Google loves social media. Search engines in general do, but especially Google and I’ll tell you why. You see the folks over at Google understand the power of social media and social influence. Every time I sit down with a potential client I give them what I now call “The Google Spill” and I swear I have delivered this speech a hundred times, so I guess it’s only fitting that I write about it and share with you how social media affects SEO.
“Google Spill”- Take 101
Google’s Primary Function
Have you ever thought about what search engines really do? If you have, then you would not be surprised at all that they are constantly changing and updating their algorithms. It would make perfect sense to you, as it does to me.
You see, Google has become the top search engine because they provide the most relevant search results to its clients-you and me. Every time we open up our search engine, we are fully expecting to find information relevant to the search terms that we type into the search window. Most of the time we don’t even give a second thought to how these results are delivered to us. Google has done such a great job that we don’t even have to think about it. It’s truly amazing.
Social Media Is About What People Like
Social media and blogging have brought on a new era of “permission marketing”. You see every time someone likes a Facebook page, or follows on Twitter, or signs on your email list, they have given you permission to market to them. By those actions you know that that person has some sort of interest or need for what product or service you are selling.
Before social media we had demographics to go on and hoped that an ad on a billboard on the right side of town would catch a majority of that demographic whether they wanted or needed the product or service. Social media has changed the landscape of marketing.
So with this in mind, don’t you think Google would get in on this? If I am telling you that I like something, and search engines want to give me the most relevant results, wouldn’t they want to consider what I have already liked? Seems like Hell Yes is an easy answer here.
Why Google Plus Is More Than Genuis
People think Google created Google+ to compete with Facebook… sigh… I think the people at Google cringe at the comparison. Yes, it is similar in the way that you interact with other people. Although I do like the circle concept better than followers and friends. The new Myspace has done the same thing. (Yes, I joined the new Myspace… don’t judge me. The marketing is clever and they invited me to join… It’s actually pretty cool and it looks amazing-better than any other social network-no lie).
The reason Google+ is so genius is because of the +1 feature. Yes, it is similar to Facebook’s like feature but what Google does is take into account the things that you have +1 on the web and then gives you a more personalized search experience based on your likes (+1′s) and the likes of the people who you have in circles.
How Social Media Affects SEO
I said all that to say this. Google takes into account social shares and likes because it is a determining factor of what we (the people) think is relevant. If people didn’t think it was relevant, they would like it or share it. Bottom line.
If you have a big social media following or an article that has a lot of social shares, then Google will rank you higher than an article that is just as good, and just as well optimized for SEO.
Why Social Media The Way We Think Of It Will Cease To Exist
So will search engines for that matter. Google has pioneered this new territory where search is now social. You can expect search to get more and more social and the social networks with good search capabilities will reign supreme (where Facebook better get in).
Many argue that SEO will be dead in 5 years… What do you think. I don’t think it will die, it will just change. Instead of SEO being about links and keywords it will be about social shares and presence.
And the term social media will phase out… Our kids will simply know it as The Internet.