Google Social Search Launches – What Does This Mean For SEO?

Posted by Mark Thompson - October 27, 2009 - Social Media - 3 Comments

Google will be releasing a new type of search, called Google Social Search, which will allow social content from websites like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and Linkedin to be pulled into Google search results.  This is a response to Microsoft’s recent announcement of a deal with Twitter and Facebook that will allow updates to be found in Bing search results.  More and more users are engaging  and communicating through multiple social outlets including social networks, blogs, micro-blogging, and user generated content.

Google Social Search is the newest way for Google to keep up with social trends and improve the SEPRs by providing the most relevant results for a search query.

Watch a video from Matt Cutts who explains how Google Social Search works.

One of the biggest changes to Google Social Search, is the ability for Google to pull in results from your “social circle”.  Google defines your social circle as people you are connected to through social services such as Twitter and Friendfeed that you’ve listed in your Google profile.  Your social circle as consists of your contacts within your Gmail chat list and friends, family and coworkers in your contact groups for Google.

Watch the video that shows a demonstration of how Google Social Search works.

What Does This Mean for SEOs

Now that Google is starting to add more of a social element to their results, it will be important for SEOs to be that much more involved in these social sites.  Using Twitter to post new content, share information and connecting with people will now be a new tactic in gaining search engine traffic.

Recently SEOs have been using social media as a major contributor in their internet marketing strategies.  I would expect that SEOs will spend even more time building credibility, networking, promoting content, and communicating because of Google Social Search.

Google Social Search will be rolling out to everyone in the next few weeks, however you can opt-in to the new search within Google Labs.

About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter

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This info is really timely Mark. Facebook's like button is really scaring the $#@% out of google. Google Wave and google buzz failed to get traction in creating a social community that google controlled. However, this latest attempt (IMHO) holds more chance of success, because they are using information that Twitter and Friendfeed etc are already giving the world. At least now google isn't being stupid and trying to convince the world that they can do everything as well as being a search engine. If they had just stuck to adding value to their users and also the social communities (the very same ethos that propelled them into the stratosphere in the first place), then they would have been further ahead than they are now. However, they've given facebook plenty of time to cement it's position and it's now going to be a tough battle for them. I totally agree with what you've said in this article; SEOs need to get well versed in social media and actually getting involved in the community (instead of just spamming it). I think this is a massively positive move by google, and it's given me confidence that they still might be relevant in 5 years time. I've borrowed your videos above and used them on my own article about this topic . It's especially interesting in light of how search in general is moving away from automated algorithms, towards human based communities giving relevance and meaning to data on the internet.

John Chen
John Chen

I've had varied success so far with social search, on some queries it has brought up good usable results from my friends blogs. On most occasions it just beings up results from people that seem to have the search phrase in them, no context at all. Me thinks Google will need to create some new algos for social-search rankings, or maybe I just need more friends for them to crawl through. Your readers might also appreciate this post I made regarding the recent Google vs Bing real-time social-search battles -