Social Search: Your shortcut to more Google search traffic!

2010 is soon on its way out and it’s been a very exciting year for online marketing.

In February we discussed how Google is working to give social networks a much greater influence in its search results. Since then, Google Buzz did a very good impression of a belly flop and now everyone is watching to see if Google can eventually make some kind of come back with Google Me, which has been delayed to spring 2011.

While Google has failed so far to establish its own social network to rival Facebook, its Social Search feature has really taken off – excellent news because it’s an easy way to boost your SEO! Let’s see why.

Social Search gives added prominence to search results from people inside your Social Circle, when you have a Google Profile and are logged in to your Google account. This means that you see the top 10 Google search results as always, and results from your social group appear in the 11th spot.

See where this is going? People in your Social Circle also get to see your website in their search results when they are signed in to Google.

In Google’s own words, your Social Circle includes:

  • People in your Gmail (or Google Talk) chat list
  • People in your Friends, Family, and Coworkers groups in your Google contacts
  • People you’re publicly connected to through social sites, such as Twitter and FriendFeed, that appear on your Google profile or in your public Google Buzz stream.
  • People you’re following in Google Reader and Google Buzz
  • People who are connections of those in your immediate, public social circle. This means that if you have a friend on Twitter, and he follows five people, those additional five people may also be included in your social circle.

In other words, it is easier than ever to get a jolly good 11th ranking for the people that matter, just by working on your social media accounts and growing a strong network of clients and prospects interested in your business.

This is exactly what Bill Sebald over at Search Engine Journal discovered. Bill was quite surprised to find out that he was somehow getting Google traffic for SEO keywords that he knew were not ranking well at all. Was it a spot of goodwill from the Google Fairy? After some digging through traffic logs Bill found out that (yes, you guessed) this apparent SEO magic was all thanks to the Social Search. He explains:

Even though I haven’t been doing a lot to optimize my blog for these new terms in the last six months, I realized I was actually doing a lot of things in social lately. I’ve been increasing my followers/friends and producing social content about 10% month over month, which is pretty much in sync with the keyword traffic growth. In other words, the byproduct of this social work was more displays of this listing on connected searchers’ result pages.

How about that?

Read Bill’s writeup for the full story and if that doesn’t convince you to really get going with your social media, then nothing will!

Get a Google Profile for your business if you don’t have one, and build your Social Circle now. Make sure to add in all your social networks, including Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, and, of course, your website. Then get to work growing your social networks and getting your company more followers (which means more people who will be able to find you through Social Search). And remember to keep an eye on your web logs to see just how much you can bump up your Google traffic. Only this time it will be no surprise! Thank you, Social Search.

(By the way, make sure you have specific company accounts for the different social networks and set them up to all use the same e-mail address, so that you can create a more solid brand your business.)

So get cracking with this great shortcut to better search results from Google. Forget about New Year resolutions. That’s too late.

Start now and take 2011 by storm!

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