video from Google demonstrating what Search plus Your World will do in results:

Content Creator’s Bonanza

If you create original content on the web, this update may result in the potential of much more of your content surfacing when people search for your name. This is a huge step forward in the power and importance of personal branding on the web.

With Search plus Your World in Personalized mode, when you search for a person’s name, Google will bring Google+ profiles into the results. If you’re a Google+ user, persons more closely associated with you will get priority (a real help if you follow an author named “John Smith.”)

Here’s the kicker: the results will also pull in content from around the web associated with that person. Now we know yet another reason why Google has been pushing authors to implement the rel=”author” and rel=”me” tags linked to their Google profiles. Authors who have implemented that verification will get a huge boost to their content in search results.

If you are a content generator, today’s change means that it is no longer optional for you to be on Google+, and it is no longer optional for you to have your content authorship verified with Google.

Thankfully, we have a handy guide “How to Show Your Author Photo in Google Search Results” that shows you how to enable that verification. Do it today!

Google Personalized Search & Author Verification: Powerful Combo for Content Creators by

Mark is Director of Digital Outreach for Virante Inc. Mark helps businesses build strategies to increase brand influence and attract natural links and social signals. He has a special reputation as an expert on Google+ and Google Authorship. A former teacher, Mark has worked directly in Internet marketing since 2005, but has been involved in social media and online community formation since the mid 1990s. When not helping Virante clients improve their online presence, Mark participates in competitive storytelling, plays with a Dixieland street band, and (surprise) spends more time on the web.


  1. Another reason why I really need to start building up my network up! Great post Mark.

  2. This is actually the first blog post I’ve read that discussed the new Google social/personal search system, all I heard was 100s of tweets yesterday complaining about it.

    After watching the video, and really grasping what this was, I don’t see what the big deal is. Companies that can’t handle getting their sites to rank in the SERPs will continue to purchase services to do that for them. This might be a game changer, but it’s definitely not a game breaker (which is what people made it sound like)

  3. Dan,

    Most of the complaining seems to center around whether what Google did is “fair” to other social sites.

    I’m not interested in entering into the pundit wars. My interest is in helping my clients to get their stuff seen on the web. Search plus Your World is the new game rules for the biggest game in town. So my focus is going to be on helping you play that game well. Glad I was able to be helpful to you!

  4. Is this no longer true? I don’t see this option on my Google page.


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