Google+ Notifications to Include External Citations

Posted on 07. Feb, 2012 by in Thoughts

Monitoring is big business. Brands want to know who said what, where and why. There are hundreds of tools, especially in the social field, that are more than capable of providing great insight into as said. At the same time, search marketing specialists are keen to know when a website is linked to. Out with the digital industry, your average web user may want to know when someone replies to a comment they’ve posted on a blog or an updated forum thread.

What If

What if, when you link and verify your website, social profiles, author pages, etc, from your Google+ account, Google+ notified you when someone cites one of your owned media assets or contributes to content you’ve engaged with: would you be interested? I certainly would.


When reading a patent from Google entitled “Content Author Badges”, filled 26/04/2010, it has a section on Sheet 5 that describes attributing sections of a collaborated document to an individual author:

Content Scope

When the content provided by the user is not the entire cotent at the specieid location, the scope indentifies the portion created by the user.

An online forum may have many comments by different people within a single thread, so a partion of the discussion created by a single user may be designated with a number of other indentifier, such as <div id=5792>The content</div>

The patent topic is interesting and merits an entire blog post itself (thanks Bill Slawski).

Initially after reading the patent, collaborative author ranking sprung to mind: many authors discussing a topic being given scores based on how much effort and value they contribute. However, revisiting, I think Google could use the author verification along with its crawling abilities to constantly notify authors via Google+ notifications when another user contributes or cites content your co or multi-author too. This could be applied to blogs, forums, discussions, websites and even other social networks.

Forum Example

For example, you post a comment on a forum, authorship markup is in place, you’ve a verified Google+ profile, but rather than having to revisit the forum to see if anyone has contributed or replied to your engagement, Google’s crawlers authomatically ping and look for an updated version – from another author – and when it finds one, you get a Google+ notification hopefully with the context included.

Example Author Notification

Example of how notifications could look in Google+

How integrated would Google+ be then? It would be the hub of conversation and engagement across the entire web, notifying its population to updates of content they’ve engaged with, where you’ve been mentioned, by whom, the context of the mention, while all at the same algorithmically judging and scoring your enagement with others contributing to its author rank. Pretty scary, huh?

Calm the Excitment

Let’s not get carried away here. While I would like to beleive this will happen, we’re lacking traction on vital ingredients: markup, verification and linking accounts. Without authorship markup readily embedded in commonly used platforms i.e. WordPress, vBulletin, etc, users not verifying their accounts and not listing the websites they contribute too, Google’s going to need some workarounds.

Theory into Pratice

If this post were true, linking to Ian Macfarlane thanking him for letting me use his mugshot in this post, Bill Slawski for referencing his post and Search Engine Land in an attempt they cover the story, they would all get Google+ notifications. Difference being, Ian would get notified to his personal profile, as would Bill, but so would the owners of the Google+ Search Engine Land and SEObyTheSea profiles.

What do you think; will notifications expand beyond mentions in Google+? If so, would you embrace with open arms? Let us know your thoughts.

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