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Social and search and… steaks? (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – June 3, 2011)

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about us living in an era of social search. I’m increasingly convinced. Search engines need social data to continue to improve their results. Otherwise, they risk losing market share to consumers using social media—and, let’s face it, right now that means Facebook—to simply ask their friends. At the same time, social drives increased search activity, as social media users try to find more information about the things their friends talk about. For instance, a friend of mine told me about a great steak restaurant the other day and not five minutes later, I was searching for their website.

Anyway, here are a number of juicy morsels that should satisfy your hunger for search and social success:

  • While it’s been a couple of months since Google announced its +1 feature, Search Engine Land has the full details on Google’s (now live) +1 for websites. If Google’s +1 makes you think of Facebook’s “Like button,” you’re not alone. And the fact that Google wants these all over the web should indicate exactly how serious a challenger they think Facebook represents.
  • While we’re on the topic of +1, I’ve got to give you my thoughts about Steve Rubel’s latest activity. Steve is a smart guy. I have met him, think very highly of him and think he’s almost always worth listening to. However, Steve took his regard for +1 and social sharing a little too far this week, blowing up his entire web presence in favor of a single blog on Tumblr. I promise next week to tell you why this was a bad idea. But it was. At the same time, it underscores that a.) social search is a really big deal and b.) that even the best minds out there make mistakes now and again.
  • Now +1 isn’t the only way to integrate with the big boys. Among other tools, Facebook provides a Comments plug-in for your website. Unfortunately, those comments can’t be crawled by Google. Or can they? As it happens, Roy Peleg has an (admittedly geeky) post on SEOmoz on how you can make Facebook Comments crawlable on your site.
  • Of course, Facebook and Google +1 aren’t the only games in the social/search space. Twitter introduced a new tool, called “Web Intents,” too. And Distilled has a great post on tracking Google’s +1 and Twitter’s “Web Intents” in Google Analytics
  • Speaking of analytics, Mike Moran takes a look at the importance of running your marketing by the numbers and which metrics you should show your boss.
  • Of course, one metric that comes up again and again in my work is conversion rate, both for individual sites and across industries. The second of those is slightly complex, which is why I answered the question, “what is an industry average conversion rate anyway?”. Quick hint: the answer isn’t what you think it is.
  • Most looks at social these days only relate to “free” activities (ignoring the cost of time and labor for a second). Well, John Jantsch takes a look at paid social optimization. And, it’s worth a look from you, too.
  • Finally, none of this matters if your search and social activities don’t lead to sales. Fortunately, Facebook has taken Danny Sullivan inside their numbers, which he shares, showing how Facebook Likes help websites.

C’mon, admit it. Pretty meaty list of links, eh? Fortunately, you’ve got all weekend to chew on ’em. Me? I’m going out to get a nice, medium-rare ribeye.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Hey Tim,
    “Search engines need social data to continue to improve their results” – I agree, and it’s a great time to be a search engine: users are happy to literally click a button to tell you what they want to see more and less of.

    Thanks for linking to my Distilled post; I’m looking forward to capturing some data about the clickrate on +1 buttons etc. Interesting times for SEOs.

    Enjoy your Steak 🙂

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