Google’s Updated Social Search-Benefits For Professionals

On Thursday Google made an announcement regarding Social Search that will have a huge impact on your business.  Back in 2009 Google introduced an experiment called Social Search. The Social Search experiment was to make SEARCH more personal with relevant web content from our friends and online contacts. {Personal} meaning we get more relevant, useful search results, recommendations, and other personalized features. Through personalizing our search results, Google hoped to deliver the most useful, relevant information on the Internet-resulting in more engagement.

The Announcement

Google’s announcement on Thursday-An Update To Social Search takes Social Search to a whole new level, a level that can no longer be ignored. I don’t like to use the term “game changer” but if there is such a thing-this may be it.  Google’s enhancement to Social Search takes search another step forward by allowing us to get even more information from the people that matter to us, on YouTube, Twitter, Linkedin, Foursquare, Flickr , Blogs or websites and other public social sites.  Here is the kicker-this information, from the people that we know and interact with will be now be displayed as part of the ORGANIC search results.

In the past, social search results only appeared at the bottom of the page.  Those signed into their Google account will now see search results from people they know and I would assume trust. On Wednesday, the day before Google’s announcement, consumers searching for information related to “Scottsdale Real Estate Agent” would only see those websites with the best SEO, (Back Links, keyword rich content etc).  Today, those results will include blog posts, Tweets, videos,  etc from those we know and interact with on our social networks.  Today, if someone in your social network is searching for “Scottsdale Real Estate agent”, and you have written a blog post, Linkedin update, made a video, sent a Tweet etc referencing “Scottsdale Real Estate Agent”, your message will be displayed {only to those in your social network} on the 1st page of google among the SEO kings.

Engagement Now Plays a Significant Role In Google Search Results

What does this mean?

Back to the “Scottsdale Real Estate Agent” search.  Previously, a consumer may have called and asked for a referral to a “Scottsdale Real Estate agent” in addition to researching agents online. Today, in advance of picking up the phone, they will be exposed to all of the relevant content created by their entire social network related to “Scottsdale Real Estate agent” right on their computer screen.  Say it with me now….G-A-M-E-C-H-A-N-G-E-R.

What Should You Do?

Increase your social network and interaction with your social network as fast as you can.  Follow people, get more friends/fans on facebook, followers on Twitter, Friends on YouTube, connections on Linkedin-build relationships.  Search results are no longer based based purely upon Search Engine Optimization AKA SEO.

As you may already know, over 60% of click through traffic, on the Google search results page, is allotted to the top three positions.  I would expect these percentages to significantly increase as results from our peers are integrated into search results.  Google’s updated search results could make lead generation and conversion easier for those that engage with social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, Blogs. making it harder to ignore the impact of social media on business.

How will you incorporate Google’s Update To Social Search in your marketing campaigns?

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