Search Engines Gone Social – By Alek Flekel

by Colleen on May 15, 2013

It’s no hidden fact that social media is in a state of rapid growth. In an era where search engines dominate, social networks are creeping on their turf.

FeedFront Magazine, Issue 22The major players in social media are Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and YouTube. Top tier search engines, such as Google and Bing, have noticed this new social trend and want to capitalize on it.

Google released its own social network, Google +, which it integrates into its search results. Bing, on the other hand, teamed up with Twitter and Facebook to include their social results in Bing’s SERP (Search Engines Results Pages).

It used to be that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was the primary focus of all digital marketers, but now SMO (Social Media Optimization) is becoming more significant.

The Internet is turning more social, where people, rather than algorithms determine what good content is and what bad content is. Users want their search results to be socially valuable and custom to their individual preferences.

Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm does just that; it decides which stories appear in users’ newsfeeds. It factors in the person’s connectedness (how the user is related to the content), the weight of the post (comments have more weight than likes), and time decay (how long ago was it posted, fresh content is prioritized).

With these factors integrated into the search results on the search engine, it offers the user a much more improved valuable experience.

With algorithms favoring quality posts, industry experts (“influencers”) will become very important. Influencers have a heavy following and are authoritative figures that people trust.

When they see that an influencer has mentioned a certain search result, it will be a more personal stamp of approval. More interaction with fans and followers will drive better social results, ultimately leading to better search results.

Social media is a great method for driving traffic to a site, due to the ease of sharing content. The whole concept of viral marketing would not be as big as it is now if it weren’t for social media. Social search engine integration has the potential to catapult viral marketing to new levels, allowing content to be shared more easily and rapidly. This can result in more website traffic and possibly more sales.

With every search engine algorithm update, social integration will be at the forefront. With the added rise of mobile, accessibility and exposure of content will be at levels we have not yet experienced.

This will be the “new” search engine, more social, more personalized, better user experience.

Alek Flekel is a Marketing Specialist with InfoPay Affiliate Network.

This article appeared in isse 22 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2013. Read issue 22 of FeedFront Magazine.

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