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28 Feb
Who Put the Social in Search Results?

Posted by Jamshaid Hashmi On February - 28 - 2011

Google announced last week that they are officially “Pimpin’-out” their Search Results by including social elements from your social circle on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

According to Google’s Official blog the changes were put in place on Feb 17th 2011. With this change users can expect to see social search results rank anywhere on the SERP, and below the result, users will be able to see who shared it via an annotation.

Keep in mind that you’ll only get social search results when you choose to log in to your Google Account. It is currently only for in English.

Check out this great video showcasing some of the changes in Google’s Social Search Results:

In the past, these search results appeared only at the bottom of the SERP, or by using the ‘Social’ filter located on the left side columns. However, now they will be visible anywhere on the page.

This shift in some ways is analogous to the one that Google made when it introduced Personalized Search whereby a user who was logged into Google would experience results differently then when they were logged out. The user would be allowed to move certain results up to display a personalized SERP and other results down. The user would also be allowed to comment on relevant results.

What does Social Search Results mean for businesses?

This common question will arise in the minds of all business people. Given the already ongoing debate on monetizing social media, how does inclusion of Social Results in the Search Engine Results Page impact businesses?

Here are some ways it will have an impact:

  • Businesses will need to actively participate in building their Social Circle. Having a larger social footprint will allow a business to have that many more advocates of their brand, which in turn will influence all their friends
  • Interacting with your social circle is key. The premise being that a friend of a fan/follower may be searching for your service or product, and they are more likely to click through if they knew that one of their connections or friends have had a positive experience. This is basic word of mouth and has been happening forever, the difference here is that the results are in real time as the user is searching.

A couple of things to keep in mind is that you need to have a Google Profile and be logged in to experience Social Results. You can link your various social media accounts to your Google Profile to have a better experience.

Given that there is some love lost between Facebook and Google, Google’s Social Results are not taking into account the Facebook ‘Likes’.

Looking forward to the next round of changes as Google continues to refine its Social Search Feature.

To learn more about how your company can establish or improve your social search results rank, click here to contact your local WSI Consultant now.

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Category: Search, Social
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About the author: Jamshaid Hashmi
In his role as VP of Franchise Development for the last decade, Jamshaid Hashmi has helped build and oversee the franchise more

  • Simon Miskimmin

    Yes. I can see how this can benefit consumers, but I think Google are leaving out one of the most important part of the equation, that part naturally being Facebook interaction, which severely handicaps the results.

    Simon Miskimmin

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