Social Search has been a term around for a couple of years in an attempt to understand and capitalize on the nature of social media and volume of search activity that occurs on those sites. The struggle has been Twitter and Facebook, the two leaders in the space, have walled-off most of their content from being searched by the major search engines.
Google has tried to rectify the issues around social search with Search Plus Your World. Search Plus Your World is intended to pull content from social sites – including Google+ and Picasa – to show you the content you most want to see in the search engine results pages. Google has been expanding their search results to move beyond blue text links for several years now (originally called Universal Search). However, this is one of Google’s biggest forays into altering the search landscape by using the power of social media.
How does this impact your SEO campaigns? Over the last 8 months, we have seen a noticeable change in how the search engines rank your pages. Our clients who have incorporated a Search + Social Optimization (SSO) strategy have seen much larger gains of organic and referral traffic to their website than those using traditional SEO practices. I wrote an article about the need to combine your SEO and Social Media back in August.
We highly recommend a coordinated, concerted effort between both your Search and Social campaigns. Does this mean the Social Media campaigns you are embarking on are for naught? No, but when you are speaking in Social Media, you need to have a key eye on the how you are saying it (with keywords) and where are you directing engagement (back to the website). Clients who have tried to separate the Search and Social functions (For example, the agency performs the SEO and an in-house team performs Social Media) do not see the same gains when a strategic plan coordinating the two elements live under the same roof.
As we begin 2012, make sure to tweak your existing strategies to accommodate Search Plus Your World and the other updates, Panda and Freshness, which have helped propel the combination of Search and Social to the forefront in digital marketing strategies.
For more information on Search Plus World and Social Search see more links to articles below.
The End of Link Building as We’ve Known and Loved It by Search Engine Watch
Search Plus: Five Changes You Need to Make to Your SEO Campaigns by eConsultancy Blog
”Search Plus Your World” Indexing Content Faster? by Web Pro News
How Google’s Social Search Shift Will Impact Your Brand’s SEO by Mashable
Google’s Results Get More Personal with “Search Plus Your World” by Search Engine Land