July 13, 2011

The synergy between social media and search

‘The more retweets a link receives, the better it performs in search results’

http://www.crunchbase.com/assets/images/resized/0000/0952/952v3-max-250x250.jpgChris AbrahamI am very grateful to of SEOmoz for doing the work that explains a little better how social media, online social networks, and the real-time Web heavily influence the results that Google proffers when we search in the form of Experiments on Google+ and Twitter Influencing Search Rankings — a lot more clearly than my recent How to become a super-node rant.

Abraham Harrison has this synergy in its DNA but I have been doing this since 2003 for various agencies sort of by feel. But here’s a compilation of the results of Mr. Shepard’s experiments: First, the real-time search you had been seeing from Google was highly reliant on a direct firehose from Twitter, which has been mysteriously cut:

The mystery began on July 3rd when Google Realtime Search went dark. The next day we learned that the underlying cause was Google losing access to its special Twitter data feed. The source of the disagreement is unclear, but the effects have been immediate. Realtime Search disappeared–all of it, not just the part that relied on Twitter. This included Realtime results from Google News, Blog Search links, Facebook fan page updates and more.

The direct result is that launching Google+, whether it was ready or not, was mandatory. Real time search of the real time Web is essential in order to be competitive with Facebook and especially Twitter — the epitome of the real-time Web — and so Google Plus is not an option, it is a requirement:

For the past two years Google used Twitter not only to power Realtime results, but also for faster indexation of content and, we believe, to calculate Author Authority for use in their ranking algorithm. Google says they plan on reinstating Realtime with the power of Google+. But the network will have to grow significantly before this works.

With real-time results, a highly influential tweet, widely retweeted, could end up as the #2 result on Google within a couple hours. For reals. Not the old answer of, “I think we can get you onto the front page of Google within six months, no guarantee,” the natural SEO shop response of the past. Continue reading