Search Engines are the key to finding the things you’re looking for online.
Search Engine results are provided with the aide of sophisticated and ever changing algorithms. We aren’t software engineers but we do pay attention to the things that affect the marketing efforts and results of our clients.
We’ve been watching, reading and learning about algorithm transformation to ‘Socialization’ and have found some interesting things to share.
The rate of change of internet search is increasing rapidly due in large part to algorithm modifications focused on personalized search.
Google and mostly likely all the other search engines perform hundreds of tweaks and updates every year, which affect how websites are ranked in search. Bing recently unveiled its new search feature – Trusted Search.
The result of all this constant tweaking and updating means your online marketing results have probably declined if you haven’t been tweaking and updating your online marketing strategies at the same time. Some marketing strategies launched just a few months ago are in decline if working (converting) at all.
To keep up with search engine change, SEO must change too. It used to be that focus on title tags, meta descriptions, sitemaps, inbound links, etc… was a successful search engine strategy. Today however, social media plays a significant part in social ranking signals and are now gaining attention in the next generation of SEO tactics.
Search engines are adapting to the behaviors of people (you and me). Whenever people do things offline and/or online we typically don’t do it alone. We share, we tag, we comment, etc… and those we’re connected (1st, 2nd even 3rd connections) to often take some sort of action too. In other words, before most people buy a product or a service we consult our friends. Consciously or subconsciously, we set criteria for our decisions too. When searching online, do you find yourself looking look for first page results that have the largest number of positive reviews? Do you read reviews to see what others are saying before you commit time or money? By considering and integrating social signals, search engines have a direct line to understating human opinions, and will use this data to determine how pages should rank.
Check out what Bing has been doing. If you’re signed into your Facebook account, Bing will now display results based off of what you and your friends “LIKE”. Let’s say you want to go on vacation to Turks & Caicos. You’ve never been before, so you do what comes natural – internet search by typing in “Turks & Caicos” hotels . Most (if not all) first page search engine results are the big names like Hilton, Hyat, Marriott, Sheraton, etc… but it also lists a hotel that normally wouldn’t show up on the first page and underneath it shows a few of your friends who “LIKE” this website. If you trust these people, your thoughts of this hotel automatically just improved tremendously.
Don’t take our word for it; check out this video by Matt Cutts (Google bigwig) – Does Google use data from social sites in ranking?
WE think this is awesome, results based on social popularity not advertising budget. The days of spending your way into first place has been restricted.
So now what If you do or been doing your own online marketing for a while, these changes might cause you to shutter (just a little). Especially when you think of all the time, effort and money you’ve spent on SEO content and building links. We’re not suggesting these strategies are dead but We are saying they are less relevant today and will probably continue to decline into oblivion.
Personalized Search needs to be taken seriously. Personalized Search could be the start to the next big online wave. So, pay attention to social search engines and personalized search. We’re guessing in for a ride!