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.

The Social Funnel: What You Lose When You Ignore It

I’ve written often about the dangers of ignoring social media in SEO (and vice versa), but I’m here today to write about another danger: ignoring social benefits in the traditional sales funnel. It’s frustrating that people continue to treat social media as an individual entity, a separate department, instead of a versatile tool. We shutter up our Social Media teams in their own rooms and leave them to their tweets and Instagram photos while the marketing pros hunker down on the big guns: conversions. Landing Pages. Leads, Costs, ROI. Sure, most pros acknowledge the power of soc [...]


How To Prioritize The Long Tail With Twitter

Lately, Twitter has been on my mind. Not only because I am speaking about it at SMX Toronto, but also because I have been trying to come up with new strategic ways to use it for clients in order to enhance their SEO efforts. For me, and I suspect for others as well, one of the biggest challenges with Twitter has always been "all the noise". Sure, Twitter is great for connecting with people, brands monitoring their competition and sharing information in spurts, but what about systematically layering information from Twitter with other data sets to better understand your audience and create u [...]


Social Search: Dead On Arrival? Or On Life Support?

It's the uber-powerful search marketing signal...  and marketers sabotaging it even before it's had a chance to find a toe-hold. I'm talking about 'Social Search', the rising trend of social media-driven local search signals and the callous, narrow-minded and (in some eyes) borderline unethical way in which this potentially useful tool is being perverted by unknowing and uncaring people who spam the signal with noise in the name of "effective SEO". Before explaining further, let me ask you a few quick questions: Have you ever bought '+1s' on Google for your (client's) content? Hav [...]


Why Pinterest Is NOT Your SEO Miracle Worker

If you caught yourself groaning when you saw this was yet another Pinterest post, I don’t blame you. The Web’s latest social media darling has taken both the Internet and the industry blogosphere by storm, and the network’s popularity shows no sign of slowing: the site is now the third most popular social network in the United States (according to Mashable). As a result, our RSS feeds have been absolutely bombarded with Pinterest guides, praise,  and how-to’s -- including about eighty variations on using Pinterest for SEO. Get links! Increase your site traffic! Boost your social si [...]


The Double-Edged Sword Of Social Media

As an Internet marketing professional, I love the power, influence, and reach that social media has to offer. Online venues such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ enable a level of instant human outreach that is unparalleled in history. For example, if you are a fan of a TV, movie, music or sports celebrity, your ability to interact with that person (or at least see them outside of their normal context) is fascinating. Social media enables us to easily find long lost friends, old flames, and remote cousins you never knew you had through the Internet, and renew relationships with these people. [...]


The Social Search Revolution: 8 Social SEO Strategies To Start Using Right Now

social-media-network-featured Google’s searchbots have long relied on humans to endorse relevant and useful links. Recently, however, Google upped the human ante by introducing Google Social Search. Google recognizes that one personal endorsement from someone we know easily outranks endorsements from 10,000 strangers. The same applies for a trusted authority: a blogging link shared by Darren Rowse or Brian Clark carries more weight than something a casual user shares. So as a result, we have Google Social Search: meaning a site can jump from #30 to #3 in the SERPs just because someone in your Google+ circles shared [...]


UGC + Search Collide: Jesus, Jelly & Susan G. Komen

The first rule of social media marketing is to have a great product. File that rule away while you read on . . . Companies are increasingly integrating user generated content, reviews and social media into their overall marketing initiatives. In principle, this seems like a good idea. In practice, it can falter. I'm going to review the search implications to proactively (or not) incorporating user generated content into marketing efforts using three unlikely examples:  KY Jelly, Susan Komen and Jesus. Intense Effect - KY From Johnson & Johnson In recent years, KY brand, owned by J [...]


Why Entity Search Will Be Controlled By Social Media

Pinterest users choice It seems as though everyone has written an article about Pinterest. No, this is not really a Pinterest article, but I too, have written an internal POV for clients of Resolution Media as well as collaborated on a tool for brands to effectively capture their audiences on Pinterest. What fascinates me about Pinterest isn’t the platform. Really, it’s the new level of data that may emerge from it and the direction social search may be headed. Entity Search Is The Future Of Search First, let’s review an important breakout area of search called Entity Search. I suggest watching Dan Shure [...]


Social Search Engine Volunia Faces The Critics

In a first look at the social search engine Volunia, I considered the main features which differentiate Volunia from existing search engines – and noted the steep road ahead faced by any new search engine. Volunia founder, Massimo Marchiori, has said that one of the main reasons to launch Volunia now was to gather feedback from beta testers. I spoke with Marchiori to find out what Volunia has learned after a week of exposure to users and to understand where Volunia is headed. I also asked him about Volunia's support for webmasters. Volunia Users Say Search Result Quality & UI Need Im [...]


Guide To Finding Linkbuilding Targets With Social Media

There’s been a lot of debate in the SEO community lately regarding social media versus traditional linkbuilding methods. While some SEOs argue that social media links are the wave of the SEO future, traditionalists staunchly maintain traditional, authoritative links from quality sources are still the best way to go. Whatever your stance, I think it’s easy to agree that gaining links from trusted authorities is desirable for any site -- but that doesn’t mean the rise of social shouldn’t affect our outreach methods. We’ll start with the obvious: social sites allow you to network [...]


