Bethany

Search Engines Now Paying Attention to “Likes”

In Facebook, Strategy, Trends on February 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm

If you’re part of the 50% of Facebook users, signing in daily – there’s a good chance you’re “liking” some of the content you come across  (videos, updates, pictures, pages, etc.).  And of course we enjoy it when other’s like our content too – as it gives us insight into what our audience is interested in.  Well, Google realizes how powerful and relevant this social information is for search results.

As of a week ago, Google, announced they would start placing a greater emphasis on social results in a search, based on their relevancy.  Same with Microsoft’s Bing.

From “our” business/marketing perspective – this makes sense and we should consider doing the same in our Facebook advertising.  Perhaps, targeting ads based on likes (what the user likes/groups/pages) over interests.

Here’s the article from Marketing Vox:

Microsoft’s Bing has followed Google’s lead last week and tweaked its search algorithm to emphasize social results. Building on a partnership it announced a few months ago with Facebook, it has introduced Liked Results, which promotes links friends have publicly liked or shared via Facebook. Bing is extending Liked Results to annotate any of the URLs returned by its algorithmic search results to all users in the US, it says in a blog post.

Last week Google announced it would start placing greater emphasis on social results in a search, based on their relevancy. The reasons for both search engines’ decision to move in this direction are similar: As Bing explains “this is the first time in human history that people are leaving social traces that machines can read and learn from, and present enhanced online experiences based on those traces. As people spend more time online and integrate their offline and online worlds, they will want their friends’ social activity and their social data to help them in making better decisions.”

Liked Results will pull up any publicly liked or shared search results by a fried below the result. “For example, when I was planning a trip to Napa, I wanted to find a great bed and breakfast for my stay,” Lawrence Kim on Bing’s Social Team writes. “A traditional search result showed me a long list of web links and captions, which would take up some time to parse through individually. Fortunately, several of my friends that have been to Napa in the past have liked Churchill Manor. Using Liked Results, the Bed & Breakfast that my friends have liked gets highlighted with their pictures and names – making it easier for me to quickly refine my search and decide where I should stay.”

Changing SEO Strategies

If that sounds like a brand’s social strategy can be used to boost SEO, that is correct. If that sounds like a brand’s social strategy can be used to boost SEO, that is correct. As one example, Jen Lopez, Community Manager at SEOmoz, tells of how one tweet from an unexpected source drove its page’s ranking and traffic.

Targeting By Likes

Also, as more people incorporate Likes and their equivalents into their online activities, marketers are beginning to target their campaigns accordingly. Decanted Wines, for instance, great success with using psychographic targeting based on likes, company marketing guru Jessica Fialkovich tellsMarketingVOX. “With the increasing number of ‘pages’ that are replacing interests, we are starting to phase out targeting by interest and instead focus on likes/pages that would reach the same group,” she says. According to Fialkovich, since implementing the psychographic targeting, the company has seen an increase of click through rates of 150%, increased fans of 75%, and surprisingly a decrease in click through rate cost by 30%.

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