Search and social media have been trying to play nicely for years, but they still haven’t figured out exactly how to interact with each other. They’re definitely more directly related than ever before and we’re already starting to see the engines place importance on social media cues like statuses and Tweets.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Likes on Facebook and Retweets on Twitter replacing or at least subbing in for regular web links. Before you panic, realize that traditional links aren’t going anywhere, and though these social media signals are certainly important, they’re not the end all, be all.
Rand Fishkin had a few things to say about the idea that Twitter’s cannibalizing the web’s linkscope, and his insights were similar to the general web consensus that links aren’t exactly dying. While Open Graphs and plugins are all over the place, no one is seeing links actually be devoured anywhere but in speculation.
The real issue at hand is that information on the web is starting to come for a larger variety of sources than ever before. Google and the other engines don’t have to worry about each other as much anymore as they now have to worry about figuring out where to get their information from. Social media is definitely changing the scape of the web.
The biggest threat Google should be wary of is that people will no longer need to use traditional engines – all the information they need will be available to them via social media. Mashable actually came out with an article detailing why social media will rule the next decade including:
-search is inefficient
-gps on mobile eliminates the need for location based search
-content recommendations will replace traditional search
-social media creates valuable real-world connections
-suggestions are going to revolutionize online shopping
Just because more Facebook likes don’t necessarily equate to more Google rankings, so what? These likes mean your brand is building a bigger presence which should bring more visitors to your real site, in turn, upping rankings.
Social media and search are going to continue to find new ways to work together so it’s of utmost importance of webmasters to beef up their social media presences. Even if the sites themselves don’t use the data, other sites are, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to play up to a social media audience.
By Heather Hendrick