It seems Google has recognized endorsements from strangers mean little in an age where endorsements people we know are only a Facebook page away. In comes Google’s integrated Social Search, where a blog post rises through the ranks not through SEO, but by being retweeted by the respected, the famous or the popular.
These new and underrated tools work for the little guy – large organisations entrench their rankings like rats in Tobruk, yet no traditional SEO will save them from a viral campaign that starts a retweeting frenzy, or a Google +1 from a friend, granting first position for them and all their contacts. Its a brave new world, but one that can be navigated with powerful results.
Of course, traditional SEO isn’t going anywhere, but it will have to be supplemented. Social media in search results is emerging as a wildcard personalisation of a previously predictable channel. Adjusting isn’t easy, but here are the 8 most important social strategies to begin driving social search traffic, today:
- Entrance into Google+ is a must. This isn’t some experimental sideshow from Google, its their future as a company. Sharing will enhance your websites search results, Google circles will drive otherwise low ranking articles right to the top, and authorship personalizes articles, giving them a distinct authority in a search results page.
- Articles you write should go everywhere. Automatic tools can help you do this, but the principle remains constant, any new content written should immediately go on Facebook, Google+, Linked In, Twitter, and more. Remember that timeliness matters, old content dies fast in the social space
- Google +1: buttons wherever you can fit them. Google ads now include the feature, and so should everything on your website. Its the youtube thumbs up – for the whole internet.
- Use authorship. By putting “rel=me” and “rel=author” tags in posts, Google will grant you a photograph and an author link right the search results, granting instant privilege over competing articles. Doing this isn’t difficult. just follow these instructions
- Increase your followers: As sharing allows for enhanced search results Google wide, G+ followers are absolutely critical. Entice users in every and any way you can, from promotional activities to free giveaways. Reward your existing followers as well, exclusive content is an easy way to do it.
- Use Pinterest, and StumbleUpon. Pinterest is the fastest growing social network in the race, and the referral traffic it offers is stunning. StumbleUpon is second only to Facebook in referrals, yet it never seems to be put on equal ground with its peers. Use them both, they are important.
- Add their buttons as well. All websites have Facebook and Twitter buttons now, put the “Pin it” and “StumbleUpon” buttons nest to them as well.
- Content should be shareable: What is shareable content? Info-graphics and other visual media are shared the most, and can generate killer traction in the social circuit. Keep titles punchy and alluring, Notice the influx of numbers in titles recently? That little trick was mastered by cracked years ago.