Recently, I’ve been getting emails and messages from friends telling me, “HEY, you’re on the first page of Google when I searched for X or Y. I see your photo and a link to your blog”. In my opinion, this is a big darn deal for anyone who creates content online AND is well connected online. Let me explain why…
This feature that people are seeing on their search results page is called, “social search“. And, people like my sister and my mom, who aren’t tech savvy, are likely missing the heading that explains “results from my social circle”. See below.
Google explains what “social search” in more detail:
With Social Search, when we search for [baby sleep patterns], [swaddling] or [best cribs], not only do we get the usual websites with expert opinions, we also find relevant pages from our friends and contacts. For example, if one of my friends has written a blog where he talks about a great baby shop he found in Mountain View, this might appear in my social results. I could probably find other reviews, but my friend’s blog is more relevant because I know and trust the author.
This seemingly small change is smart for Google and more importantly aligned with people’s behavior and the shift in our culture. When you perform a search, you are asking Google to give you back, relevant, credible information. That said…
…consider the following about trust + influence:
- More than ever, people do NOT trust businesses, corporations, government and institutions (2009 Edelman)
- More than ever, we highly trust the opinions of our friends and family.
- Trust in news media is down in double digits (2009 Edelman)
- Strangers are trusted more than celebrities and advertising (2008 McCann Survey).
- 85% of people who sit down at a computer are likely to first perform a search on Google
Do you get where I’m going with this? I make a point to tell you 85% of activity on a computer for any given person is searching for something on Google. AND now Google is placing links to your friend’s content based on the keywords you’re searching for, which is inline with the status quo of trust and influence shifting to individuals and strangers.
So, back to my original point at the beginning of my blog post: this change is a big darn deal for anyone who creates a lot of content AND is well connected online …because your visibility online just increased exponentially.
Every time a friend performs a search on Google, your content is eligible to appear if it’s relevant to their search …on the first page of their search results.
This is big.
What content do you have published, created, or exists that will place you on the first page of search results for free? Those that have content will benefit- and with little to no effort required.