In spite of having the beta tag on, Google Social Search obviates any doubts about how important the business uses of social media are. If searchers were already seeing different search engine results page (SERP) from one another based on location (client IP), that’s gonna be real, now that searcher’s social circle is consequential.
Since the introduction of Social Search experiment, demoed at the Web 2.0 Summit by Marissa Mayer, Google’s Vice President of Search Products & User Experience, it was obvious that SEO is changing, and it would appear that any business hoping for a gimmick in SERP appearance, would need to have as many connections set up as possible, via various social networking sites.
Once logged in to Google, Social Search combines results from your friend’s blogs, Picasa Web Albums, Flickr, Twitter, FriendFeed, and a wide variety of other social media sites with Google’s regular search results—so long as your friends have connected their social accounts to their Google Profiles.
It pulls connections from your Google Contacts, and any services you have listed on your Google Profile—assuming you have services listed on your profile. As opposed to social networking websites boasting private connections such as Facebook, if you have Twitter listed for example, anyone you are connected to through one of those services is a fair game for potential search results.
With this, Google’s also aiming at the social networking corner of the market, obligating web users to pay strict attention to Google Profiles, thus they may find themselves getting sucked into using Google as more of a social tool, rather than just search.
Added to Google Images, and who knows what else, Social results might always be marked as such and listed under results from your social circle at the bottom of SERP, yet sounds like one more thing to compete with for traditional SEO.
Tips for Appearing in Social Search Results
- Make sure you have all of your important links listed on your Google Profile.
- Make as many connections as possible.
- Encourage customers to follow you via social networks.
- Participate in social media so people will engage with you.
- Encourage sharing of content using social media buttons.
- Include social network information on online advertising, business cards, and signage.