A few months ago some talking head from Facebook said that they were going to take on Google. This was obviously fuelled by the fact that they’d just got half the planet poking each other and ‘liking’ each others pictures of the staff party where Dianne photocopied her backside and broke the glass.
People analysed this and said “what’s this fool talking about? Facebook isn’t a search tool???”
They were right, but they were missing a valid point, one I’ve been making for a while…
At our last free seminar (which if you weren’t there then you missed a truly awesome event. Best ever. Jealous?) I made a rather emotional statement about the future of search and how people are beginning to use Facebook for recommendation. This, I waffled, was because people are social and they’re more likely to believe a friend or a friend of a friend (trust by proxy) when they are recommended something.
This is why breakfast meetings work. People will trust someone who they share a sausage with rather than someone just thrusting a leaflet in their hand or approaching them in the street. It’s because in general we like to get on with other people and there are studies galore that will tell you about how people behave in herds.
But how does this affect search?
Well, earlier this week another talking head from Bing (I can’t even be bothered to look up their names, I’m *that* lazy) said that they were going to integrate people’s ‘likes’ with their search results. For Bing this is probably a big deal because their search is pretty awful. By adding another signal to their algorithm they are saying that people can now recommend things to friends passively. It’s not just that they’ll send you a message to say “you should go to this restaurant” but if they have “liked” that restaurant in the past and you happen to be searching for somewhere nice to eat then you’ll be presented with your friend’s recommendation. Probably.
Google responded a day later with their own take on the issue and obviously it’s better than Bing’s. What they’re going to do is to take signals from lots of different places (they’ve admitted they do this anyway) and used recommendations and ‘likes’ and Tweets and all sorts to help their search. What this means is that we now need to get even more social with our SEO. Google is now taking more notice of where its links are coming from, not just the amount of links.
It makes it pretty much a requirement that if you take your website seriously and want it to be found then you’re going to have to get out there on social media. You NEED a Facebook page and you NEED to get people tweeting about you.
Obviously we can do all this too. It’d be wrong of me not to end on an advert so here it is : “We’re great at this”
Have a very good weekend, you deserve it.