Search Goes Social


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It's hard to ignore the buzz about social media that's been happening over the last few years. We know that social networking is a great tool for engaging with current and potential customers and giving your business a personality. But did you know that interacting on social networks can also help you be seen in search engines? Google, Yahoo, and Bing also couldn't ignore the fact that these networks were providing as-it's-happening news and social recommendations, so they started incorporating this type of information into their search results to meet the growing demand.

This presentation covers the evolution of traditional search engines with the integration of social signals and real-time results. It also covers how you can optimize the following platforms to help gain some of that much coveted real estate on the SERPs (search engine results pages):

· blogs
· YouTube
· Facebook
· LinkedIn
· Twitter

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Search Goes Social

  1. 1. Search Goes Social<br />Using Social Media to Gain Visibility in Search Engines<br />
  2. 2. Who am I?<br />Kasi Gajtkowski aka “Casey Ja-cow-ski”<br /><ul><li>Search Engine Marketing Coordinator for PowerPay
  3. 3. SEO, PPC, Link Building, etc
  4. 4. Lover of all things Internet Marketing</li></ul><br /><br /><br />
  5. 5. What We’ll Cover<br /><ul><li> Why search engines are starting to use social signals
  6. 6. How social media is being incorporated into search results
  7. 7. Using the following channels to help gain visibility in SERPs:
  8. 8. Blogs
  9. 9. YouTube
  10. 10. Facebook
  11. 11. Twitter
  12. 12. LinkedIn</li></li></ul><li>Search Engines are Important<br /><ul><li> Have a website to be found when </li></ul>people are looking<br /><ul><li>Over 50% of online adults use a</li></ul>search engine every day<br /><ul><li> Over 3 billion searches done on </li></ul>Google per day worldwide<br />
  13. 13. How About Social Media?<br /><ul><li> Brand Awareness
  14. 14. Customer Engagement
  15. 15. Humanizing a company</li></ul>Photo Credit:<br />
  16. 16. You may view Social Media as a headache:<br /><ul><li>Not enough time/staff
  17. 17. Too many profiles (twitter, facebook, foursquare, etc)
  18. 18. What’s the ROI of all this work?
  19. 19. I’m not social; I don’t know what to say!</li></ul>Photo Credit:<br />
  20. 20. Social Media is Not Going Away!<br /><ul><li> Search engines see many prominent social media networks </li></ul>as an AUTHORITY<br /><ul><li> Starting to use social media activity as a signal of TRUST in their algorithms
  21. 21. Eventually, just having a website may not be enough to have it rank well in a search engine</li></li></ul><li>Traditional Search Engines Have Pitfalls<br />We want our information NOW! As it’s happening. (News, events)<br />And we want to get information from our friends that we trust.<br />2. People understand that certain ranking signals are important and<br />try to manipulate them. (Crappy search results, spam)<br />
  22. 22. 1. Search Engines Lacked “Real Time” and Your Friends<br /><ul><li> When Michael Jackson died in 2009, news spread like wildfire through social media networks just 41 minutes after 9-1-1 call.
  23. 23. It took Google News 1 hour and 20 minutes to report the story after posted it; it took 3 hours and 17 minutes to be an auto- complete suggestion for search queries.
  24. 24. Also in 2009, a well-known blogger tries to find out what’s going on at the Waldorf Astoria while he’s there (due to a ruckus).
  25. 25. A Google search turned up nothing; a quick search on Twitter revealed that Matt Damon was filming a movie there.
  26. 26. With the explosion of social media use, people were turning to their social network for help, general questions, referrals, etc.
  27. 27. Why ask Google for plumbers in your town when you can ask your friends who they recommend?</li></li></ul><li>Photo Credit:<br /><ul><li> Search engines had a hard time displaying situations and events in a </li></ul>real-time fashion.<br /><ul><li> Google didn’t let me see what my friends think about a particular </li></ul>topic.<br /><ul><li> Maybe “Googling it” wasn’t the only way to get answers. (gasp!)</li></li></ul><li>Search Addresses the Pitfalls:Real Time & Social<br />Google Social Search: <br /><ul><li> Launched October 2009 – “Results from your social circle” at bottom of SERP
  28. 28. Integrates search results from friends: Flickr, Twitter, Quora, blog posts into SERPs in February 2011
  29. 29. Linked from Google Profile and contacts from other social networks you have linked there, Gmail, Google Reader – must be signed in to see this</li></ul>Google Real Time Search: <br /><ul><li> Launched in December 2009
  30. 30. Scrolling results for Twitter, FriendFeed, News Articles, other web pages, etc. as they are shared</li></li></ul><li>Search Addresses the Pitfalls:Real Time & Social<br />Bing Social: <br /><ul><li> Launched October 2009 – Started with real-time access to Twitter feed
  31. 31. Added aggregated data and updates from public “Pages” on Facebook
  32. 32. Has its own “Social” section, like Google’s “Real Time”</li></ul>Bing-Facebook Partnership: <br /><ul><li> October 2010 Bing added “Liked by your Facebook friends” at the bottom of SERPs
  33. 33. February 2011 they are integrated within the search results like Google’s friends results
  34. 34. You have to link your Facebook account to Bing (you can sign in with Facebook)</li></li></ul><li>2. Search Engine Manipulation<br />
  35. 35. How Search Engines Work<br />Search goes to Google’s database*<br />Google searches database for relevant web pages<br />* Database is compiled by software “spiders”<br />Type in a search query at Google<br />Secret ranking algorithm applied to web pages<br />You get your results!<br />Start Here<br />
  36. 36. How SearchEngines Rank Pages <br />Algorithm – Formula that a search engine uses to determine how a a web page ranks in Search Engine Results Pages.<br />(SERPs)<br /><ul><li> Each search engine has their own algorithm
  37. 37. Google uses over 200 variables in its algorithm
  38. 38. Algorithms are “secret” but some of the variables are known</li></ul> Like backlinks<br />
