Google rolled out a limited release of its GPlus #hashtags for search. It will soon be coming to a SERP near you.
Whereas previously the hashtag (#) was treated as a symbol in Google search, it now acts as an aggregation tool for searchers to dig deeper into a specific topic category or to find trending news (a la Twitter).
The hashtag will also aid Google in becoming better at semantic and social search, two concepts it has been toying with since its inception.
According to Google’s Zaheed Sabur:
Today we’re bringing a richer hashtag experience to Google Search. Here’s how it works:
– When you search on Google for a hashtag, say [#AmericasCup] or [#WaterfallWednesday], a set of relevant Google+ posts may appear to the right of regular results.
– You’ll only be able to see posts that have been shared publicly or shared with you.
– If you click on any of these posts you’ll go to Google+, where you’ll see the full set of relevant posts.
– You’ll also see links to search for these hashtags on other social sites.
Today’s update will be available (initially) to English language users on google.com and google.ca.Google Adding Hashtag To Search [plus.google.com]
What does that mean to you as a brand marketer?
In a nutshell, take Google Plus seriously, it’s here to stay and you better have a strategy for it or you will be left behind.