10 Steps To Google's Real Social Search Results

by Gabriella Sannino March 2nd, 2011 


Long story short: Google overhauled their Social Search network, added Twitter, Flickr and Quora results, and is throwing it into the search results.

The catch? You have to be signed in to see those social results. But then again, are you sure all your prospect and clients sign out of Google before searching?

So, lets say you finally want to play on the playground with the cool, hip and otherwise in kids. Where do you start? Here are a few tips to get you moving.

  1. If you havent done it yet, create a Google Profile. Why? Well, I cant swear to it, but it does seem to make it easier for Google to find all your social accounts " and isnt that the point
  2. Fill out your Google Profile correctly. This could be a tough one. For instance, it took my editor two days to figure out why her social activity wasnt public. Imagine having problems trying to turn privacy off
  3. Tune up your social network. If youre networking for business, you want to make sure your results show up in your followers, fans and subscribers results. Try to increase the number of the people in your network that closely match your ideal client persona.
  4. If you havent already, become a consistent poster. Your network can forgive the fact that you only post twice a week, for example, but its a lot harder for them to forget the times youve missed posts.
  5. Understand that you cant keep ignoring those annoying Google tools. Yes, FriendFeed, Buzz, Knol all those potential accounts now have a really good reason to be used. The great thing about most accounts like these is that you can link them all together. You only have to post on one platform for the post to show across the board.
  6. Which leads me to " make sure you link your accounts. If a social network allows you to link other accounts (and these are already public business accounts), dont miss the opportunity. This way, your followers on Buzz can also see youre using Twitter; anyone who sees your Klout score can also see that youre on Facebook, etc.
  7. Change your mindset about online privacy. Lay out what you want people to know and what you dont want people to know. If you want something to be private, dont have it online or dont link the account to your social circle.
  8. Engage your social circle. Not like Star Treks engage, but engage as in get to know these people. Every time you hop onto your chosen social networks, pretend youre at a party (sans booze). Talk to people; create friendships; share your ideas and knowledge.
  9. While youre schmoozling at this fantabulous, never-ending party, remember to stop talking occasionally and listen. Engaging people means having a conversation, and you cant have a conversation if youre the only one talking. What are your followers, fans and subscribers saying? Pay attention " you might learn something!
  10. Forget about spam. Dont use automated DMs, bots or other crappy toys. People arent following you, a (supposedly) human being, to get another robot. They want human interaction. A social circle full of bots will get you nowhere in your business. After all, bots dont buy.

So, what about it? Are you going to keep ignoring social with the attitude of Ive never needed it before, or are you going to hop into the never-ending party? "And, out of pure curiosity (sort of like the cant look away from a train wreck syndrome), I have to ask: If you arent using social and dont plan to " why not?

Gabriella Sannino

For the past twenty years Gabriella has held positions as a consultant, web developer and creative director until she decided it was time to open Level 343, an SEO and copywriting company. She fancies herself an Italian rocker, rebel and SEO geek. She loves singing in the shower and keeps a notepad next to her bed.

Level343 Blog

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7 Responses to “10 Steps To Google's Real Social Search Results”

  1. Heather says:

    Is this the proper time and place to raise the question of full or partial RSS feeds. I've recently found some very good blogs I would like to follow and engage with but they only provide partial rss feeds, which makes it considerable extra work to actually be engaged with them. I've politely asked if they might consider providing full feeds and the response I typically get is that they they need site visits for their sponsors or they're afraid of scrapers. Of course, it's their blog so their choice but I do let them know how much I like their blog but that I'll have to unsubscribe without their being a full feed.

    Wouldn't quality content still drive more numbers to their sites even IF they had full feeds?

    Just wondering if you have any thoughts on this or if this is a topic for another thread?

  2. Heather says:

    Thanks, Ruud. I have tried that expansion tool for Google Reader and sometimes it just "disappears" on me. I don't know where it disappears to but it doesn't come back unless I redownload it and then it soon disappears again. Rather than struggle with this technical issue, I just (as in yesterday) found an even better solution (via Lifehacker) and that is this … http://fulltextrssfeed.com/. It allows me to change partial feeds to full feeds so I don't even have to remember that they were ever partial feeds. I've had to diddle with the tool a bit sometimes but have been able to switch 6 partial feeds so far. I have one cranky feed that is resistant but I'm still working on it.

    And yes, those who only provide partial feeds do, somehow, leave a bad taste in one's mouth, which makes me not want to really follow them after all.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Thanks for reporting back and for the additional solution, Heather

    • That's a good point to ponder, Heather, and something that would make a good poll. Should RSS feeds be full or partial? I'm willing to bet that a lot of people simply read the full feed and rarely go back to the site, which, if true, would definitely lower traffic numbers. For blogs that count on advertisers and monetization, lower traffic numbers could seriously hurt them.
      Having said that, the question of full or partial RSS feeds could be answered by the purpose of the site/feed. Are you blogging for monetization purposes? A partial feed might be better. Are you blogging to build authority? A full feed might serve you the best. It sounds like double speaking – but there's really no straight yes or no answer.

      • Ruud Hein says:

        Good points, Gabriella. Traffic vs feed got me thinking though… With RSS being somewhat marginal and used by us special folks, maybe a full feed RSS helps other spread the news which in turn drives more traffic from regular people to the web site?

        I know I tweet a lot of stuff that I come across in my Google Reader/FeedDemon.

  3. Heather says:

    I agree, Ruud. I believe that good content in a full feed will ultimately drive more people to the website than even good content and a partial feed. I frequently read that people who use feed readers tend to unsubscribe from sites that only offer partial feeds, as do I (unless I can use a get-around to make them full feed – and many people won't bother to do that). And I would bet that there are others, like me, who will make a point (when I have extra time) to actually visit blogs I follow to enjoy their design, check out their side-bars, and to comment.

    It's my feeling that the use of partial feeds to drive traffic is not necessarily as successful as those bloggers think it might be.

    Some of the most successful bloggers I'm aware of use full feeds. There are few who have as many followers as The Pioneer Woman, who has always provided a full feed. The number of comments she gets to a single post (and not just giveaways) is staggering and is testament to the quality of her content and her personal, engaging style!