The rules of search results are constantly changing and is a testament to a highly dynamic industry, where there seems to be never-ending volatility in how search results are determined. Ken Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax, the #1 rated SEO firm in the United States and Australia, discusses how Social Media can be changing your search results.
“Although traditional search engine optimization (SEO) techniques dominate the ability of achieving favorable ranking positions on major search engines, Social Media has been making a substantial push toward affecting the order in which websites appear in search results”, states Wisnefski. “The addition of Google’s +1 and Bing’s Facebook plug-in have both made a significant argument for social media’s effects on SEO and the pending public release of Google Plus will be no exception”.
Google’s +1 went live June 1, 2011, and gives users a way to recommend to their network (Google chat contacts, Gmail contacts) webpages and ads that they feel are useful and contain relevant and authoritative information. Pages that generate many +1’s will populate earlier on Google search results than those websites and ads that do not. Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, announced not long ago that a new Facebook plug-in will favor websites that have been “liked” by users’ network of contacts on Facebook. These two additions solidify the notion that one’s level of importance within the social graph is highly valued within search algorithms and rank placements. In addition, recent additions within Google’s Analytics and Web Master Tools, as well as continued Facebook Insights enhancements, allow web site owners more data than ever related to social engagement.
Although these changes are impacting SEO, it is a move to continue to provide quality content to end-users, by continuing to filter out websites and ads that lack value. The challenge for SEO firms going forward includes not only optimizing websites, but also creating enticing webpages that are likely to attract “seal of approval’s” from their users.
“Fortunately, for WebiMax, we saw these changes on the horizon in early 2011 when Google and Bing began discussing social media’s new role on search results. We like these changing dynamics in the industry! We’ve been able to position our clients to use these adjustments to their advantage, thus promoting their online visibility and exposure even more-so, while at the same time, having to worry less about poor quality websites that may stand in our way”, concludes Wisnefski.