If you don’t subscribe to Neil Patel’s Quick Sprout blog I suggest you do. He is one of the original thinkers on all matters social and SEO. I quoted him just a few posts ago about Google’s newest algorithm and whether keywords counted anymore. Now he’s made a convincing case about Why Social is the New SEO.
Social Networks are Search Engines
In his post, Neil quoted Matt Cutts, who is head of Google’s webspam team, as saying that social signals – such as Likes, followers and social mentions – may count in Google’s search algorithms. It’s not quite clear to Neil. So all that work in building followers and social relevance doesn’t matter if Google says it doesn’t matter?
Here is where Neil makes his very valid and original point. Sure, Google is important but it’s not the only search engine. As Neil states, “Social is the new SEO because social networks themselves function as powerful and widely-used search engines in their own right.”
YouTube (although owned by Google) is the world’s second largest independent search engine. Every second of every day, 1,140 searches are performed on YouTube. Every minute, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.
Rather than worry about Google search finding you a video, you can go directly to the source, YouTube, and search for what you want.
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn have very sophisticated search engines. Results can be filtered by name, gender, subject, geography, companies, and schools – however you want to slice and dice it.
You can find the information you need about almost any subject or the right expert on social networks. But if you want to be found you’ve got to be posting relevant content. Here’s where keywords do matter.
We’ve talked about Google search, but what about Google AdWords? You can run but you can’t hide from Google AdWords. Search for something and ads relating to that subject will follow you wherever you go. Advertisers have found these ads to be very effective.
Facebook and Twitter have been in the news lately. Financial analysts want to know when their market value will be justified by income from advertising. Darren Huston, CEO of discount travel provider Priceline, made news the other day when he stated to Bloomberg News that ads on Facebook and Twitter had failed to deliver results. “For Facebook and Twitter, we have endless amounts of money,” Huston said in the Bloomberg interview. “But we haven’t found anything there.”
So why haven’t Facebook’s 1.2 billion users and Twitter’s 947 million users produced for advertisers? Maybe it’s because these ads are seeking out users when it’s the social networks’ users who need to initiate the search.
Google AdWords works because users think of Google primarily as a search engine. Most people don’t think of social networks as search engines. They’re communities where you make personal and business connections.
But if Neil Patel is correct that may change, as users understand the value of these networks as search engines where you find things to buy as well as people to meet.