Earlier this week Google announced the full incorporation of social search into their algorithm, a service it’s identifying as “all the goodness of Google” with “opinions of people you care about.” While this maysound familiar as Google has used social functionality in search since 2009, this newest effort is unique and powerful. Google’s search algorithm has consistently led the way in making results more relevant and predictive of consumer behavior, having incorporated dynamic elements beginning with keyword density in the early days, to linking structure and unique inbound links more recently, and now to the opinions and volume of your friends’ interests.
Prior to this change, Google’s social functionality was isolated within a small area appearing at the bottom of your search results and was considered both insignificant and somewhat controversial, based on the predictive “friend-mining” techniques used to determine your network. The problem with this method was that private and unwanted information was taken from your accounts to push the idea of social search onto users rather than inciting users to come to social search.
Google learned its lesson quickly the first time (see graphic to the right) and has restructured the system to build your network through opting-in by connecting social accounts or updated internal Google account settings. The advantages offered by social search are readily evident through trial or by watching Google’s introductory video, meaning that getting users to opt-in shouldn’t be a problem.
The implications of Social Search is that results are increasingly less impacted by SEO tactics and more relevant to individual users. Social search is a powerful step forward in making quality content accessible to those looking for it and, perhaps more importantly, segmenting quality content by individual user. Organizations that want to take advantage of this functionality should do so by organically improving their engagement online and creating content that is relevant to specific sets of users. Inbound links and site structure are still of fundamental importance to ranking but augmenting your promotion efforts with cross-channel tactics is now more powerful than ever.
As more users connect their social accounts to Google and the online world becomes more like the real one, with friends’ and connections’ opinions carrying more weight than that of strangers, top marketers will have even more success in organically sharing their content and building their brand through the creation of quality, relevant content.…Read More
As consumers become increasingly mobile, marketers are finding new and more effective ways to capitalize on the growing mobile advertising market. Based on a new study from the Association of National Advertisers, the mobile marketing vertical is poised to experience tremendous growth in 2011. Last year, 62 percent of polled brand marketers used some form of mobile marketing; however, 2011 could bring exceptional growth to this already growing industry as 88 percent of the same group is intending to utilize mobile in the coming year, a full 26 percent increase year-over-year.
As is often the case with new frontiers of advertising, many of the marketers who plan to use of mobile in 2011 are uncertain of the effectiveness for their organizations. Big brand case studies from companies like Coca-Cola, Target, Starbucks, or McDonald’s are certainly compelling evidence that the medium can work, but only 25 percent who have used the platform claim that their initiatives have been “extremely successful” or “very successful.” Mobile advertising, because of its intricacies in targeting and dealing with constantly evolving technology, may have a steeper learning curve than other digital and social platforms.
Continual innovation in smart phone and mobile targeting technology will continue to drive spending increases in the mobile marketing vertical. Already, of the 75 percent of marketers planning to increase their spending in 2011, the budgeted increase is a substantial 59 percent. An arduous learning curve may deter some marketers from early implementation, but those who are willing to innovate in 2011 will look to increase spending and continue to prove the success of this burgeoning market.…Read More