Social Media Is Impacting Search Results And How You Can Benefit

How Do You Define Social Media

by Mack Collier

You’ve probably noticed recently when you search for terms that often, results from social media sites are being incorporated into the results you are given. The major search engines, such as Google and Bing, have begun indexing content created from Twitter and Facebook, among other sites, into their results. This has been happening in some form for about a year now, and the search engines continue to tinker with how they incorporate social media content into their results, and what weight they place on the content that they index.

Moving forward, many believe that search engines will give more weight to content created by people/businesses that are more connected and more active. Similar to how search engines currently look at inbound and outbound links to every site and blog in helping to determine how high content from that site/blog will register in search results.

For the average search, the additional content from social media sites won’t significantly change the search results. However, if you search for a term in Google (for example), and then filter your results for Latest, then Google will place more weight to the most recent content created that’s associated with your search term. Which means content created on social media sites has a HUGE advantage here. Below is a screenshot I did for the term ‘Small Business Marketing,’ and filtered the results by Latest:

Google search results for small business marketing

It might be a bit difficult to see (click on the image to go the actual results page), but notice that the top three results on the left are from FriendFeed, and Twitter. And on the right, the Top Updates are all from Twitter updates. In these results, social media content is dominating.

So how can you leverage this? Here’s a few ideas:

1. Carefully consider what keywords and keyword phrases you are using in your blog post titles, and even in your updates to Twitter and Facebook. As you create new content on social media sites or on your blog, think about how you want that content to be discovered in search engines. What would people be searching for that would lead them to your content? Think about using terms that are specific to your industry, as well as the type of business you have and the products and services you provide.

2. Create more content. This goes without saying, but the more content you create, not only will you have more content that will be indexed by Google, but Google will begin to realize that your blog, for example, is being updated more frequently, which will affect how highly content from your blog shows up in search results.

3. Don’t use Twitter and Facebook to simply syndicate and distribute links to your blog posts. A lot of small businesses set up a Twitter and Facebook account to share links to their new blog posts as they are published. Unfortunately, for many of these small businesses, that’s the only way they use their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

If you can make time to interact with other members on Twitter and Facebook, this will not only increase the size of your networks on these sites, but it will also greatly increase the chance that the content you are linking to on Twitter and Facebook, is seen by your followers or those that have Liked your page. Which means more people will be distributing your content to THEIR networks as well. Which also means that your content will be showing up higher in search results!

By keeping these tips in mind, you can begin to see even more search traffic to your blog and website!

If you’d like to dig in a little deeper, and hear about some real-world uses of social media marketing for business first-hand, please download one of our free white papers.