Google Adds Hashtags to Search Results

by Alicia Lawrence@Alicia_Lw

You might have heard the terms ‘personalized search’ or ‘social search’ buzzing about this past year. Google, and even Bing, have made substantial steps toward using social media to make search results more personalized.

This past month Google has made another step in that direction by allowing hashtags in their search engine. Now when a user searches a hashtag like #throwbackthursday, in addition to the regular search result a scrolling column will appear on the right side of the screen displaying the latest Google+ posts with that hashtag.

The Addition of Hashtags

The growth of Google+ has been slow in coming. As Google continues to incorporate their social network with their search engine and Gmail, users will be forced to hop on the bandwagon. Companies especially have found Google+ to be a necessity for effective local rankings and SEO.

Hashtags, a social must-have, have been around for years and were originally introduced through the social media platform, Twitter. The success of hashtags forced other social networks to utilize the same system to assist people with finding information through their databases. Tumblr, Instagram, Vine and Facebook all heavily utilize the hashtag system to help users find informative posts and photos that fit within specific hashtags.

Utilizing Hashtags on Google

Hashtags on Google+ go a step further than on other social media platforms. When someone hashtags a post or picture that they post on Google+, the hashtag is stored within the system. Placing "#hashtag" in the Google search, Google+ content will pop up that has been placed with "#hashtag" in it. Users will see hashtagged newsfeed information that is public and those that are shared to them privately.

For users who are a part of large circles, including large work circles, hashtagging will be vital. If you know that certain hashtags will be utilized for specific matters, inform workers and other members of the circle ahead of time. This system can be a great way of communication so they can see which content posted within the Google+ circle will better fit them.

Keep in mind that hashtagged posts only have a lifespan on Google for around 24 hours. For example, if I post a quote on Google+ on Monday with #motivationmonday, on Tuesday it will no longer be brought up on Google’s search engine. If there are no recent posts for that hashtag, Google won’t even show the hashtag widget.

Will This Be Good For Marketing Pros?

Yes. Both marketers and SEOs will benefit greatly from Google+ and this new hashtag search IF it catches on.

Google+ gives marketers an insight on what to expect from specific hashtagged news and content. Seeing what is trending makes it easier to market content more clearly and directly. This also holds true for writers and bloggers – giving way to a more beneficial system.

Another valuable aspect of hashtags in search is the chance for smaller companies to get seen on page 1 without having to pay for PPC. Depending on the popularity of hashtags in search, companies can use trending and relevant hashtags to bring their posts to the user on the first page.

Marketers should continue to incorporate hashtags in campaigns so it becomes easier for the potential consumer to find information about the company or campaign on Google.

Hashtagging can be rather tedious, but once users have the gist of the new system, it will be easier to utilize it to their advantage.

About the author:

Alicia is a content coordinator for Pa’s tech company of the year and blogs at MarCom Land and Havahart’s Critter Free Community.

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