Searching in the Social Networking era

Search is getting more and more customized because of the presence of social networking sites. Searchers are increasingly relying on recommendations, likes, and reviews on anything they wish to buy or subscribe to, from their networking circles. So what does it mean for search engines? Have we stopped searching on search engines?

I don’t think so. But let’s find out.

A search for a “Cardiologist in your locality” on any search engine may throw up a lot of relevant searches on the SERPs.But you may have to click on quite a few sites to finally zero in on the most sought after “Cardiologist” in your area.

When it comes to finding a good doctor, we usually consult with our family and friends in order to zero in to the best doctor. Typically not many people are likely to search for, find a doctor, and visit a doctor they found on the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages). They might do that but they will likely talk to a few people before taking the decision. This is where the Social networking sites come in handy. Your network of family and friends, who are readily available on the networking sites, can be very helpful here. All you need to do is log in and ask your network about a good Cardiologist that they would recommend. You will most likely visit the doctor that your friends and family recommended rather than someone you found on the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages).

Some points of differences in the way search happens on search engines and Social networking sites:

Attributes Search Engines Social Networking sites
Search Type in a keyword and you will be provided with results comprising of websites, videos etc. There are usually 10 Results/page. It is not necessary for you to log in to your account to view the results. You will need to create an account and log in to your account in order to carry out searches, add pages etc.
Customization The results of search in search engines are usually not that customized, but they are relevant. Search results on search engines are not that impersonal anymore. For instance, if you are logged in to your Google account, you might see some kinks from your network of friends in Google +, thereby providing a more customized result. Results may or may not be customized but you can immediately find out if any of your friends have recommended it or if there are any likes or shares. Thereby makes it more personal
Interactivity You can suggest a page but you are not required to because if you have a website, it will get crawled automatically, you do not need to submit your site separately.  As such, you cannot interact that much or change what and how it appears on the results page  You can add a page, like, share, and follow others. In fact, you will need to add pages that you like so that others who follow you get to see it. Your pages will get added and you can customize the content. You can follow others as well. It is highly interactive.  

In my opinion, it really depends on what you are searching for. I was trying to look up the phone number of a multiplex close to my home. I quickly typed in the keywords in Google and found it! I may have found it by logging in to any of the social networking sites, but this was faster and easier.

The results on the SERPs have definitely beome more relevant, and they will continue to get better, more personalized, and customized in the next few years. For Internet marketers, it will make sense to include in their promotion plan, strategies that are targeted towards search engines as well as Social networking sites. And to ensure that the web pages are Search Engine and Social Network Optimized!

Today it is not only important to be found on searching, what is also becoming increasingly important, is that you are being recommended as well!

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