Just when you think that everything that could be done to ramp up a search engine’s search capabilities has already been done, they come up with another idea. Let’s face it, in some cases the innovations are dumb and do nothing more for the company than get them another press release and a few hundred posts about it on SEO blogs such as this one that track their every move. In other instances we’re left thinking, “Wow, that’s brilliant.” Falling into the latter category is the integration of social networking content into search engine results.
Social networking has evolved from a place to reconnect with old friends, exchange messages, and share pictures, to something much more interesting and dynamic to the search engines. It’s become a place to share information in real-time. You don’t have to wait for CNN to report that there’s been an earthquake half-way around the world – someone on the ground has likely already posted about it on Twitter or Facebook. You’ll get the scoop from a live person who’s actually there, reporting what they see with their very eyes. For news hounds like myself, both Facebook and Twitter are valuable sources of information. How else do you think my little website sometimes beats major news outlets to the punch?
Because information is what search engines are all about, it’s only logical that they want to include that information in their search results. It’s stuff people like me want to find, and going to one source for it instead of searching all those sites separately makes life a whole lot easier.
Without further ado, here are my 4 reasons why including social networking results in search engines is a smart move:
- It’s what people want, even if they don’t know they want it. I want to be able to find everything available on a search query, including real-time information. It may not always be reliable, but I’m able to sort through the crap to find what I’m looking for, just like you would with any other kind of search.
- From the competitive business standpoint, everything you have to offer that your competitor doesn’t gives you a leg up.It’s one more feature that might possibly get you more users. If it doesn’t get you more users, you can at least brag that you have more services. And if your competitor offers it, you damn well better offer it too.
- If it’s out there, it should be findable. Any information posted online that is publicly accessible should be included in search engines. If you’re posting stuff you don’t want people to find online, then really you should just cancel your ISP, pack up your computer, and go completely off the grid. Otherwise, it’s fair game if you haven’t taken any measures to protect it and make it private.
- Because journalists hate it when when websites get stories before they do. I’m all for the little guys beating the big guys. They’ve hoarded information for years.
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