Prior to analyzing what Google says about Hashtags, we might as well take a peep at the broader meaning of the word in computer lingo. According to Wiki, hashtags are generally used as ‘unmoderated ad hoc discussion forums’. In fact, any combination of characters prefixed by a (#) symbol is a hashtag and when promoted by more individuals…. will ‘trend’ and attract more individual users to discussion. On Twitter, when a hashtag becomes quite popular, it is likely to appear in the ‘Trending Topics’ area of a user’s homepage.
How Google started using hashtag
Google+ first started introducing hashtags, sometime in May, 2013, working the same way they worked on Twitter and on Facebook. When a user clicked the hashtag on their Google+ profile or any other Google+ profile, a listing of other posts, using that hashtag popped up. However, there was nothing new about it as this was a common tactic for most social networks since it helped people glimpse interrelated information quicker and easier.
But Google gave it twist too
Encouraged by the above idea, Google introduced a change to permit hashtag search queries. Whenever an user typed a hashtag into Google, a list of results popped up where that hashtag was used in digital promotion. This included articles that were posted on social media comprising not only Twitter and Google+ but also from Tumblr as blog posts that used the same hashtag. But there was big difference. The sets of Google+ posts also appeared on the right hand of the page to provide quick and easier visibility.
To begin with, he ensured that ‘privacy won’t be an issue, because you will only be able to see posts that have been shared with you or shared publicly’. In addition, he assured that ‘you can also see links to search for these hashtags on other social media sites.
However, here is an exact replica of his statement as delivered on 25 September, 2013
A richer hashtag experience in Google Search
The #hashtags you see in Google+ posts are a useful way to discover conversations around a particular topic. In May we added related hashtags to the Google+ stream, turning any post into an opportunity to go deeper and explore what’s interesting to you.
Today we’re bringing a richer hashtag experience to Google Search by online SEO. Here’s how it works:
– When you search on Google for a hashtag, say [#AmericasCup] or [#WaterfallWednesday], a set of relevant Google+ posts may appear to the right of regular results.
– You’ll only be able to see posts that have been shared publicly or shared with you.
– If you click on any of these posts you’ll go to Google+, where you’ll see the full set of relevant posts.
– You’ll also see links to search for these hashtags on other social sites.
Today’s update will be available (initially) to English language users in the US and Canada on google.com and google.ca. It’ll be live within the next few hours, so give it a go and let us know what you think.