Search & Social focuses on how search engines are weighting social media influences, share signals and user rating data to provide users with a more ‘personalized’ set of results. In addition to exploring the growing intersection of search and social networks, columnists provide insight on how to integrate search marketing and social activities for optimal results and more targeted traffic from these channels working together.

SEO & Social Media Alignment

social-couldbe-disruptive-aspanda I recently presented at SMX East on how SEO and Social teams can no longer operate separately. Why? Because social media is playing an ever-more important role in SEO, and it has the potential to be disruptive to the status quo. Everywhere I turn, I find examples: personalized rank results, results with rel-author that display in Google search more prominently, and recently, # searches that incorporate G+ hashtag queries as part of the Google search experience. The Value Of Aligning Search & Social Traditionally, SEO has focused on content, website architecture and linking. The [...]

How To Optimize For Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm

photo credit: Marc Wathieu via photopin cc As you may have heard, Facebook EdgeRank is no more. A Facebook insider recently confirmed that the term [EdgeRank] is no longer being used internally (and hasn't been for over two years) and noted that there are currently over 100,000 factors that go into what a user sees on their News Feed when users log into Facebook. [caption id="attachment_174183" align="alignright" width="300"] photo credit: Marc Wathieu via photopin cc[/caption] Like Google with Hummingbird, Facebook is improving on its ability to detect high-quality content. In order to best optimize for Facebook's News Feed alg [...]

The Lost Art Of Social Sharing Buttons

Sharing buttons are no doubt one of the best ways to get your content shared via social media, email and other online channels. However, while many website owners agree that sharing buttons are a good thing, not everyone agrees on how to implement them. There are several ways to optimize these buttons to increase your shares -- thus increasing traffic, engagement, and total online presence. Optimizing your social buttons is as easy as doing initial research on your existing button traffic (if possible through Google Analytics or social button metrics) to make sure you are choosing the best [...]

5 Free Deep Reputation Management Checking Tools

Remember back in the day when search results were just ten blue text links on a page? Back then, the search results were so simple that reputation management was pretty straightforward. You could clearly see if those blue links connected to positive content -- if so, your reputation was great. Unfortunately, things aren't so easy now. Universal search, complaint websites, social media, wikis, forums and other platforms have increased those ORM touch points from 1 to an increasingly large number. Ultimately, monitoring all of these different sites for the purpose of protecting your image [...]

Is Being Found Part Of Your Social Media Strategy?

[caption id="attachment_158516" align="alignright" width="300"] Social search optimization should be part of your social media strategy. Image: CC BY-SA 2.0 by olarte.ollie[/caption] Successful communication is all about getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. In the first part of this two-part series on search and social media sites, I noted the undeniable importance of social media as evidenced by the sheer volume of social media updates posted daily on Twitter and Facebook (not to mention lesser-known sites like VK in Russia and Sina Weibo in China). [...]

The Content Catalyst: How Content Drives Search & Social Synergy

The Content Catalyst- How Content Drives Search and Social Synergy Today, many a search marketer lives in a world driven by Pandas and Penguins. SEO as we used to know it has changed forever. As Google shifts its focus to quality and relevancy, content marketing adoption has soared. It is no coincidence that the increasing focus on content marketing closely follows the significant Google algorithmic changes aiming to give users a better search experience. [caption id="attachment_161028" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Google Trends chart for the key phrase [Content Marketing] -- interest has taken off since February 2011, when the Panda update was roll [...]

Communicators, Take Note: The Deplorable State Of Social Search Is Changing

search-social-featured The rate at which people share information (profound and profane alike) on sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is staggering. 137 million status updates per day appear on Facebook, 230 million tweets are shared per day on Twitter and 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute -- all numbers which increase daily. No doubt, social media is alive and well. Social media properties have clearly made the processes of creating and sharing content a compelling activity for everyone. Yet the story is altogether different when it comes to retrieving content. Ever tried to search for [...]

Social Signals Are So Last Week – Use Infographics to Drive Real Leads

There is a lot of talk these days about social signals affecting Google Search Results, and many SEOs are feeling the effects for their clients, who are disconnected from the social world. When it comes to infographics, you may find yourself scratching your head at the many conflicting claims out there from the marketers that be. “Infographics are dead,” they say, but you must have a content strategy to survive. “Infographics are dead,” they say, but Facebook and Google+ are putting more and more emphasis on visual content. The complexity of marketing your business on Google is r [...]

The Future Of SEO in a Socially Driven World

Future of SEO If SEO is dead, social media will be, too, in another five years. So, keep calm and tweet on. Hold that thought for a second – I can explain. In today’s search world, there's a lot of talk about how social is "taking over," how "content is king," and how search engine optimization is "dead" -- with search updates like Penguin and Panda hitting the final nails on the coffin. Sounds very dramatic, doesn't it? SEO is "Dead" -- Or Is It? Yes, social is more significant than ever. But, it is too early to draw any conclusions about the death of SEO based on the patterns that we’r [...]

Optimizing For Facebook Graph Search: SEO Meets Social

Facebook Connections As Facebook Graph Search evolves and marketers begin to come to grips with the opportunities provided from the social graph, it becomes clear that a combination of both search and social media tactics are required if brands aim to improve visibility in the graph search engine results. Today, I would like to focus on how you can utilize SEO and social sharing best practices to both optimize your Facebook page and foster engagement. The Graph Search Differentiator Facebook Graph Search is based on a social graph, which means that a user's search results are personalized based on his or her [...]

