Customer Connections Now Important for Google Results

Google Puts Social Results in the Mix

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If you are one of those people still skeptical about the business uses of social media, you may be interested to know that Google’s Social Search is no longer just an experiment. Though it does have the beta tag on it, it is now mainstream. This is something we’ve all known would come sooner or later, but now it’s here.

Have you established enough connections to do well in social search? Comment here.

If people were already seeing different search results from one another before, that is really going to be true now, now that Google is plugging results based on the individual’s social circle into any given SERP. This is one of the many ways SEO is changing, and it would appear that any business looking to get some play in Google search, would do well to have as many connections established as possible, via various social networking sites and tools.

Keep in mind that the social circle is based upon information that Google has about you from your Google account. You can see your list of connections anytime from here (assuming you have a Google account). It pulls connections from your Google Contacts, and any services you have listed on your Google profile (assuming you have services listed on your profile). If you have Twitter listed for example (Facebook connections are not public), anyone you are connected to through one of those services is fair game for potential search results.

Google’s thinking is that if the user is connected to certain people, results from those people will have relevance because you know and trust them. Google says, "You can improve social search results for your friends and contacts by linking to content you have created such as blogs, photos and videos on your Google profile."

"We’ve been having a lot of fun with Social Search. It’s baby season here on our team — two of us just had little ones, and a third is on the way," the company says in the announcement. "We’re all getting ready to be parents for the first time and we have lots of questions. So, what do we do? We search Google, of course! With Social Search, when we search for [baby sleep patterns], [swaddling] or [best cribs], not only do we get the usual websites with expert opinions, we also find relevant pages from our friends and contacts. For example, if one of my friends has written a blog where he talks about a great baby shop he found in Mountain View, this might appear in my social results. I could probably find other reviews, but my friend’s blog is more relevant because I know and trust the author."

Appearing in social search results means:

1. Make sure you have all of your important links on your Google Profile.
2. Make as many connections as possible.
3. Encourage customers to follow you via social networks.
4. Participate in social media so people will engage with you.
5. Encourage sharing of content (there are plenty available social media buttons)
6. Include social network info on business cards/signage, etc.
7. Include social network info in your online advertising
8. There are probably many more worthwhile tips (if you have any, share them in the comments).

Google’s social search doesn’t end with regular web search. They’re adding it to image search, and who knows what else. Look for a lot more features to become part of social search, as Google leaves that Beta tag on. Let’s not forget that Gmail only left beta last year, and I don’t have to tell you they’ve added a lot to that over the years.

Just remember that social results will always be clearly marked as such on Google’s SERPs. They will be accompanied by a heading that says "Results from your social circle". Still, for traditional SEO it is just one more thing to compete with as far as page real estate. That’s why social is a much more of an important part of search than ever.

Google has been making many moves over the last couple years that seem to slowly turn it more and more into its own social network. Now that its profiles have a direct impact on search results, how people view Google in this light is likely to change significantly. Once more and more average users start to realize the social features are being integrated more into their everyday searches, they may find themselves getting sucked into using Google as more of a social tool, as opposed to just search.

What are your thoughts on Google’s social search? Discuss here.

Related Articles:

> Google Profiles Go to the SERPs

> Google Launches Social Search Experiment

> Can Search Engine Optimization Survive Google?

Customer Connections Now Important for Google Results
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  • Guest

    Why do we want Google to know every single aspect of every single thing we like, dislike, think, or talk about? Are we so lazy or is it so backwards that if I want a friend’s opinion on something that I merely pick up the phone to ask them? Or talk to them when I see them? Does everything have to be marketed to and monetized and created as another variable in the equation that makes up an individual?

    The more “social” things get, the less personal they are. Do you really need 500 Facebook friends? Do we really want hypertargeted ads staring back at us whenever we check our emails? When we let Google destroy the interpersonal relationships that have built human society for generations in the name of electronic convenience, what does it leave us?

    It leaves us slaves to the idols we created in order to further isolate ourselves from actual human interaction, where our foibles and idiosyncrasies are for us and our friends to know, not a cold, inhuman and impersonal monster that transforms the very nature of our beings into a commodity.

    • Guest

      its all about control… always has been… yet when i spotted the internet (super information highway) i thought this is my way out… there not controlling it… guess what there attempting too… there afraid of the internet… there afraid of online voting… they need to control… its built in flaw of human nature… wait… they will tax the internet soon… there probable drooling all over that mere thought… as i type this… theres more yet “it doesnt matter” “just keep throwing dollars at it and it will go away…” “They want… what they want… what they want…” and dont care… about you… me or guy down the road… going to meditate now… thank you for reading…

  • http://marketingsecretz.com marketing secrets

    This is just another case of Google getting too big and trying to control every aspect of our lives.

