Search Plus Your WorldToday’s guest post is written by Molli Megasko.

I’m sure you’re as overwhelmed as I am with all Google+ search and looming FTC investigation stuff, but as marketers, it’s our jobs to stay on top of what is happening and how it can affect our clients or our companies.

If we break it down, I see two different debates going on:

1) Fairness (for corporations and businesses); and

2) Privacy (on the individual side).

Let’s dig into each one.

Fairness for Company Brands Not On Google+

Is Google monopolizing the Internet?  As Greg Sterling stated at the end of his Search Plus Your World experiment, “Google+ participation becomes effectively mandatory as an SEO tactic when it comes to the effect on local searches.”

The exercise of searching the same topics with search plus on, and with it off, shows little difference in organic results at the moment. However, it does show different GoogleAds results.

The issue here is once more companies start to treat Google+ with the same attention they give Facebook, they will be shown over others regardless of relevancy.

Privacy for the Google+ User

The gist is search plus your world search results are now customized to your particular interests and include photos and comments from your Google+ connections.

According to The Huffington Post, there are organizations criticizing “Google for changing search results to favor its content and raised concerns about the affect on consumer privacy.”

The issue is you can stop your searches from searching your network, but you can’t stop your Google+ information from being searched.

My Take

As an individual brought up on Facebook and the Internet, I know anything I post online can somehow be seen by people I may not want to see.  So, for me, no matter what the space, I don’t post anything I don’t want seen by my mom or my boss.

Regarding the fairness aspect of brand search, as a public relations professional, I say, “Bring it on!”  This is what we do; we make our brand visible and give them a competing voice against the rest.  For a small business owner, I might be scared.  If I’m not even on Facebook or Twitter yet, I would probably be so overwhelmed I might not even try.

What is your stance on these two debates?

You can connect with Molli on Twitter at @mollimegasko.