How To Attribute Comparable Value To Search & Social Campaigns

The rapid growth of social media has meant that search engines now invest a significant amount of time into innovating how content discovery works on the Web. Recent projects such as Facebook Graph Search and the growth and adoption of Google+ signify the developing relationship between search engines and social media platforms. Search engines are increasingly using social media activity such as Likes, Tweets, Shares, and +1s to determine which pages are most relevant for keyword searches and to provide a personalized search experience. Meanwhile, social networks are rapidly developing th [...]

Facebook Graph Search: The Good, The Bad, The UGLY!

Besides covering The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, we’ll also go into The How and The What of Facebook Graph Search, which launched in January 2013. Graph Search was hardly a surprise to many of us, yet its implementation to date has been interesting. If well-understood, it can be leveraged by marketers and brands; but, if not well-understood, it could lead to some seriously controversial (not pretty or even possibly ugly) issues. Given that I have a background in the semantic Web field, when Facebook launched the open graph protocol with support announced for RDFa, I was very excited. I [...]

3 Out Of 4 Top 100 Global Brands On Google+, YouTube Use At 85%

Google + Users - Brightedge Google+ is poised for major growth with 3 out of 4 top 100 brands on the network. With 85% adoption, YouTube is a hit among marketers. Together, Google+ and YouTube make Google a search and social media powerhouse. Since Google + was launched in June 2011, there have been a number of articles, opinions, surveys and polls conducted as to the why, what, and if regarding success or failure of Google+. The reality is that Google+ signifies the growing and intrinsic nature of search and social media; and, as adoption surges, so does the necessity of integrating and aligning search and social eff [...]

The Lasting Effect Of Memes & Social Media Timing

They say timing is everything. This couldn't be more true than when it comes to Social Media. One wrong move could spell a PR nightmare. It feels like we are walking on egg shells sometimes. Just look at what happened with poor Beyoncé. She made a fantastic performance at the Superbowl and then this: Why this became a meme can be chalked up to “a failure to understand how the Internet works by her PR team”. It's important to understand the impact that these Social Media nightmares have on reputations in the long term search results. What effect does a successful meme or social [...]

How Search & Social Will Hit The Fast Forward Button In 2013

The search and social graphs have made giant strides in the recent past. Even two years ago, people were skeptical about the relationship between search and social media. Fast-forward to 2013, and we are now faced with a complex and large search and social ecosystem that offers a world of opportunity to SEO marketers while transforming their role.  Several forces are behind this transformation. The relationship between social and search has changed. Social is now also being consumed locally and in multiple formats such as video. Social engagement is becoming more dependent on quality co [...]

How Facebook Made Me Search In Strange New Ways

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wonder who I know that has gone skydiving, lived in France, eats Chinese food, while mixing a smoothie with their new Ninja NJ600 Blender?” Apparently, this is exactly how we should be thinking. At least, the way Facebook sees it. Not to undermine that this could likely become something very valuable to users and marketers alike, it just seems like Facebook keeps solving problems that none of us knew we ever had before. You see, when search originally started with engines, it was this active form of discovery. Some life event or moment of curi [...]

Why You Need To Treat Your Social Media Strategy Like Your Content Strategy

In a typical organization, the social media tweets away in one department while content writers toil away in another. The social team links to fresh content, sure... and that’s about the extent of their interactions. But, at the end of the day, what you post and share on social media is content, and it’s time we start treating our social postings with the same amount of gravity as we do our content. Fact: social media posts are content. They may be abbreviated and (in some cases) more casual, but they’re content all the same. They’re written to get attention; they can be optimized f [...]

Analytics For The New Social Media Manager

I have been astounded at the number of social media jobs brands large and small have created over the last year. With each month, more brands realize that Social media isn't an afterthought; it's something that takes time, strategy, attention and even aggression to keep ahead of the pack. With all of these new positions come a large number of employees who are making their first foray into the world of Social Media. They may have been promoted from within, from another department, or maybe they previously handled SEO or paid search ads within the marketing department. Many companies ta [...]

3 Predictions For The Future Of Google+ Profiles In Autosuggest

Google+ profiles have been showing up in the autosuggest listings in Google search results for some time. Now that we know this feature appears to be here to stay, it is time to take a closer look. Just to be clear about what we are discussing, let's look at a few examples. Here, we see an example of SEO Inc. CEO Garry Grant being featured. Google+ Profile Autosuggest Example [caption id="attachment_144489" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Garry Grant Autosuggest[/caption] Here is an example of my profile showing up, John E Lincoln. Google+ Profile Autosuggest Example [caption id="at [...]

Propel Promotion Of Your Content: 9 Ways I Promote Sharing Online

social-sharing-speech-bubbles-featured Search Engine Land recently published its top 10 articles of 2012, and I had articles in the #1 and #6 positions on that list. The Social Search Revolution: 8 Social SEO Strategies To Start Using Right Now had over 40,000 unique pageviews with 2,004 tweets, 708 likes, 389 +1′s and 1,353 linkedin shares. While great content and choice of topics were largely responsible for the success of these columns, a solid promotion strategy is the other large part of the equation. So, I wanted to share with you how I market the content I write. One of the biggest things I see new content writers [...]

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