Social Media Continues to Influence Search Ranking Performance

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Response Mine Interactive Weighs In on Google’s +1 Feature and Its Impact on the Search Industry.

The reality facing us is that search is becoming more social. The bottom line is that the impact of social media on rankings is growing and will continue to increasingly influence ranking performance.

The recent Google +1 project is considered to be a direct response to the May 2011 partnership between Bing and Facebook -- where users can view ‘likes’ and recommendations made by their friends on the Bing search engine. Now Google has launched its latest endeavor into social media but this time with a greater emphasis on search engine result page (SERP) ranking integration. How will this affect the search industry?

“The reality facing us is that search is becoming more social,” comments Joel Johnson, vice president of media and search services at Response Mine Interactive (RMI), an interactive marketing agency based in Atlanta. “The bottom line is that the impact of social media on rankings is growing and will continue to increasingly influence ranking performance.”

The future and impact of Google +1 on search engine optimization (SEO) will be dependent on user adoption. Facebook’s “like” button works because a significant portion of Internet users already use Facebook and its “like” button. If Google’s +1 button reaches that level of penetration, it will likely become a meaningful factor in its algorithm. The impact has the potential to be wide-ranging.

Google is also anticipating higher click through rates for content/search results that are +1’d. The new feature will also eventually impact all users using the Google search engine.

However, the widespread adoption of +1 will be difficult for Google. When looking at previous attempts at social media integration into Google search, adoption levels haven’t been high. In addition, the current implementation of +1 has several challenges that Google will need to overcome – mainly user behavior.

“At RMI we will focus on proactively testing the impact of the Google +1 feature and helping our clients be prepared to address this when necessary,” comments Johnson.

“That said, we should not ignore the growing importance of social signals and their perceived impact on quality. As an agency, portraying quality to search engines and users alike using a multitude of signals will always be at the forefront of our approach to SEO.”

About RMI
RMI is an award-winning digital agency that helps clients acquire more customers using direct response digital marketing. For the past decade, RMI has generated billions of dollars in revenue for leading brands in the b2b, healthcare, travel, and home services channels. For more information visit responsemine.com.

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