So Google has tried (but failed) to ‘do’ social eg, with Lively, Google Buzz, Orkut, Dodgeball, Google Wave and Google Me.
Google+ is its latest effort and this time it might succeed. We’ll see.
With +1 buttons, Google is trying to integrate social with search. If you visit a page or see a search result you like, Google wants you to click a +1 button (similar to Facebook’s ‘like’).
And Google explicitly states:
“+1s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query.”
That means that if a searcher’s friend +1s a page it will move up the results when you search.
Exactly how and when +1s, Facebook likes and tweets will affect others’ results is not yet clear and will evolve. Whatever the answer ...
Social is now part of search and therefore part of SEO.
All forms of engagement including comments, likes, tweets, +1s and mentions, either:
• Might be found by search engines and directly used in their algorithms; or
• Share your content with a person or website (it may be automated) that then might mention or link to your website in a way that is used directly in search engine algorithms.
Also, such engagement might also lead to repeat and new direct visits and response.
That social might work and work for SEO is clear. The question then becomes: is it significant? And the answer is: yes.
A simple piece of evidence to support that answer is that Facebook is now the most visited site in the US and therefore more popular in the US than Google.
It’s not hard to see why Google would like a piece of that social action.