With Social Without Social by bestt571


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									Resolution Media (RM) Point of View:
Enhanced Social Search Results a Boon to Social-Savvy Marketers                               March 16, 2011


Though social search has been a part of how search engines provide relevant content since 2009, Google and Bing
both recently announced that social signals are used in indexing and ranking search results. Late last month, Google
updated their Social Search product, which integrates social media with search results even more. Given the
increased visibility of social media in search, marketers who depend on natural search visibility are concerned about
the influence of social media on search results, and eager to maintain their current search engine traffic while
providing the most relevant content to users of search engines.

                          With Social                                        Without Social

What are the Details of these Changes?

    •   Facebook Not Included
    •   Core Ranking and Indexing Unchanged
    •   Google Increasing Personalization of Results
    •   Rewards Social-Savvy Brands

         314 W Superior Street, 2nd Floor, Chicago IL 60654 | (P) 312.980.1600 | www.ResolutionMedia.com                1
                                           PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL
1. Facebook Not Included
   The largest social network and most searched on brand in Google—Facebook-- is not currently included in
   their recent social search results update. At the moment, content from the following networks will be
   included in search results if the query is relevant to the content found in them: flickr, Quora, Twitter and
   Yelp. Google does have limited access to public fan pages in Facebook, but doesn’t currently integrate that
   data into social search results.

    RM POV: If being integrated into social search results is important to your brand, putting relevant keywords
    in Facebook status updates will not currently aid in this effort. As the largest social media platform in the
    world, this data will be important for Google to have in order to make their social product more successful,
    and for that reason it’s likely that they will integrate it more fully in the future. Google does give users the
    option to connect their Facebook account with Google, but it doesn’t affect search results today. In spite the
    absence of Facebook data in integrated search results, the platform is large enough to warrant steady or
    increased investment in social media campaigns on Facebook today.

2. Core Ranking and Indexing Unchanged
   The way Google indexes and ranks a page has not changed with this social search update. Social search on
   Google is only available for opted-in, logged-in users and does not affect the listings that most users see
   when they use Google. Ranking may change when a user is logged in and a relevant status update or tweet
   that contains the keyword that was searched on is presented in social search, but those ranking changes do
   not affect users who are not logged in and haven’t connected their social accounts with Google search.

    Furthermore, using social data as a relevance signal in search is not new. Both Google and Bing use social
    data for indexing and ranking interesting content, and had been prior to this change.

    RM POV: Google is constantly tweaking their algorithms and user interfaces to provide the best possible
    experience for users of Google search. In the process of refining, they will often provide additional
    opportunities for marketers to gain more visibility in natural search results. For this reason it is important for
    brands to have trusted advisors who can help them take advantage of these opportunities. There is an
    opportunity here for marketers who want increased visibility in natural search, but unlike many indexing and
    ranking changes it does not affect results for users who are not logged in.

         314 W Superior Street, 2nd Floor, Chicago IL 60654 | (P) 312.980.1600 | www.ResolutionMedia.com                 2
                                           PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL
3. Google Increasing Personalization of Results
   As a search engine, Google’s aim is to provide the most relevant result to the user 100% of the time. For
   years they have been re-ranking a user’s search results based on things such as search history and auto
   complete data to provide the most relevant results possible. Social Search is not the beginning of
   personalized search, but simply another relevance signal for creating personalized results.

    RM POV: Many brands still focus on rankings as a primary measure of SEO success and ignore the
    opportunity to increase relevant traffic by delivering relevant content to logged-in users of Google Search.
    At Resolution Media we think this is unfortunate, because personalized search users are often a brand’s
    most qualified consumers, and messaging to an opted-in audience will often result in higher conversion
    rates as a result of increased relevance. There are several ways to target users of personalized search, but
    social search may be the easiest way to do so. By paying attention to how users search for your brand, and
    using those keywords in status updates your brand creates, you will be visible not just in social media, but in
    the search results of users who have connected to your brand in social media. It has been shown that search
    and social media are symbiotic when it comes to increasing consumer engagement in search, where
    exposure to both search and social can increase click through rates by 94%, so there are many good reasons
    to include both search and social in your marketing mix. This announcement is yet another good reason, as
    being active in social media and optimizing your status updates for keywords that are relevant to your
    audience, and sharing links to websites you believe will be useful to your audience can now increase
    qualified traffic from personalized search.

4. Rewards Social-Savvy Brands
   In order to be included in this new social search feature, a brand must have active social media accounts
   that contain relevant content with keywords that the opted-in user searches on when using Google search.
   If a brand has not yet defined a social media strategy, is not optimizing status updates based on the
   concepts and keywords that their audience is searching on, or is not actively providing value to users in
   social media, it’s unlikely that a brand will benefit from the updates to Google’s social search product.

    RM POV: The introduction of Google Social Search makes it even more important than before for brands to
    have both a search and social media strategy in place. Brands who are active in social media will benefit
    most from this change, and brands who have not yet defined a strategy or who are not active in social media
    will not see any additional traffic from social search. It may take a little extra effort for brands to share
    relevant website links in tweets, and to optimize status updates and tweets for relevant concepts and
    queries that Google users are searching on, but doing keyword research and updating your status updates
    with relevant keywords and sharing relevant links in social media is now effective for driving traffic and
    revenue from Google search as well.

What are the Next Steps?

While there are still unknowns around the future of Social Search, what is known today is that social media has
become and will continue to become a lot more integrated with Search Marketing and SEO. A brand’s social
presence is now significantly more visible in Google to users who opt-in to see that content. This means that
brands should continue to keep active in the social space to connect with and provide value to their audience,
not just on Facebook, Twitter or other social platforms, but within Google as well.

         314 W Superior Street, 2nd Floor, Chicago IL 60654 | (P) 312.980.1600 | www.ResolutionMedia.com              3
                                           PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL
For more information on the Google Social Search Update, visit:
           • Google Blog: An Update to Google Social Search
           •   Search Engine Land: What is Google Social Search?
           •   SMX Live: Social Signals and Search

For additional digital marketing updates, visit our blog: www.FindResolution.com.

        314 W Superior Street, 2nd Floor, Chicago IL 60654 | (P) 312.980.1600 | www.ResolutionMedia.com   4
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