With search engines and social media becoming more and more a part of our everyday lives, social search is now also more intertwined. The new Google algorithm, Hummingbird, which has been introduced last September, has placed more emphasis on relevant content and part of that has been the content that comes from your social networks. Bing indexes half a billion tweets and two billion Facebook updates every day – and also includes Linkedin, Klout and Google + data. As with Google, Bing is using this data to determine authority.
Bing and social search
Bing is now trying to better understand what social content is more relevant – as with normal search results, they want to provide the best content for their users and social media can help define what and who that is. If the content is shared on a social platform then it may be ranked higher in search results. All in all, social signals can help build domain trust and hence your site can become more of an authority on a number of subjects.
Social search isn’t necessarily the same for Google. They say that they are not currently putting any weight behind the social signals coming from Facebook or Twitter. Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Search Spam, explains this is primarily due to Facebook and Twitter sporadically blocking access to their crawl. I don’t think that this is the case, as Google will index social pages if allowed and will do much like Bing with regard to determining authority.
What this does mean, however, is that Google is focusing much more on Google+. G+ is now part of the Google algorithm with social shares and content being actively crawled and ranked. And that applies to social search too.
What does it mean for us?
For local business here in Wanaka and Queenstown, this does mean something. Social search is here to stay so If you do not have a social media outlet set up as of yet, we recommend you start with Google +, as this will help with your overall SEO. Check out our recent post on this exact subject. It can also be linked to your Google Places account, which makes it easier for people to find the address and details of your physical location. Once you have this set up then begin to gather followers – friends, family, customers – integrate with your website and start posting content relevant to your business and industry. And if you have any questions about social search and how can it benefit your business specifically – get in touch.