What are people talking about on Google+? Well, a lot of the chatter I see is about Google+ itself. Kind of “self-involved” in a weird sort of way. The most intriguing conversation of the morning is from William Slawski, a critical thinker whose analysis of Google patents has informed my thoughts on Google search results:
One of the very interesting things about Google + is the freedom of people to use whatever names they want for the Circles they place people within.
Information about the names of those Circles may be data Google can use to learn about relationships between people in the Google social graph. They might also be used as possible annotations or meta data to label people based upon expertise (designers, SEOs, journalists, etc.), or location (local, newyorkers, houston, fauquier county, etc.), or in other ways.
Those labels could potentially be used as a signal, in combination with others, about how particular individuals’ Google + posts might rank in search results. The strength of those signals might rely in part upon the reputations and credentials of the people creating the circles, so that the weight of each might be different.
The conversation goes on to explore whether what we name circles will act as a ranking signal or otherwise inform Google on relationships and perhaps links.
Ed. note: Since this post was published, Slawski added a post on the topic to his blog: How Google Might Rank User Generated Web Content in Google + and Other Social Networks.
Join the conversation on Google+.
Not on Google+ yet. Leave a relevant comment, and then send a PM with your email, and I will send you an invitation.
Ed. Note: 7/18/2011 Slawski published another relevant post today shedding more like on how posts on Google+ may influence search:
Early Google Circles and the Google Social Site You Might Not Know About.