The Google+ roll-out keeps unfolding...
A great article by Andrew Shotland over at Search Engine Land about the impact on local search queries and how Google+ connections can be the new link.
His third prediction for business incentives to aggressively push social local networking:
3. Google+ connections are going to become the new link
Where Google has frowned on “link schemes” to game rankings, I don’t see how it can control social promotion schemes. If I want to compensate you for connecting with me on G+ and mentioning my service, how can Google tell?
This system could put an unusual amount of power in the hands of those who have strong local social networks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of local entrepreneurs take advantage of this.
Like anything else, there will be abuse by folks trying to scam for an advantage. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Personally, I see not many colleagues/friends/family that have taken a hold of Google Plus or started using it for networking or staying connected. And for reasons too many to get into here (another blog post!), I am staying logged out of Google more now than ever.
I just don’t like search results being so skewed with a lot of the 'stuff' that populates the SERPs when users are logged in. So I’m going to limit and control when I login to Google and certainly not just to be social.