As the web continues to evolve, content strategies, social media, and the search engines have become intertwined in the grand scheme of building an online presence. So what does Google think about SEO? In recent Google updates, we saw Google Panda take a look at the content quality of sites, reviewing crucial site elements like design, trustworthiness, speed, and depth of content. Google Penguin looked more at link profiles, quality of links, and diversity of link anchor text. According to predictions, the pending Penguin update will be even harder on links. And images for search? Google Image search was redesigned and traffic dropped 80% earlier this year.
So where does social fit in? Trust. People trust people that they know and they are likely to click on recommendations from friends. Mobile devices and social networks have changed the playing field significantly. 68% of mobile minutes are used while people are at home. Where tablets were completely new just a few years go, tablets are now the norm. Tablets are the perfect television companion, and 66% of people even use their tablets while watching television. People research the program, products seen on the program, and what other people are saying about the program on social media and in forums.
Social media is an outlet that you can utilize to boost engagement, perform customer service, increase brand awareness, and to drive people to your actual website. Retweets, shares, and likes are all useful in building up trust and authority. Engagement measures are essential to learning about your audience. What is driving people? What is working and going viral? are you putting the wrong type of content out there? Building a community is one of the most beneficial things that you can do for your company and for your brand. Know the what, when, and who of retweets: what content, when during the day/week/time zone, and who’s accounts to retweet from.
“The Perfect Comment.” What’s in a perfect comment? Do people appreiacte fact-based comments, original article criticism, perfect grammar? Do they use their full name, are they anonymous, using a nickname? Surveys show that humorous comments aren’t well received, while grammar and substance is valued. A focused, non-rambling comment is ideal.
So what about Google +? Personified search and social have emerged when you are logged in to Google and begin to search throughout Google. Bing utilizes Facebook for personalized search. With personalized widgets and evolving algorithms, social media is going to help you drive organic traffic. The search industry has already evolved significantly in the past 18 months, and it will continue to evolve further as time passes.