Are Social Powered Search Engines The Future Of Search?

SMS Text

Over the years, the engines have developed algorithms to make search as relevant as possible to the user. In the early 90’s, optimizing your website didn’t take the time and work as it does now. It also wasn’t that long ago at all where you can bid for almost any keyword and show up in the results until Google implemented the Quality Score to the engines algorithm to also make that part of search more relevant to the user as well.

How about if the engines used social bookmark sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, and others and take the amount of votes into consideration a story or link gets as part of its optimization algorithm? As it stands now, the engines do index bookmark links.

New engines will emerge which will optimize all these votes and links from the bookmarks. is one example, which only crawl’s sites that were bookmarked or voted by people on Digg, Delicious, and Reddit. Serph is also an engine that emerged with a similar ideology and I can bet these aren’t the last engines to come into the picture.

The engines would love the idea of their search to be optimized by the people, who can probably determine more relevance in a story than an algorithm, or not? The problem with this model is there are many marketers now involved in gaming sites such as Digg for driving traffic, link building, etc. It’s not always the most relevant news or “best” news that gets the most votes or reaches the front page. Each bookmark site also has it’s own algorithm to optimize links submitted by users.

Social Search Evolution

50 Matches stated in their about us, “No company could compete with the man hours people put in saving and tagging their bookmarks. No algorithm could calculate site quality better than humans.”

In the next years to come, the power of the social space will have an impact on search results, in some form or another.

Pablo Palatnik is Managing Partner of eTrend Media Group, which specializes in Pay-Per-Click Managagement & Social Media Optimization.

Pablo Palatnik
Pablo Palatnik is the author of the blog PalatnikFactor, focusing on all things Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization specialist for Fortune3, a shopping cart... Read Full Bio
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Marco Dal Pozzo

    Thank you Pablo!
    I’ve just posted on my (italian) blog about this topic !

  • Nathan

    I highly doubt that the quality of Yahoo is 4 while Google is 3. Can you give me a case study of SERP that show Yahoo has superior relevency?

  • Matthew Elshaw

    Combining social bookmarking with search defiantly has some place in the future, but I predict its implementation will be the topic of hot debate. One model that’s been the source of some discussion has been Jimmy Wales’ creation of a ‘user driven’ search engine:

  • Pablo Palatnik

    The source of that image is from, I dont really see that as being the case either where Yahoo has higher relevancy. I think both engines show good quality relevancy. Keep in mind algo’s keep changing making relevancy factors different. Just because a site has more links pointing to it doesnt mean the site is more relevant than a site in the 2nd, 3rd page.

    I guess thats why sites in the 3rd, 4th page still generate organic traffic. Point is, relevancy in the engines isnt down to a perfect science yet. But I agree, i don’t personally think Yahoo’s results are of better quality than Google’s.

  • Raj Dash

    Pablo, I think there’ll be a market for several types of search engine. Social-driven engines can be gamed, which is bad if you’re trying to do research. Obviously, relevance means different things to different people, so I think we’ll start to see a lot of fragmentation of search traffic as more search options appear.

  • Pablo Palatnik

    Matthew, I guess the true test of which engine delivers more relevant results can be put to the test by having data which shows how deep in the engines people are going to find a link.

    Like Raj said though, relevancy means different things to different people. A keyword can mean 2,3,4 different things.

  • sarksus

    Right now more and more important will be personalization in search engines. It can be seen at Google, which has started promoting personalization heavily.

  • Raj Dash

    I agree with Sarksus. I haven’t completely thought this through, but any existing engine that comes up with a cool, easy way for non-programmers to roll-their-own is probably going to be laughing. Maybe. Sort of a Yahoo Pipes for search engine mashup. It could actually be Pipes, but it needs a bit more functionality yet.

  • FuzzFind Administrator

    Hi Pablo, we’ve just launched a web search service that does exactly this! ( is a mashup that combines the power of the major search engines and social bookmarking sites to make it easier to find and identify the most relevant information.
    Results are grouped together and sorted according to the search engine rankings plus the popularity of the sites according to the social bookmarking community. Please check it out, we welcome any feedback so that we can improve. Thanks!

  • Wayne Andersen

    Interesting to look back and see how things have developed over the years.. great article.. thanks!