Tips to Get Ahead in the Era of Social Search

The recent launch of Google+ has heralded a fundamental change to the way search engine optimisation will work in the future. Search engine optimisation is no longer just about getting a wide variety of links with a mixture of high authority links thrown in.

This game changer has led some people to believe that is  SEO dead.

The fact is SEO is going to become more challenging than ever. SEO has now entered the era of social search.

What this means is that search engine optimisation is about to become a lot more social. Google will now start to blend social signals and high authority websites in their search results.

In doing this, Google will be able to provide a tailored set of search results to every user. This means there is no guarantee your business will be on page 1 and position 1 of Google.

Your position will also depend on who has shared your content within your social circle (or other people’s social circles). You can see an example of this below. My face appears on position 3 of Google as does Mike Rhodes who is a friend of ours.


Its no longer a matter of how high you rank, but how far your rank extends.

How you can get ahead

  1. Content is king. Your goal is to create content, and share it with your market. You need to be where they are. Nothing less.
  2. Your content must be good enough to be shared with others.  This is because in the future it isn’t going to matter just about how many links you get to your content, it will also matter how many recommendations your business gets (in the form of +1’s from your friends) from other people.
  3. Your content needs to be able to deliver what your market wants. Think about your most frequently asked questions – maybe writing about them and sharing this content is a good way to start.  Some people are fascinated with stats. Does your market like stats? Have you got some interesting market research to share? Are there any complex issues related to your business that you could write about.
  4. Monitor your Google Analytics and find out what search terms people tend to be more interested in. Repeat more of what is working and see if you can get more mileage from it.
  5. If you don’t have access to your analytics account, insist that you get access. I was once told by an agency when I worked on the client side that it was not possible. This is completely false. Google Analytics allows you to give access to multiple people. You should have access to such a rich data source – it is after all your asset.
  6. Get verified as an author. Yes it is slightly technical and involves your web design company putting some code on your website. But what it means is that you as the author will appear in other peoples search results. If people who know you see your face, they are more likely to click on the result with your face on it then they are if a business is ranked in position #2 or even #3.

If you aren’t sure about author rank and what is all means, Google has put out a video explaining it.