  • http://www.innovativepassiveincome.com jadedragon

    Now more then ever we need to build networks of pseudo-friends just to get our businesses found. Plus now my real friends can find everything out about me much easier. How does this make my life easier? I don’t get it.

  • http://www.frames.uk.com/ Moonshine Framing

    on a business/seo level it just adds another layer of work and time for everybody. For small business like ours, who have used google extensively for organic search to bring us new customers, withot any conventional advertising or PPC, and usually top 1, 2 or 3 for our particular chosen keywords we have had a good “free” ride for the past five years.
    But has it really been free? how many hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours working at the web sites, link building, reviews, youtube, forums, and now social media too add to the workload.

    How much collective time, energy, electricity, resources and brainwater around the world is going to get poured into this new latest SEO device?

    We might see a backlash some day, where people return to conventional (press/radio/TV) advertising because its going to be simpler, easier, and cheaper. At the moment, as a DIY-SEOer (seo is something i have to do for my business, but it isn’t what my business does) I do only as much as I need to do to stay ahead of the competition, and the rest of the time I spend running my business.

    Have we become too-willing slaves to google?

    • http://pagestat.com PageStat

      Somewhat of a good point, but commercials, radio, and traditional forms of adverts cost money something webmasters (most webmasters) can’t afford. While i have spent thousands upon thousands of hours working, it was free.

      Being the only working person in my family with 2 kids, its hard to buy a commercial during the superbowl. I was going to, but i just don’t have a few million dollars to toss into a 30sec commercial. So I guess ill just have to keep working on Internet Marketing and Stuff. :)

  • http://www.hotsoup.nl Rogier

    G**gle: from big brother towards big friend! And remember, it is always you who has the social connections. Don’t get paranoid

  • http://www.cheapoverseasproperty.co.uk Altinkum

    Up until now I real did admire google but this has just turned me against them.

    I am a real estate agent, people don’t follow real estate agents, point blank.

    Now having to search through plug ins etc to try and come up with some way to build connections, also spend a lot of time looking at competitors websites so is this now going to corrupt results for me.

    I just don’t get it, one of the reasons people surf the web is because they want new information, nothing to do with what their mates are doing!

    Swear coming out of my mouth and that is it.

  • Guest

    No impressed – I’m not giving G any more info that I have to – I will not be beholden to them – I don’t trust them and for good reason – my social circle is MY social circle – not theirs.

  • http://www.flipwebsites.com Website Flipping

    I have been very reluctant to jump on the social marketing bandwagon (aka Web 2.0). I’ve been an Internet Marketer since 2005 and to date I have done very little. However, in the past couple years social marketing has really taken off and now I find myself joining the game kicking and screaming. I personally think the whole concept of “being part of a community” and making all these “connections” with people I don’t even know is kind of a joke, but if that’s what I have to do to stay in the game I guess I’ll do it. The only alternative is to pay for PPC and that game is even more cut throat than SEO.


  • Ken

    Google Social Search assumes that everyone has only one email address which is connected to a social network. I have 50 of them. So in order to search all my friends content I would have to log off and on 50 times and maintain 50 profiles. So I’m giving a big thumbs down on Google Social Search.

  • http://www.simplifun.com guest

    This is all wrong. Google is defining how we live our lives and spend the hours in our day. Using our connections to provide search results is a way to get everyone to use google applications. Some day we will be very sorry google knows everything about is. What we are cooking, what we are shopping for, what movies we watch, where we travel and who we are talking to.

    This is a step in the wrong direction for everyone. The only ones who will be happy are those who can charge for implementing the changes.

    As a web searcher, it’s getting harder to find what I’m looking for. The SERP lists are junk on these days. Too much talk about nothing in 90% of the sites that get listed and I happen to click and visit. Just five years ago I could find what I was looking for and make a purchase pretty quickly, now I have to visit too many sites who are hoping I’ll leave by clicking on advertising. Sites that exist only to hope I’ll click and leave are a waste of resources.

  • http://narkvschwartz.com Mark Schwartz

    Does this mean I should go out an import 10,000 names into my GMail contacts list?

    • Guest

      I don’t understand where these “contacts” are or how to acquire them? There seems to be no option to “add friends” or “add contacts” on the profile page? Then I thought maybe they were saying the “contacts” were all your “friends” and “contacts” that Google finds in your social networks via links you put on your profile page. I don’t get it???

  • http://www.slk-tour.com Angel

    We reserve hotels in Saint Petersburg, the invitation to Russia, registration in Russia

  • http://workhomeunion.com WorkHomeUnion

    To say that Google is a Monopoly would be a gross understatement. However the difference between a traditional Monopoly, like AT&T once was, and the way Google is now, Google gives many Internet Marketers a chance to make millions and that is why Google will always thrive no matter what we think of this Internet GIANT … Most people cop the attitude of, “certainly can’t beat em, so may as well join em.”

