I just made a google search for ‘interesting restaurants in Melbourne’, and along with the regular results, was shown a link to my friend Adrian’s blog on the hidden laneway cafe’s of Melbourne, and my friend Ashlee’s flickr album of her favorite cafe’s all over the city.
This is thanks to Social Search. Make a google public profile, link your social media profiles like twitter and facebook, and you’re good to go: when you make a search, you have the option of seeing what your friends are saying about whatever you’re searching for.
Every aspect of the internet is becoming more social, and I think its a good thing! Every site will have to compete with independent blogs, tweets, articles that formerly would not have made it into the first few pages of search results. More competition means everyone is going to have to lift their game and work harder at being accurate, informative and relevant to be the chosen search result!
Social search is great news for bloggers everywhere, they will now find it easier to build readership momentum. Even when just starting out, they have the chance to be found by their social circle in search results, and as their network grows, to be found by a wider array of mutual friends etc. This as opposed to having to directly tell everyone they know about their blog and point them to it.
Its pull vs. push marketing, the very principle that makes Search Engine Optimisation so effective!
Think of being shown what your trusted friends like, recommend, or have used every time you make a search. It could really effect the decisions you make right? Picture this, its a lazy sunday afternoon, you decide to go see a movie, you search ‘Melbourne movie screening times’. Is it going to influence your decision if you see that your social circle LOVES the Coen Brothers’ ‘True Grit’ and wasn’t so hot on ‘Tron’? Every choice you make could be influenced; choosing where to eat, where to go out, where to go to college, where to visit when planning a trip to the USA or Europe and to anything else you might search for…
Word of mouth has long been one of the most trusted influences on decision making, for every kind of purchase and life choice, and now its making its way to the forefront of the internet. How will Social Search change the way we live, spend and search?