Like Me? Follow Me.
Late last year, the boffins at Google churned out another interesting little addition called Social Search. The idea of Social Search is that you sign into your Google profile and then input a search query in the form of a question and get an answer/response from your friends or personal social networks such as Twitter, Gmail, Flickr and FriendFeed. These results are then incorporated into the natural search results similar to how images, maps and video are currently included. This is Google’s attempt to build upon sites like Yahoo Answers & Aardvark (now owned by Google) and assign more relevance to social media content than just from the webs larger network of websites .
SEO Tips for Social Search Results
John Greer of Search Engine Watch claims there are certain tips for SEO’ers to make the most of the addition of Google Social Search.
- The first is obvious to some but clearly not to others as many businesses still haven’t invested time in setting up a Twitter account and populating it with news and updates relevant to their industry or services. The more updates and relevant keywords included, the more likely that users searching for related terms will come across your Twitter feed, leading them to your website. However do not see it as an outlet to “sell sell sell”. See it as a way of building up a following by potential customers or clients for your up-to-date information and news which could then lead to capturing some new customers at different points in the buying cycle.
- Other social profiles need to be kept highly up to date and gain as many subscribers as possible. The more these profiles are being visited, the more Google will consider what they are talking about to be worth linking to or showing in the social search results. Facebook, LinkedIn and the notoriously flawed Google Buzz are all worth keeping updated.
- With the inclusion of Gmail and soon to be other email accounts, it's worth thinking about optimising your newsletters in emails. These can be posted online or found by Google Desktop Search, so ensuring newsletters aren’t made up of one or two large images and contain relevant targeted text could provide benefits.
With Google’s new Caffeine update to be released shortly, constant tweaks to the Google algorithm and additions like Google Social Search the foundations of SEO are fundamentally unstable. Constant and often sudden changes in trends and practices can destabilise months of work by SEO firms. Results are no longer determined by SEO consultants' attempts at optimization along with web designers' work on making sites SEO-friendly. It may become a more democratic way of searching where our friends and colleagues preferences and online activity determine our online behaviour.
Personalised Search Engine
Google has a history of changing the set of laws that govern its results yet with this natural progression to include personalised social results Google is clearly developing the concept of a 2search engine'. After all, Google’s search engine was born on the web and is by its nature and purpose ‘personalised’. Personalisation is not just a trend online but more of a culture that constantly evolves to relate more to each individual user. Google being one of the most innovative and pioneering companies on the planet, it is determined to keep up with and include personalisation in its products. This evolution by Google may make SEO harder to implement but it’s a concept that I for one encourage.