  • http://fultonmo.com albelcher

    I do web marketing for a real estate firm and hold my own across the board of relevent search phrases. As we are already ahead of the local pack on social platforms this will only further concrete our position I would think. Now we just have to extend it a bit. Becoming more engaged in our network of contacts is going to help our bottom line more than our search position so this, however nosering’d is going to be goiod for us. One or two good sales from the new work added will make it all worth while.

  • http://www.dentistspreston.co.uk/ pahlbod

    very confusing as always , as big companies take over the market ,they become less and less forgiving and more demanding

  • Brett

    So let’s see, if I do not have a Google account or I am not involved in extensive social networking but I am trying to promote my products or services online I will be “by default” put at a disadvantage.
    And that’s not even taking into consideration someone like me who uses social networking for Uhhhh, “social networking” will need to convert my social space into a Soap Box to promote or pitch my products or services to friends and family in an attempt to improve my search rankings.
    I for one do not use my social space to seek out or find people who happen to be in a similar industry, my social space is reserved for friends and family and we discuss day to day events that usually have nothing to do with business
    and in my opinion to work this into the mix just doesn’t make sense.
    When I search for something online I do not want to see a bunch of dribble or ramblings from people I don’t know.
    I want relevant results.
    Google already gives us the option to filter our results by Images, Videos, News, Blogs, Updates, Books and Forums, how much more crud to really need to add to this mix?
    The term K.I.S.S. comes to mind, “Keep it Simple stupid”
    It’s a shame people around the world trying to market anything online are forced to bow to whims of Google.
    Brett Donald

  • http://www.smallbusinessinternetmarketing.com.au/ Brisbane SEM

    As a Brisbane Search Engine Marketing company part of our sales proposition to small business in the need to engage in social media. Traditionally the sell has been difficult as the ROI on social media activities has been difficult if not impossible to measure. With Google’s latest announcement the sell has just become that much easier. Once again business will have to come kicking and screaming into the new world if they are wanting to maintain there serps or crash into the front page.

    • http://www.connecticutplastics.com Michele Larocque

      I was a skeptic too, at first. We are a small manufacturing company, though we do have a world wide customer base, and rely on our website for new business. I was not convinced that social media would help us, but at the urging of our SEO company, we dived in. I can say that we are very very happy with the results. It has helped us to remain on page one for most of our key words. And that is the key to potential customers finding us. There is an art to social media though, and it takes time before you see results. And it is something you have to work at every week. The combination of social media, great content, and back linking, (like the one I am getting by leaving this post) all work to keep our site on page one in SERP results.

  • http://www.dtmagazine.com Fearless Rick

    Why don’t webmasters start thinking like businesspeople instead of heavy reliance on Google and search engines.

    The original aim of the internet was to establish a high speed framework for communication. In that regard, it is a smashing success. That big businesses came in and dominated as the web morphed into different areas was expected.

    This social media nonsense is probably overrated. People marketing this stuff are full of fluff. Google’s involvement in it proves that.

    My approach to the web was always to grow a business on repeat traffic and I surely get plenty of that. My ad revenues continue to rise as long as I continue to promote to the right people. Google, and all their marketing tools, particularly, Adsense-Adwords, are not the end all. I’m rooting for Bing and other search intensive companies to take share. Competition breeds innovation.

  • http://www.wte-ltd.co.uk Septic Tank Systems

    Googles search results are getting worse as time goes on. If I wanted images, I would have selected them. Same goes for books, you-tube, etc.
    No wonder people are moving to Yahoo and Bing – at least the results are a lot more relevant.

    • Phil Baker

      The more Social Results that Google shows, the more ridiculous the search results are going to be and people WILL switch to a different search engine.
      Most of the Social Media site posts are garbage and who needs more of it??
      It’s about time that Webmasters started to spend more time optimising the websites for content and less time worrying about how many Tweets they have posted.
      Come the search engine revoluton they will be glad they did.

  • http://www.crystaltanks.co.uk Crystal Tanks

    Most of the people I know who have loads of friends on Facebook have very few actual friends in reality!! Who needs ‘Virtual Friends’?
    We are sewage treatment plant and septic tank suppliers and although we do have a Twitter account and Tweet regularly, I will be amazed if we ever obtain one single sale as a result of it.

    • Adam

      I know a lot of people on Facebook and most of them never see their Facebook friends, even if they live close by?? That’s not any kind of freindship in my book.
      One guy I know who has hundreds of friends on his Facebook page – mainly beautiful girls I might add and good for his ego – has NEVER had anyone round to his house for a drink or meal in 8 years – a real Saddo.
      If you want to get in touch with your mates, ring them up, have a real chat, go for a drink??
      It’s no good saying that it’s too expensive to phone – if you have a computer then get Skype and its’s FREE!! but ‘Twiddly-Thumbs’ on Facebook is just as Crystal Tanks says – VIRTUAL FRIENDS

  • http://www.merlinsltd.com jim barett

    It seems that we have become willing slaves to the big companies.

