Where is Search headed with Google Social Search?
Google implements Social Search. If you are signed in to Google and do a search; your search results will show relevant web content written by people in your social circle. These results will be under the heading "Results from people in your social circle."
Like anything new that gets launched, there are people waiting to put old (er) proven techniques to bed. Case in point is that some people think that Social Networking will supersede the need for Search Engine Optimization.
I say “Hardly”!!!
I believe that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still the best way to gain new leads and visibility. But I also believe that search engine optimization can no longer be a stand-alone solution for a business seeking to generate visibility.
So what does that mean for a business owner?
Search Engine Optimization is important. That’s because your website needs to be found when people are searching for information or for products and services.
(Optimizing your website means making sure your website has been prepared with key phrases, relevant content, link building and ensuring that all that is continuously updated. Users searching the web for information have become more and more savvy. Most consumers who are ready to making a buying decision know that by putting in long-tail keywords, they can find what they want.)
However, with Google implementing Social Search; more and more consumers will rely on trusted opinions from their network to make a decision. Not only will it be necessary to get your website optimized for search engines; it will become imperative that your brand also to be engaged in social networks.
With Google Social Search people in your network may influence your decision on what brands get a thumbs-up and what brands get a thumbs-down. Consumers will begin trusting the opinions of other consumers just like themselves and begin making buying decisions based on what their networks are recommending.
But I believe that consumers aren’t naïve. They won’t just rely on opinions from their network because those opinions will be biased due to personal choices, financial constraints, and preferences of individuals in their network.
So Social Search results may result in influencing a decision but in a majority of the cases, consumers will continue to see the value of Search Engine Optimization.
My two-cents? The value of Search Engine Optimization will increase, not decrease! (By the way, don’t expect to see Facebook discussions on Google Social Search yet; the power brokers on each side are probably still negotiating terms)