Google+ Growing Your Social Network: Quantity vs. Quality

google-plus-featured-3 There is an ongoing discussion trying to better understand what Google+ brings to the table. Recently, the stats were released that Google+ now has 90M users and about 60% log in every day. Will Google+ ever be that "Facebook killer" that everyone keeps speculating? That has yet to be demonstrated. My hunch is that it won’t. Not because it can’t, but because I am not convinced that was ever the goal of Google+. Recent algorithm changes, namely Google + your world, support what I am speculating. We are seeing a cross between Search and Social like never before. Not A Facebook Kil [...]


How To Improve Site Credibility Through Search & Social Media

Anyone—anyone—can make a website. Anyone can create a Twitter account, start a blog, or launch a Facebook fan page. And anyone—from 13-year-old girls to 45-year-old men—can pretend to be an attractive 20-year-old woman on the Internet. In the world of Internet spam, scams, and shams, we’ve learned to be wary of what we find online. Search engines are no different. Too often we forget that search engines aren’t just a tool to help us find news articles or guacamole recipes. Search engines are running a business—a business whose success relies on providing you legitimate, rel [...]


Optimize Facebook Open Graph Tags: They Are the 50%

In my previous post on ensuring your open graph tags were properly set up, I stressed the importance of having these tags in place so as marketers we can stay in control of the message we send to our audiences. I suggested that a simple solution would be to have your open graph tags reference your title tags and descriptions, and you will be broadcasting a message which you have (hopefully) hand crafted, which aligns with your business message. Optimizing The Open Graph To further support just how important controlling your message utilizing the open graph tags is, a recent study which wa [...]


The Most ‘Liked’ Search & Social Posts Of 2011

The social media experts who write for this column week in and week out don't just talk - they walk the walk in social media and search marketing. In 2011, we saw interest spike in our Let's Get Social* column as social media became a significant ranking factor in organic search results, following Danny Sullivan's December 2010 report, What Social Signals Do Google & Bing Really Count?. As social media grew in popularity during the year, along with Google's +1 and Google+ launch, it's evident how important social sharing became to developing audience reach and driving more traffic to c [...]


Why You Need Google+ Business Pages For Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management is an important sector of the Internet marketing industry. At SEO Inc. we have been doing online reputation management since the service was invented, so we have really seen it all. Perhaps one of the most important values to have in order to be successful in this field is good study habits. Given the nature of SEO, social media and online reputation management changes everyday, so it’s vital to stay on top of current day-to-day trends. One of the most recent factors, at least in the aspect of the Google search space, is Google+ Business Pages. Why Google+ B [...]


21 Types Of Social Content To Boost Your SEO

seo-social-blackjack-featured I’ve written often about the benefits of going viral in both content and marketing strategies. Increasingly, however, social media content (a.k.a. viral content) does more than increase brand recognition and site traffic: it can also boost your SEO signals. As search engines pay more and more attention to social signals, going viral is rapidly becoming one of the best ways to build links, attract attention, and establish authority and legitimacy in your field. How Social & SEO Are Linked Let’s start with the obvious: social media builds links. In fact, viral content serves the sam [...]


Freshness Update + Social Media = Happy Users

Interestingly, Google made two big announcements right around the same time and one clearly overshadowed the other as far as attention from the press goes. On November 7th 2011, Google announced Google+ Pages for Business, which got everyone excited. But then Google also made a very significant algorithm update right before that called the "Freshness" update. I am with everyone else. The launch of Google+ Pages was and will continue to be really exciting because of the potential that they have for brands and the impact they could have to help marketers gain more visibility in the SERP. In f [...]


Making PPC & Social Media Work Together Seamlessly

You've read time and time again about how social media can fuel SEO and even vice versa, but where does PPC fit into this equation? The answer is in retargeting also known as AdWords remarketing. If you're not familiar with the concept of remarketing, I'd recommend you read this step by step AdWords remarketing guide. I've written many times on using social media to promote linkbait-style content for traffic and virality and how to reap the benefits of that social media traffic. Sometimes you can do a social promotion, of a piece of content, and get a lot of traffic from social media but n [...]


What Businesses & Brands Can Use Google Plus Pages For Now

Initially, when I was pulling a Google+ presentation together for PubCon last week, branded business pages were not "allowed" at the time. However, the features businesses can use to increase traffic and grow a following on Google Plus are pretty much the same as before branded pages were launched. For the record, this is not a how to create your business page on Google+ tutorial, Danny Sullivan already covered that last week.  This is about using the Google+ features as business tools, and capturing an audience to supplement what you already do on other social networks. Think About Monit [...]


Learn To Control Your Message With Social Sharing & Open Graph

Whether it’s optimizing a website, running a commercial or managing a Twitter Feed, controlling your brand's message is crucial to ensure your audience hears what you intend. TheInternet has evolved and controlling your brand's message is more important than ever in the advent of a social Web. Site Audit: Search For Social Before I begin optimizing a website, I always do a thorough technical dive to understand the root of the problem. For example, I would never start optimizing a client’s title tags before I determined if they even had a place for them within their code, right? Grante [...]


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