What Are Social Search Results?
The Internet is changing and I am honored to author a blog post about this topic. I hope that this post is informative and inspiring.
Search is Going Social
Just in case you haven’t noticed, the search engines are beginning to display social signals in the search engine results. Since Bing and Google are showcasing their social results differently, I’ve decided to showcase social search examples from each search engine to best explain these changes.
Bing Social Search: Friends Who Know, People Who Can Help
When doing searches on Bing, you will see that your connections on Facebook show on the right side of the search results under a section called “Friends Who Might Know.” When I searched ‘Music’ on Bing I found out that one of my friends likes Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Smiths The Clash, etc.
In addition to the ability to ask my friends specific questions about music, I can share my own results from the websites Bing presents directly into my Facebook news feed. For example, I can ask my friends what they think about Pandora, or I can search for Pandora and post a link to a site I find interesting or useful, so that my friends can have direct access to this information
In addition to seeing my personal connections in the search results, I see results for “People Who Know.” These are people who are considered a social authority on the topic of music.
Consider how this can impact a potential patient’s search experience. They turn to Bing for a cosmetic dentist. They will see the usual results displayed, but will now also have access to friends that have posted information about cosmetic dentists, as well as other users that have specific knowledge of cosmetic dentists that Bing believes would be helpful in their research.
Google’s Search Plus Your World and Social Authority Figures
Google has a different approach, which they are calling “Search Plus My World.” Rather than allowing me to connect with my Facebook friends, Google highlights people who are related to music. In addition, Google displays results from my Google+ connections in the main search results. For example, on this search for “music,” Google displays results from someone within my Google+ Circle network, a connection that shared a link for Google Music. Google also presents images from connections in my Google+ circles.
Why Do the Search Engines Want to go Social?
Search engines want to present their visitors with the most relevant and up-to-date results. Rather than depending on listings from the vast number of websites on the Internet, social search allows search engines to present photos, posts, reviews, articles and more from you and your friends, which makes the results more personal and targeted.
I’m willing to bet social results will make life much easier for some people, as it allows them to find both privately shared content from friends and family, plus material from across the web through a single search, rather than having to search twice using two different systems.
Search is Social, Now What?
Get involved, NOW!!! Start a Facebook Business page and post regularly, create a blog, set up your Twitter handle, create an editorial calendar and execute it. Get your social signals out there and become the social authority in your field. Stop discounting social media as a place where people waste time!
Bing and Google and countless other search engines are working hard to make your life easier, which means they’re also working hard to make your patients’ lives easier by helping them find a surgeon or dentist they can trust (perhaps one a family member has been to), within as few clicks as possible. By getting involved now and establishing social authority in your industry, you’ll be a step ahead of the competition.
What do you think of social search? Revolution or waste of time? Visit our Facebook page and sound off!