Sunday, April 11, 2010

Google Juice

If you type your name into a search engine or "Google yourself," what are the results? For me, I have my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn profile at the top of the list, my work's website next, my blog, St. Edward's PRSSA blog, and of course a blast from the past with a Dallas Morning News Article on my highs chool drill team (sighhhh...). We have learned in class that is VERY likely for a future employer to just type in your name into Google and see what skeletons you have hiding in the closet.

Reading a little into Edelman's "Search Engine Visibility," gives a little insight in how Google might "select" the hits that come up when you put a search in and also the direction search engines are moving. First, Google is said to have a democratic way of selecting what things will rank accordingly when you search for something. For example, Edelman discussed how the New York Times was particularly frustrated when sites like outdated BBC sites, wikipedia, and YouTube showed up before their new story when "Gaza" was typed into Google. So it makes you wonder, what does it take to get a high ranking on Google? Bribes? Turns out, Google is just like a friend and all "it" wants is a little bit of TRUST.

Not only does content have to be reliable, it must also be LINKED. I discussed earlier, Foremski's rants about linking in a press releases, but as it turns out, linking is also very helpful in SEO. This is not really new information, but the methods in which we are linking and changing from "static linking" to a new form that allows a company to build relationships as well. Today, many companies are taking advantage of social media to link and drive traffic to their websites. That is to say if you see a Twitter discussion about a particular topic and then see a news story about the same topic, that link is more likely to rank higher because of the popularity of Twitter. So the more social networking sites you link to, the more "Google Juice" you will get!

The secret to Social Search is to employ an "embassy strategy." Companies that set up meaningful, engaging and permanent outposts inside all of the relevant social networks will be more discoverable than those who don't. Today the benefits of visibility are measured via Google results. Tomorrow it will be within search engines that are embedded into the social networks.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! I've always been curious to know how Google selects these hits as well, and now I know! As far as having a presence on social media sites, its also important to maintain your image ON these sites. We have talked about this so many times in class but it's so true. Good to know though that there are things you can do to put the more important things higher in the rankings!