  • Guest

    I think Google has friends and connections confused. If i’m building a business and want to establish business connections in say linkedin, I don’t need their opinion when I’m going to buy a personal item. I have lots of connections at different places like flickr. I share something in common with them (photography) but I don’t want their opinion on where they bought their shoes online.
    Google – back off

  • http://www.ldii-sidoarjo.org ldii

    The more complex issues about Google SERP. Search result base on friendship. What about the value of content and relevancy. I don’t see any advantage of this move. I think this is the start for Google to grab social network market.

  • http://www.cluey.com.au SEO Copywriter

    Seems to me that if Google can’t access private social media pages (and most individuals in their right mind keep private information secure) then all that’s really being indexed is SEO driven content put there for search engines to see.

    • http://www.lexolution.in/blog Maneet Puri

      I don’t think we can generalize this! Google Social Search is not about showing you personal information of people in your network. In fact, all the content featured in search engine results, at least in the first pages… are optimized. Social search is all about showing you content from you peer network that you may better trust as compared to the general public.

      Say, if I am looking out for a web designer… I would probably be more comfortable talking someone in my known network, at least for a discussion of sorts (whether or not I hire the services) more than I’d trust any random service provider that I come across on the web.

  • http://www.killerwebs.info Killerwebs

    How will it be indexed?

  • Guest

    I don’t understand where these “contacts” are or how to acquire them? There seems to be no option to “add friends” or “add contacts” on the profile page? I thought they were saying the “contacts” were all your “friends” and “contacts” that Google finds in your social networks via links you put on your profile page. I don’t get it???

    • Chris Crum

      You can include a link to your Twitter account on your Google Profile page for example, and Google will include the people you follow in social search results. The key would be to use that Twitter account to engage with customers, so that if they follow you, you may be more likely to turn up in their results. The more you engage with people, and the more people who follow you on different networks (so long as the information is public), the better chance you have for showing up in more people’s social results. You’ll be part of more people’s social circle.

      • Kathy

        “Link to your Twitter acct on your Google home page.” Do you mean, add your Twitter feed to your Google home page? Now, how does a company actually do this? Companies do not have Google home pages.

        “…Google will include the people you follow in social search results.” Do you mean, Google will include the links from people you follow in social search results.” Really, I am confused by this.

        “Use the Twitter acct to engage with customers, so if they follow you, you may be more likely to turn up in their results.” You are speaking for an individual SEO professional. How does that actually work for a company? Also, you make it sound like people would need to somehow connect their Google profile page with our company Twitter account in order for our companies Tweets to appear in their search results.

        “…the better chance you have for showing up in more people’s social results.” Do you mean, “…the better chance you have for showing up in more people’s social results so long as they have a Google profile and have your feed in their Google profile.”??


        “You can improve social search results for your friends and contacts by linking to content you have created such as blogs, photos and videos on your Google profile.”
        Do you mean

        • Guest

          Yeah, the mechanics of this STILL are not clear to me. The article mentions about Google “contacts”. And they those “contacts” are the ones who’s results will be altered to see YOUR info first in the list of results. I put a bunch of links to my social sites onto my Google profile page. But like I said in my first comment, I cannot see any way to “add a friend” or “add a contact”. And when I go to another Google profile, I also see no button or link to add that person as a contact. Yet I somehow finally managed to find an area that says I have 0 contacts. And the empty box has an “add email” button? And an “Add” button, when I click the “Add” button, it kicks me over to a gmail log-in page??? I have no gmail associated with this Google profile. They can’t possibly want me to go thru and copy and paste every email address from my email client? I TOTALLY DON’T GET THIS.

      • Rachel

        Whwre do I find my ‘Google Profile’ page?

  • Heaventree

    The idea of using linkedin, facebook, twitter and blogging as away to sell to the “unsuspecting buying public” was at first blush overwelming. For the novice internet marketer it takes time to get comfortable with this concept. Giving usefull information through this media helped me to get comfortable. In our industry there are many companies that make what we make and we all share the same problems inherent with using our product. By giving usefull information about the product we all make we are helping people get comfortable with us.

  • http://www.womensbras.biz Guest

    Google become terrific…

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    Kenya Easy Safaris – Offers Kenya Safaris Holidays Travel Tours & Vacations. Info on Kenya Safaris East African Adventure safaris in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda

  • http://www.vcinternetmedia.com SEO

    Page Rank is Google’s way of deciding a page’s importance. It matters because it is one of the factors that determines a page’s ranking in the search results Then use the results to improve your own online presence.

    Thanks for sharing these list…

    Online Marketing Company

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