If You Care About Search, You Must Care About Social Media
All of the search engines are rushing to incorporate more social media elements into their interfaces. Examples of this are evident in things like Google and Bing’s deals with Twitter and Facebook. You can see it in Yahoo’s new Twitter tab for news results. You can see it in Google’s Social Search lab. Really you can see it in everyday search results.
Do you consider a social presence an important element to your search campaign? Discuss here.
A lot of Internet users spend a great deal of their time socializing or using social media sites in one way or another, whether that is to connect with others or simply to obtain information. Information is a key component of social media that often takes a backseat to communication in discussion of social media tools.
The fact of the matter is that more and more people are getting more and more of their information from social sites. That could be in the form of following a news publication on Twitter, following company updates on a blog or a Facebook page, or something as simple as a friend sharing a link.
Given that people are getting more info from social media sites, of course search engines want a piece of that, because their whole reason for existence is naturally to help users find what they are looking for on the web.
So, it stands to reason that if you want people to find information that you are producing, it can help a great deal to publish information and participate in conversations on social media sites. Never mind that users of those particular sites will have access to it. The general public will as well by way of search, regardless of whether or not they are a part of any particular community.
In an interview with WebProNews, Vanessa Fox, who used to work for Google, talked about reasons that businesses should be thinking about social media with regards to search. It’s about visibility. If you are having discussions out there about relevant topics, they could appear in search results not only in real-time search, but further down the road as well.
In other words, if you have a conversation with a peer on Twitter about some topic related to your niche, there is a good chance the resulting tweets of that conversation could appear in search results for that topic on Google, even a year from now, if that tweet happens to be relevant enough. That’s just an example (note: it’s hard to say at this point, just how tweets will impact search once the Google-Twitter deal starts showing results).
There are a variety of ways in which a social campaign can contribute to your performance in search engines, regardless of what these recent deals might produce. Like Lee Odden of Top Rank Online Marketing recently discussed with WebProNews, you can optimize your social content.
The web went blog crazy a few years back. Marketers found out that blogs were great for achieving search engine visibility because of the content and links that can come from them. It’s not that different with social media now. The web has largely moved into a social media-heavy phase, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Search engines obviously know this and care about it.
As Fox says in her interview, it’s getting to the point where more businesses are starting to realize that they need to be involved with social media. However, surveys still frequently suggest that many are reluctant, and even if they do engage to some extent, they are still holding back, and not reaching the potential they could be.
You know search is important to marketing on the web. Really, it’s important to marketing, period. If you operate on the web or off, your customers are on still online, as Fox noted. Social media is growing increasingly important to search. And search is only one aspect of online marketing. There are many more benefits to social media than that.
How important is social media to search? Share your thoughts.