The main change seems to be that user data will be shared across Google platforms and products. Processing over one billion search requests every day, Google collect a lot of data about its users and now data from search, YouTube, Gmail, Docs and other services will integrated, making it all the more insightful and helpful both to Google and its users, through personalisation.
We’ve been talking about personalisation of search for some time, as already search results are influenced by search history when users are logged in. This is set to continue, with data collected from all of Google services allowing search results to be personalised to an even greater extent. This is why we’ve been talking about attracting visitors at an earlier stage in the buying cycle with informative and useful content, on the basis that visiting once makes a return visit much more likely thanks to personalised search.
A cynic’s concerns lie with the way that the algorithm is now likely to prioritise online activity and content on Google networks over any other activity or content online. For example YouTube could impact search rankings in a way that other video hosting sites are unlikely to. It’s impossible to predict what the final outcome of this or the next Google update will be, and that’s why we stay on top of developments in search to better understand the market for our clients.