Google’s Updated Social Search-Benefits Of Social Search

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 February 17th 2011-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 Facebook (Business pages only, personal pages are not indexed), 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 . Let’s say you are in the real estate industry-a REALTOR. Take your REALTOR hat off and put your CONSUMER hat on. I don’t know about the market conditions where you are but here in Arizona, Short Sales are a major factor in our housing market. Short Sales and Bank Owned Properties make up over 70% of the sales on a monthly basis. As a result, there are thousands of consumers searching for results around “Short Sale Arizona, Should I Short Sale. Short Sale vs Foreclosure, etc.

Imagine you are one of these consumers searching Google for this information. Prior to Thursday your search would have yielded results from people you didn’t know and companies you have never heard of . Now imagine your search results were populated with, (in addition to traditional search results) people within your social circle that shared information on a social network related to “Short Sale Arizona, Should I Short Sale. Short Sale vs Foreclosure. Which result would you click on? A person or company you have never heard of or a link to a Blog, Video, Tweet, Linkedin update from someone that you have heard of and may even know personally? And this is the benefit of Social Search. The results returned by social search are unique to each consumer as each person has a different social network. Take a look below to see what I mean..

Pretty cool huh! But social search only benefits those real estate professionals, those professionals that leverage social media and engage regularly with their social network. You have heard of SEO-Search Engine Optimization, well there is a new player in town that I call SMO-Social Media Optimization. Because writing content for search engines can be different that content for actual people-consumers, forward thinking real estate professionals will create highly engaging, keyword rich, VALUABLE content that is worthy of being shared across social networks. The Game has just changed. The size of your social network will now play a significant role in your goal of getting “Found” Online by your ideal client. If you were one of those professionals not leveraging social media, or at least not leveraging it to the best of your ability you could be at a distinct advantage. Ranking on the 1st page of Google is no longer solely about who has the best SEO, now we need to think about SMO. Next time you create content on your YouTube Channel, Twitter, Active Rain, Linkedin, Facebook Fan Page (personal FB pages are not indexed in social search) ask yourself Who am I talking to? Who is my ideal client? What is my message? Is my message valuable? Do I have a call to action? Have I asked the consumer to engage with me- to share my content, etc. Check out Google’s video below announcing Social Search.

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?

Ready To Get “found” Online By Your Ideal Client? Let’s Talk-We Bring Your Customers To You.

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