Social media and SEO have taken another step closer toward being inseparable. With last week’s major announcements from both Google and Bing (Microsoft), search engine rankings will now depend more heavily on updates from Facebook and Twitter.
Both Google and Bing plan to include Twitter status updates as a part of their real-time search capabilities in an effort to improve usability.
“We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months. That way, the next time you search for something that can be aided by a real-time observation, say, snow conditions at your favorite ski resort, you’ll find tweets from other users who are there and sharing the latest and greatest information,” said Google’s Marissa Mayer.
Even though the capabilities are not live yet, Bing has a preview of how the search may function when the capability goes live.
One of the most interesting things that Bing search results include that the old Twitter search engine results do not is the “best match” feature. Not only can searchers view results chronologically (as they could with the Twitter search engine), they can also view results based on relevance or “best match”. Bing is using a formula that weights tweets based on the number of followers. The more followers you have, the higher your tweet will appear in the results. Bing’s algorithm is still in it’s infancy and changes can be expected.
Bing’s real-time results will also include public Facebook status updates. Since most Facebook status updates are not public whether or not this will be a huge advantage for Bing is not clear yet and depends a lot on if Facebook can change user behavior.
According to WebProNews here are some tips to make sure you get found in real-time searches:
- Use keywords
- Talk about timely events
- Have a lot of followers
- Promote conversation
- Include calls to engagement
These announcements are further evidence that the lines between SEO and social media are continuing to blur as these effective marketing techniques are intrinsically linked.