Why you should treat search like a dinner party

Posted on June 10, 2011

 

Search has always been a fairly solitary experience. Internet users type in keywords, and they get answers. These days, though, search is turning into more of a wild party than a solo dinner. With Google and Bing both encouraging users to be more sociable when searching, site owners need to treat their search engine optimisation like preparation for a casual dinner party.

We’re not talking the dinner-with-new-in-laws, fancy Liverpool restaurant kind of dinner party here. We’re talking raucous, wine-spilling, hug-fostering communal dining. Only by nurturing the kind of friendliness you’d get during a dinner with friends will you be able to survive the changes that are making search social.

Why the altered attitude? Google and Bing are in the middle of integrating social media aspects into search. Users can now access recommendations from their social networks, tap into popular tweets, and even see what their general peer group thinks when searching. Individual votes of confidence from each of your target users is becoming an important rankings factor.

Whether you attend or not, search is becoming a dinner party. Your best bet is to make sure you’re friends with everyone there. To do this, you need to foster sociability on your site:

*Encourage reviews by asking for them or offering rewards
*Incorporate your own social profiles
*Boost the community of your site by encouraging comments – this can also help your SEO
*Go out and socialise with target user groups on their favoured social media sites.

Search is now social, so bring your best to the table.

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