  39. 39. Links: Original “Trust” Signal<br />Which website will rank better for “SEO”?<br />Websites<br />Joe Schmo’s Blog about SEO<br />Less Links = Less trust & <br />authority = possibly lower<br />rankings<br />Wikipedia Entry about SEO<br />More links = trust & authority = possibly higher rankings<br />
  40. 40. Getting Backlinks to Your Site<br />The “Good” Way<br />Websites should have such totally awesome content and information, other websites will <br />naturally want to link to them!<br />The “Bad” Way<br />Buying link placements on websites, link exchanges, software that spams blogs & forums, <br />any way that is “manipulative” and done with the sole purpose of getting a link back to your <br />site. These are “web spam” tactics.<br />
  41. 41. It can be hard to resist temptation…<br />Spammy Links<br />Natural Links<br />Photo credit:<br />
  42. 42. Recent Headlines<br />“How Organized Spam is Taking Control of Google’s Search Results”<br />“Why Google is Choked With Spam”<br />“Google’s Decreasingly Useful, Spam-Filled Web Search”<br />“Is Google Losing its Fight Against Spam?”<br />“How Google is Creating a Web of Spam”<br />“Why We Desperately Need a New and Better Google”<br />Photo Credit:<br />
  43. 43. Search Addresses the Pitfalls:Changing Algorithms<br />Mentions on Twitter, Facebook, and potentially others about a brand or website may be a part of Google’s algorithm in terms of how websites rank:<br />“We do use Twitter and Facebook links in ranking, as we always have in our web search rankings, but in addition we’re also trying to figure out a little bit about the reputation of an author or a creator on twitter or Facebook.”<br /> - Matt Cutts, Google (December 2010)<br /><ul><li> Looks like search engines are playing around with using social media mentions </li></ul>as trust and authority signals – like they do with links.<br /><ul><li> Maybe “Likes” will be the new links?</li></li></ul><li>What Do These Changes Mean for You?<br /><ul><li> If you have a website, your social media participation and mentions (or lack thereof) may affect how it ranks in search engines for your keywords.
  44. 44. Your videos, blog posts, tweets, facebook shares could potentially show up in search engine results, expanding your reach.</li></ul>“Sites that aren’t getting some social exposure (mentions and links from social media sites) won’t do well.  (Yep we keep saying it, and it’s true – you need to be on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn).”<br /> - Search Engine Journal<br />Photo Credit:<br />
  45. 45. Things You Can Do to Help You Be Seen in the SERPs<br />
  46. 46. Blogging<br /><ul><li> If you have a current site, set up a blog on it if possible (
  47. 47. WordPress or maybe BlogEngine.NET for sites hosted on Windows servers
  48. 48. Blog platform should have the ability to make friendly URLs for SEO purposes
  49. 49. (
  50. 50. Search Engines love blogs - Use keywords in your titles
  51. 51. Get over not knowing what to write about
  52. 52. Write about things in your industry that people are searching for
  53. 53. Write about questions you commonly answer
  54. 54. Keep ‘em updated so Google keeps crawling them</li></li></ul><li>YouTube<br /><ul><li> Gets over 2 million views per day (and it’s owned by Google)
  55. 55. Instead of writing a blog post or an FAQ, turn it into a video
  56. 56. You don’t need studio-quality production to make one
  57. 57. Keyword-rich title for video and use “tags” to list your keywords
  58. 58. Example: “how to train your dog” returns 10,500,000 results in Google
  59. 59. That’s pretty competitive!
  60. 60. Add your website or contact info in your description on YouTube</li></li></ul><li>Facebook<br /><ul><li> Over 600 million active users as of January 2011
  61. 61. Having a business page will most likely give your business another search result for searches on your company due to the authority of Facebook
  62. 62. Good for reputation management
  63. 63. Fill out all your business information completely, including web address
  64. 64. Commit to interacting on a regular basis
  65. 65. Through informal testing, lack of activity on facebook page may not always</li></ul>equate to a search result for a search on a business name<br /><ul><li> i.e., don’t just make a page and do nothing with it </li></li></ul><li>Twitter<br /><ul><li> There are 1 billion tweets per week as of March 15th, 2011
  66. 66. Having a twitter account for your business will most likely give your business another search result for searches on your company due to the authority of Twitter
  67. 67. Good for reputation management
  68. 68. Individual tweets can show up as a search result in some cases
  69. 69. You can use Twitter’s internal search to search for your keywords and follow/engage people that are using them
  70. 70. Use keywords in the bio section – Google will sometimes use this as the description in the SERPs
  71. 71. Don’t forget about tweets in real time results!</li></li></ul><li>LinkedIn<br /><ul><li> Over 100 million users – it’s like Facebook’s professional older sibling
  72. 72. Having a company page will most likely give your business another search result for searches on your company due to LinkedIn’s authority
  73. 73. Good for reputation management & credibility
  74. 74. Fill out all your business information completely, including web address
  75. 75. The website links can have anchor text (i.e. “merchant account”) that can link to whatever address your specify – good for SEO if you have a website
  76. 76. There are many new features, including embedding videos, showcasing products and services, and customer recommendations
  77. 77. Use keywords that you’re targeting in your company’s description and products</li></ul>and services<br />
  78. 78. Don’t let all of this stress you out.<br />Photo Credit:<br />
  79. 79. Wrap Up<br /><ul><li>Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to be on every network
  80. 80. Find what works for you
  81. 81. Stick to it
  82. 82. Use social networks to:
  83. 83. Gain more visibility in SERPs – control your own brand
  84. 84. Help out your website for the long haul</li></ul>Photo Credit:<br />