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Is Google Playing Favorites? How Social Media May Be More Important Than Ever

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Google has made a new move in the search game by securing a patent to allow the search engine to filter social search results. What does this mean for search and SEO? Keep reading and find out.

Social MediaWe all know that Google has an algorithm used to rank sites in search results. There are many different factors to that algorithm, and that now includes social media. Google was granted a patent on July 23, 2013 that allows the search results to be filtered based on the user’s social graph.

If a user likes John’s Pizza Place on Facebook, and then searches for pizza on Google, Google may soon start filtering that user’s results based on the fact that he likes John’s Pizza Place on Facebook. This could easily mean that John’s shows up higher in the search results than it would for a user who hasn’t liked the Facebook page. This means more traffic to John’s Pizza Place, and a higher chance of conversion.

It’s no secret that Google favors sites with higher social activity than those without. This graph has been making the rounds, and shows Google +1 and Facebook shares at the top of the list of quality ranking factors. Pinterest and Twitter activity also make an appearance on the graph.

So, death to SEO! Long live social media! Right? Wrong. SEO isn’t going down the drain anytime soon; Google’s new patent just means that your SEO efforts need to be supplemented with a stable and constant social media presence.  A strong Facebook following, consistent mentions on Twitter, and of course, a solid presence in Google + will help your SEO efforts even more, and help boost your rankings to the first page of Google’s search results.

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