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How Social Media Is Changing Google Search Results

February 23rd, 2010 by | No Comments

When people talk about the ways social media has changed the business world, the most common response is the way it has changed marketing and advertising campaigns. No longer is it ‘enough’ to have TV and print advertisements. To be effective, being part of the social media environment is becoming almost mandatory. Still, one area that social media is slowly becoming more and more relevant in are search results.

Gone are the days of simplicity and in are ‘social circles.’ If someone within your social circle has written something about what you are searching for, it will most likely show up as one of your results on Google.

What The Future Holds

While Google ‘results from people within your social circle’ are still in BETA, it’s only a matter of time before social circles become a permanent part of search results. To some, this is an amazing integration between social media and search engine’s, but the signs were there that it was inevitable that the two would eventually cross.

One of the aspects of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook that scares search engines like Bing and Google is the amount of content that is generated on these platforms. Not only is the sheer volume of content being shared enormous, but the fact that it is all in real-time is a huge feature that marketers have been trying to capture.

As opposed to content that may take weeks or months to be indexed by Google web crawlers, a simple search using the Twitter Search function can yield hundreds of results as they happen. The advantage of these social media platforms lies in the fresh content that is constantly being updated and added, all of which search engines are trying to get a piece of.

Why Your Social Circle Is On The First Page Of Google Results

For companies and organizations that spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on search engine optimization [SEO], being on the first page for relevant keywords is as good as it gets. By being on the first page, you significantly increase your traffic opportunities. But what does it mean to be on the first page of results? Google for example doesn’t put just any website on their first page of results. They put websites that are relevant and also ones that are trustworthy. Users visit sites like ESPN, CNN, and The Huffington Post because they trust them. In the same regards, your social circle now shows up on the first page of results because of the trust factor. Even though I may not have more traffic than ESPN, if I wrote an article about the Lakers and my friend is searching for them, I will show up on the first page along side ESPN. Yes, I am relevant to what he is searching, but more importantly he trusts me.

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While Google and other search engines have their own secret algorithm to determine how you appear on search results, social media is changing that. How they take into account your social circle will change the way that companies not only approach search engine optimization, but also change the way they become part of your ‘social circle.’

Joseph is the Director of Marketing at Viralogy.com & works in social media & sports consulting. Read more about him at http://JosephAYi.com


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