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Google Shows Social Media Shares in Search Results

Tweets just became more important to lead generation and conversions! Yep, I said it. Now let me tell you why.

Google is now intermixing social media share data with search results. This change will allow searchers to see what content their friends have shared surrounding specific search queries.

Google shows Twitter results in search
Google shows Twitter results in search

But this is not limited to Twitter. The full list of social media data that will appear in search results includes shares from Twitter, Flicker, Google Reader, Google Buzz, and Quora. Facebook is not included at this time; however, this Facebook data is still covered in Bing search results. This is slightly odd as Google does have a contract with Facebook to utilize this data. I don’t think they like each other much, but that is just me…But right now you are probably asking yourself, “How does this work?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Imagine that you are searching for a search engine optimization company in San Diego and decided to Google “San Diego SEO Company.” The search results you are presented with will specify content that has been shared by your friends through social media. There is one key factor that needs to be addressed to make this possible though.

According to Search Engine Land, “If you’ve never linked your Google Profile to any of your social networks — and you don’t make use of any of Google’s social features, such as Google Reader, then you shouldn’t see social results appearing in your listings.”

Google has stated that they will be using similar functionality to that shown in the social search. If this is the case, then you do not have to link to your social media accounts, but you will need to be logged in to Google. We will need to watch the tool and see how it develops to be sure.

Search Engine Land comments on this here. “If you have linked your social accounts, you might wish to see “regular” results that haven’t been “socialized,” so to speak. You can only do this by logging out of Google. Otherwise, there’s no option to disable them from being blended.”

So, all in all, what does this mean? You will most likely need to connect to this Google service and be logged in to see these results. This is quite a distinction, as it means you will only look at these shares when you are logged in and connected. It is clear that this limits the reach of this feature. However, the function in general makes search better. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to see what your friends recommend? Because of this, I do believe that people will seek it out and utilize it. Once they are using this Google social feature, social media shares will become increasingly crucial for lead generations and conversions. The reason being, people will be actively seeking out content that their friends have shared to make purchasing decisions. To take this a step further, this feature will now entice companies to promote also sharing through social because it allows them an additional listing in the search engines and will significantly assist with conversions.

Think about it. If you search for “SEO Company San Diego” and are presented with a page of search results would you pick the company recommended by your friends or the lone listing without your friends’ smiling face next to it.?

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