It’s
official: social media has taken over every aspect of our lives, from brands we
interact with, to sharing content, so it was only a matter of time before the
likes of Google and Bing began taking the medium’s
influence into consideration when deciding on authority of content.

Search algorithms are now evolving in response to the social media revolution, with ‘human authority’ now very much a part of the mix in SERPs.

No longer is it simply a case of pushing your way to the top of the tree with link building and clever keyword integration, but just how does social search differ from more traditional SEO techniques?

Realtime
search and social search

Google and
Bing already have similar social search features, which show you results based
on what your friends are ‘liking’ on Facebook or sharing across the web.

And up
until July 2011, users could see realtime tweets in SERPS. But with the launch
of Google’s own social network, Google+, it now looks like the ‘+1’ sharing
feature will take not only the precedence over realtime tweets on the SERP, but
could quash Facebook ‘likes’ as the prime social traffic driver. 

You are
what you tweet
 

Having
your content shared won’t necessarily guarantee you the coveted page one ranking. Both Google and Bing say it’s all about the type of influencer, as
well as the content itself.

For example, links shared from a Twitter account
with a high Google PageRank score will have far more kudos than those from a
low page rank. For brands, this means identifying quality influencers that will
enhance content sharing to help build your content’s ranking.

Experiment,
but always go back to basics:

Harnessing
social media as a traffic driver presents a huge opportunity for the digital
marketer, but while it’s now obvious that a social media strategy is now
essential for any brand, this doesn’t mean you should ignore the more
‘traditional’ forms of search marketing.

SEO and PPC are still the primary
factor in your digital strategy and only with a solid, multichannel approach
can you begin to make the most of social search.