As Google is current rolling out its social search across 19 countries, I thought it'd be interesting to have a look at the effect of this and Google+1 on the SERPs and your SEO strategy (thank you @rochelledancel for the suggestion!).
Social search, what is it?
To put it simply, social search is the integration of social media results in the standard Google SERPs. For this to work, you need to be logged in to your google account and synchronise it with your other social accounts (twitter, facebook, you get the idea....). Your search results will now include pages/sites that have been liked or selected by your social contacts as well as the standard google results. The social element will be added just below the affected results.
Google +1 works on the same principle and is the google answer to the Facebook "Like". If you like a site, you can just "+1" it , and friends in your network will see it displayed more prominently in their results pages.
What's the SEO impact?
Well at this point in time it is still difficult to assess as social search is still in its infancy. And like every new google tool, it could disappear very quickly (remember wave and buzz??).
One thing that is clear is the fact that if you don't have a google account synchronised with your other social media accounts, nothing will change. And if you do take the time to do this, then you'll also take the time to like or +1 sites that are relevant to you, so hopefully relevant to google too.
What should you do?
So at this point, I don't think there's any need for SEO experts to panic about social search, as if you get the basics right, people will naturally like your site, therefore reinforcing your rankings. Business as usual is the word, continue your SEO efforts with users in mind but don't forget to add those trendy social bookmark buttons on your site to cover all basis!
Are you worried about the impact of social search? have you experienced changes in your rankings? share your views
26 May 2011
19 May 2011
Google instant preview has been available for a little while now, and up until now I've got to admit I didnt pay much attention to it.
However, an article in searchengineland this morning (Google Instant Preview: A Game-Changer For Landing Pages) about instant preview for paid ads made me think.
How is the fact that you can preview landing pages going to affect CTR and conversions? In my view it is not a game changer if you're already creating good landing pages with a high quality score for your paid campaigns. But I do hope that searchers use the functionality to select the right results for them.
It'd be really interesting to have some figures on how searchers use instant preview and how big a factor it has on their click behaviour from the SERPs.
Something to keep an eye on in the coming months.
10 May 2011
Some good insights from econsultancy on the importance on being on page one in the SERPs, and more specifically in the top 3 positions.
While it's always been known that top rankings will grant you higher click through rates than lower positions, it is interesting to see that long tail keywords are more likely to achieve higher CTRs as well as cheap CPC terms.
Long tail matters
If you're a small business in a competitive market, then you should really focus on long tail keywords. Although they may not drive as much traffic to your site as generic/head keywords, they'll help you achieve better conversions and therefore increased revenue.
Paid + organic = results
I know I mention this on a regular basis, but a good mix of paid search and organic optimisation will give you the best results as these 2 channels support each other.