Image via CrunchBase
In an earlier post, “When being chased by a shark” [http://blog.midboh.com.au/post/8360935376/when-being-chased-by-a-shark], I raised an issue discussed by Christopher S Penn. I just caught up with the Please Keep Off The Astroturf episode of the Marketing Over Coffee podcast, in which Christopher again mentions it.
Here is a small section of the podcast I transcribed that helped me get a clearer understanding of the point he has been making …
“Google’s search results now are being altered by your social sharing. So if you search for email marketing and you are connected to [Christopher S Penn], if I’ve tweeted out something about Blue Sky Factory, the company will rank higher in search search results if we’re connected socially than if you search blindly on your own.”
A couple of notes:
- Christopher S Penn is Director of Strategy at WhatCounts (bought out Blue Sky Factory), so a few tweets about them is quite likely
- Blue Sky Factory (or now WhatCounts) is an email marketing company
In this example, Christopher’s Twitter account is acting as a conduit between the searcher and WhatCounts. We’ve know for a long time that links make an impact on search results. This suggests that a 2-step link can also be a factor. It is implied, but not proven conclusively, in Christopher’s material that both links need to be social for this ranking factor to become significant.
There is another implication in this example. If you provide social links to your competitors, you may wind up seriously eroding any advantage you may have from a large social network.
There is no reason to believe this impact is restricted to Twitter. Facebook, LinkedIn and any other accessible social platform should all demonstrate this effect.
- Social media now directly influences search rankings (christopherspenn.com)