Until recently, most social networking sites were either completely closed off to search engines or were simply ignored by them. If Google did show some social media results in the past, they were typically very low on the search page (often as sub-items under another search result). As of now, Google has changed the way Twitter and Facebook feeds interact with search engine results and page rankings. In effect, millions of informational links are shared daily through social networking sites, and social media is now dramatically influencing organic traffic rankings. As a result, more people are benefiting from these links.
A new tool called, “Google Social Search” is now also positively impacting organic traffic. This tool delivers search results that are influenced by your friends and social activities based on the links they are sharing. What’s cool about this tool is that Google will use your online friends and contacts to give you more relevant and meaningful content since content from people you know can be more trustworthy. I think this is the perfect tool for people who are looking for feedback when making a purchase. For instance, say you’re looking to go see a movie, but want to read an online movie review first. Instead of reading a review from someone you don’t know, you can instead get reviews from your best friend who has the same taste as you. On the other hand, I do feel that Google Search can have harmful effects on privacy issues for some users.
If you are looking to use Google Social Search, below are some things to keep in mind.
You have to:
- Add people to your Friends, Family, and Coworkers groups in your Google contacts
- Link social sites, such as Twitter and FriendFeed, from your Google profile, because those people’s content will appear in your Google search
- Add people to your Gmail or Google Talk chat list
- Follow people in Google Reader and Google Buzz, because those people’s content will appear in your Google search. Google will automatically add people for you who are public connections of your immediate, public social connections. This means that if you follow a friend on Twitter, and he follows five people, those additional five people may also be included as social connections.)
Watch this video to learn more about Google Social Search.
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