It is a fact, opinions from friends and people you know and trust weigh far more to you than opinions from strangers. When Google returns your query for “social media analytics tools free” like in the picture, you expect to see the most relevant and important sites because that’s what the Google provides. However, what if you could also see what your friends were saying about your query on every social site that exists in digitaland. Think that’s crazy? Well keep reading because I will tell you all about Google Social Search and more importantly how to optimize social search to blow your seo competition out of your profitable patch ahead.
Technology behind Google Social Search is nothing new. Google social search has been in Google Labs for a while now. This post updates you on what Social Search is, what it means for brands and businesses and later I will guide you on your way to leveraging its power.
SMO is the New SEO
So many companies obsess over SEO and have been hesitant to invest in SMO because for so long it has been viewed as an “experimental” form of marketing. If that is the case for your competitors, and in most cases it is, you are in luck! Just like how local search gave local business a chance in the search game, social search gives great companies with great talking customers a chance. If you happen to be one of those brands/services/or companies with a great loyal following of talkers than optimize and just watch the results pour in.
Before you can figure out how to make the most out of this search with SMO, you need to understand how it works. Let’s get acquainted with our new friend: Google Social Search.
This is how a typical google social search will look:
Why is this important?
When Google ads new search features, the opportunity for new SEO strategies arrive. For instance, Google changed how local search is conducted which allowed local businesses to show up in searches they might otherwise appear 1000 sites away in the results. As a result, local businesses or services began to incorporate city and state names into their keyword and SEO strategy to get the most out of this change in Google.
This function, social search, is nothing new. It is something to start building into your SEO/SMO strategy as businesses, people, and services that optimize social media can learn how to optimize themselves in social search. This gives them a huge competitive advantage when people are searching for products or services. If you are ranking high in a traditional search AND people’s friends are also saying good things about you, then you have a huge advantage.
What you Need to Know To Optimize:
Google Social Search Relies on Your “Social Circle”
Social circles are to SMO as Site Authority and Relevance are to SEO in a search. Google social searches will only return people from your social circles. When you are logged into Google, google can grab your social circle data from a variety of places like you address book, feedreader subscriptions, your Google Profile Information, Google Friend Connect. Google will pull from your primary connections as well as your secondary connections- your friends of friends. Google describes this algorithm for pulling data from your social circle as follows:
Social Circle is the network of connections Google uses to identify relevant social search results. It is based on a combination of the following:
- Direct connections from your Google chat buddies and contacts (3)
- Direct connections from links listed on your Google profile (0) such as Twitter and FriendFeed
- Secondary connections (56) that are publicly associated with your direct connections
In addition to web pages from your social circle, posts from your Google Reader subscriptions may also appear in your social search results.
What This Means For Businesses and Brands
Remember all that hard work you put into social media without any guess as how to measure ROI? Well, here it is. Companies that have been smart by investing time, energy, strategy, and resources into social media campaigns have benefitted by gaining influence, followers, friends and most importantly getting people talking about brands and sharing that opinion with their networks. The ROI on this was not always that easy to measure.
The “Good” News
For the companies that put a lot into spreading word of mouth digitally, they will see strong results from social search. In the consumer decision making process, consumers of brands will be looking at search results and social search results before making that final purchase. There are many benefits for this developing Google feature.
Companies that have ignored social media will lose significant market share to their smarter competitors who chose to invest in more experimental new media marketing. On the opposite end, companies that once invested heavily in social media efforts to begin will now have to invest in monitoring the word of mouth they created online. Lack of efficient monitoring and word of mouth management could end up biting your brand in the butt.
Soon, I’ll be Giving You Strategies & Tips on How to Kick The Competition With Successful Social Search Optimization- so subscribe now!
For more updates on social search, social linking, and social media optimization consult The Social-Capitalist as we explore the art of social media optimization and the true value of our social networks and connections.
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