Keeping up with Google can be a full time job. Lately, Google has been extremely active with their recent changes to keyword reporting, the Hummingbird update, and now, hashtag search. Earlier this summer, Google introduced hashtags on Google Plus. Recently, it took this idea a step further by allowing users to search for those hashtags on Google. If you search #Emmys ,#Bangerz (Miley Cyrus’ new album), or whichever “#keyword” you are looking for, a set of relevant Google Plus posts will appear on the right hand side of the results page.
Currently, hashtag search only shows results for popular Google Plus posts that are public or have been shared with you. As of now, this type of search does not show results for any other social media channels. However, it does show links to both Facebook and Twitter that will bring you to their respected hashtag search pages. Likewise, Google’s hashtag search is currently only available in the United States and Canada. Instagram, Vine and Pinterest will have to wait their respective turns, as none are currently included in the fun.
What Does this Mean for SEO?
As Google continues to push out new updates, they are forcing everyone in the online marketing industry to consolidate. In the past digital marketing, SEO, and SEM were all viewed as individual silos. However, the recent updates show that alignment among digital marketing channels is more important than ever. Likewise, hashtag search again reveals the value Google places on Google Plus.
Hashtag search brings a sense of unbridled opportunity. Content marketers now have the ability to show up in the top right corner of SERP’s, just by using hashtags in their Google Plus posts. This placement is prime real estate on Google, which will help drive more traffic and gain loyal readers. Combined with Google’s Authorship feature, hashtag search allows for SEOs instantly add perception and authority with the Google name. On the other hand though, will this new hashtag feature be a wake up call for blackhat SEOs to begin spamming Google Plus posts? As the case for any SEO feature or update, only time will tell.