by Lauren Proctor on November 7, 2011
Google’s Direct Connect announcement was structured as an afterthought in the overall story of Google+ Brand Pages, but the restructuring of the + operative in the search engine may mean more than meets the eye.
It wasn’t long ago that adding the + operator to a search query (as in: +halogen) meant all search results would include that specific word (in this case all search results would include “halogen”). When the search engine retired the operator search geeks speculated it would have something to do with Google+, but it wasn’t until today that everything became clear.
In its new form, adding “+” before a brand name takes users directly to a brand’s Google+ Page. This makes + the only operator to take users away from the search engine immediately, but perhaps more importantly, the new feature gives Google’s own social platform a leg up in search results.
As a result, the new feature puts pressure on brands to create and cultivate compelling Google+ Business Pages. Facebook created a platform that absorbs most of our time online, but Google Direct Connect just made accessing brand pages easier than ever.
When Google+ Brand Pages have had some time to shake out and the operative has had time to settle on users’ fingertips, expect an update on whether or not the new + operative is changing search behavior overall.