Google gets (more) social
Once upon a time, businesses that had good search engine optimization (SEO) for their websites could talk themselves out of a need to be active in social media. After all, Google was Google and social was social, and that was that.
Then, last week, that all changed.
On February 17, Google announced a major “social update” to its algorithm that weaves context from blogs, Twitter, Flickr, Quora, and other networks (though curiously no Facebook) into search results. I’ll let the good folks at Google show you exactly what that looks like:
Now, social media results are nothing new to Google. They’ve been popping up since 2009 … but relegated to the bottom of the search engine results page. (“What? There’s a bottom to the search engine results page?”) Yes, right alongside the sock that disappeared in last week’s laundry and your 8-track tape of the Xanadu soundtrack.
But last week Google busted social results out of exile and started mixing them in with reg’lar old search links … and added a few new tricks, as you see in the video above.
Fortunately, there’s no hocus-pocus involved in making these new features work for you; just good, solid social media practices.
- Start blogging: If you’ve been putting off starting a blog, there’s never been a better time to start. People don’t share websites; they share current, vibrant content that’s relevant to them and their friends today. And the only way to offer that on a consistent basis is through a well-cared-for blog.
- Encourage sharing: Make sure all your shareable content—including blog posts, photos, landing pages, videos, and articles—is easy to share by including “share” buttons in easy-to-find locations, preferably above and below the content.
- Engage: There’s just no substitute for consistent, friendly engagement—responding to comments, retweeting, commenting on other blogs, saying “thank you” for mentions, liking other pages—when it comes to building goodwill in social media. In real life, we help and promote the people and organizations we know and like … and social media is no different.
So, have you gotten found by Google’s new search feature yet? We’d love to hear your success story; please share it in the comments.