ss = "SOCIAL SEARCH" and this isn't about SEO necessarily.
Offliner's specifically, you'll want to read on too.
Thought this might be helpful information for those that are new to the social search world, as well as present an opportunity for warriors to share their thoughts.
For those that are unaware, last week was pretty active in the search world. Bing announced partnership with Twitter to show tweets in their SERPs, shortly afterwards Google announced the same - to be rolled out soon.
Bing also announced that they've licensed facebook status update feeds and will also be a part of their search.
To me though, the most Earth shattering by far, was the Google labs launch of Social Search.
Basically as people create Google public profiles (which will no doubt be Google's big marketing focus to gain adoption) Google will spider the friends, and friends of friends from any social sites we list in our google profiles.
For example, I would create a Google profile, and have an opportunity to list my facebook, Twitter, Friendfeeder, and all the other major social networking sites that I belong to. When I agree to add those to my profile, Google then spiders my friends/contacts and their friends/contacts.
So that when I search for something on Google, I will see ON GOOGLE PAGE 1 SERPs, social content that my "network" has "talked/written" about.
Do you see the dynamic here?
Based on my network of all major social media sites and their activity, my SERP's have just become "suggestively" more relevant to me.
For example, if I'm searching for "chinese restaurant dc" part of my page 1 listings could be indexed entries like blog posts, tweets, or map reviews given by those in my network.
Talk about Universal Search!
So here's a few of my preliminary thoughts about this as I've been updating my local offline marketing strategies:
1. This is the first major shift of marketing power I've seen.
It really empowers consumers, by way of referrals, to lure the eyes of those searching, AWAY from "unknown " organic search results.
(aka - SEMs are likely to see major degradation in click thru's as adoption market penetration of this Google search product grows -unless strategic changes are made)
2. Tip to the offliner's - it's clearly solid foresight to incorporate new strategies to this regard in your offline consulting model. Specifically - find ways to get your business owner's customers, to "follow" or "friend" the business.
By having customers in their network, they can produce relevant content that should affect actual page 1 google listings - thus keeping their product/service in the eyes of their market.
An example of a service you should offer your customers is a strategy to get your client's customers to follow the business on Twitter. Start this now and when adoption grows, it will really be meaningful.
This will allow you to sell "Tweetsets" where you offer to write provoking prewritten tweets in packages of 24 regarding the keywords they are looking to gain visibility for. You then schedule the tweets to go out 1 time per hour and the business keeps fresh new "social" content in the index for their networks. (this is of course generalized as much is to be learned about the algorithms used here, but in current practice, this fits the new social search model)
3. Lastly - find ways to get your client's customers to talk about the business in some form online. Get the business owner to give customers incentives to leave a business review on Google maps. This is gold content that will now affect more people than the business knows, and helps visibility.
So I've run my mouth a bit... what say you?
What impacts do you see this having?
What changes, if any, do can you make to improve your marketing efforts as the search game continues to evolve?
Thanks for your thoughts!
PS - if you'd like to hear from Google about the whole social search announcement (as it can be complicated to think through) watch these two videos by Google themselves: