The Niche Marketing Blog

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Niche Marketing: The way to benefit from Social Search

by Scott Spooner

Google has recently added “social search” to its ever expanding catalog of “Google labs” experiments, and this is great news for on- line organisations which are involved in niche marketing.

For people who are comfortable with, and rely upon, seo strategies, “social search” will come as a welcome supplement to your SEO toolkit.

Search engine optimization was once defined by paid and organic search parameters. However, as the Internet has evolved, newer search platforms have become crucial Internet marketing tools. These tools include well known properties like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and alternative social networking websites.

Here are but two examples of the way newer search platforms are making their presence felt.

Surprising to some, YouTube is presently ranked as the number two search engine online. The sheer volume of videos served up each month by YouTube accounts for this high ranking.

Additionally, both Google and Bing just announced that they are indexing – and thus displaying in search results- Twitter posts(tweets) , leading many internet business owners to rush towards having a comprehensive “Twitter plan” in place as soon as possible.

It is due to the emergence, and prominence, of these newer search platforms, that “social search” is being developed. Indeed, these recent developments have many ‘Net watchers speculating about whether social networking will be the next big thing in internet niche marketing.

That brings us back to Google and their newest experiment.

At the Web 2. Summit(2009) Marissa Mayer announced latest experimental feature offered by Google, noting that it is aimed at improving the user’s search results by including web pages created by that user’s social connections.

This is how Marissa Mayer describes this new experimental lab:

“Due to the ever- increasing popularity of social networks, we’ve been thinking about how your social network could influence and improve your search results. Social Search does just that by surfacing content in your search results that is written by your friends or people you follow. That way, you get the best resources from the web overall, plus the best results(blogs, reviews, travelogues) that are relevant to you, since they were written by people you know. Social Search will be launching soon on Google Experimental and Google Labs. ”

In brief, social search is all about developing greater relevancy to the individual user who is conducting a search through Google.

That’s wonderful for the individual user. But, what about the internet marketer who is attempting to gain a better foothold in their niche? Well, this new function could prove to be a boom for the savvy niche marketer that is already mining the internet social networks.

Businesses owners who have established followings on Facebook, Friend Feed, Twitter, YouTube, and similar sites will now be able to search targeted key phrases on Google and monitor the buzz(or lack thereof) around their company and/or products. Trend spotters will be able to identify emerging trends to capitalize upon, or potential problems that need quick remedies.

Just think what this means to the internet niche marketer: real- time, direct access to the thoughts, posts, and musings of those in your social(and for the smart marketer, that can be read as “business”) networks.

So how does the feature presently work? Let me state right off the top that, because of issues relating to privacy, social search is set- up as an opt- in feature, and is directly connected through Google Profiles and Gmail. So, to participate, you’ll first want a Google account.

Once you’ve created your account, you add links from your Twitter, Friend Feed, and similar pages, to your Google profile. Google will then explore those links to identify your followers and the content they produce; content derived from their blogs, photo albums, videos, and reviews.

Then, the following time you’re searching at Google, if your search query returns helpful results from your social connections, Google will display the results at the bottom of the search results pages.

To view how this function works, log into your Google account, and then type your query at Google. com. If you don’t see a OneBox at the bottom of the search results pages, click on “Search Options” and select “Social” to include the results to your social circle.

Now, you may be wondering just who is included in this new social network. A Google help center page tells us that the network includes:

• people you’re connected to through social services(such as Twitter or Friend Feed)
• people that you’ve listed in your Google profile
• people in your Gmail(or Google Talk) chat list
• People in your Friends, Family, and Coworkers contact groups for Google

Additionally, Google Reader subscriptions can be added, so it’s now simpler to search Google Reader.

Keep in mind, these connections are on an opt- in basis, and you’ll be able to include, or exclude, any group or social service that you wish. If you fail to opt- in, your social networks won’t be included, and you will not see their content in your search results.

So, have a consider this new experimental function. Get good at using it, because it’s likely that your competitors will likewise.


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