SASCON 2012 : Understanding the Role of Social in Search
Panel discussion; Speakers include:-
- Andy Betts, Digital & Marketing, Strategist @andybetts1
- Bas van den Beld, Search & Social Strategist & State of Search @basvandenbeld
- Martin Macdonald, SEO Strategy Director, Expedia @searchmartin
- Paddy Moogan, SEO Consultant, Distilled @paddymoogan
- Kevin Gibbons, Director of Strategy, SEOptimise @kevgibbo
Will link building die as a result of social signals in search?
- It wont die but will dwindle.
- We are ultimately a system of nodes and edges.
- Its easy to manipulate search results using links, but screwing with the social graph is much harder to do.
- If you only have social signals and no links, then it will look as unnatural as loads of links with no social.
- For one project we saw that after building up social signals, ranking result stabilised.
- It can be easy to manipulate social signals artificially because there are much more variants.
- This type of artificial ecosystem will still sit separately from the rest of the world, so it’s much harder to fake.
- Using Analytics Canvas, found a 62% increase in organic traffic for clients using social. Massive decrease for clients who don’t.
- We’re still talking about tactics rather than strategy. People forget about the audience.
- Too many people set up social accounts and don’t do anything with them.
What will be the effect of the Bing/Facebook alliance?
- It depends on how quickly they roll it out.
- Google are forcing Google Plus upon people by giving people an account when you sign up for any Google product.
- Google’s biggest mistake was not using Facebook’s data.
How do you see the future of Google plus for smaller businesses?
- If it gets more popular, then it will be important.
Small businesses should focus more on recommendations in general.
- If most of your visits are from search traffic, then it makes more sense to have google plus integration rather than Facebook integration.
- Go where your target audience is.
Customised message depending on whether the tool detects if you are logged in to Facebook or Google Plus.
- Facebook like coat hangers by C&A in Brazil.
- Blackmilkclothing.com – tagged photos of you wearing the products will be added to the product pages.
- To display your photo here simply include this tag #auroraskyelegs in a photo comment on our Facebook fan page, a photo tweet on Twitter or as a tag on your Instagram photo.
- There was an error on the page where Paddy was demonstrating this, wearing the leggings. Shame.
- For retailers like Currys, having an iPad next to product with reviews might be a good way to increase in-store conversions.
Should we move away from obvious SEO guest blogs?
- Problems happen when different parties manage different things.
- If its easy to spot as a post written for SEO purposes, then its been done badly.
- It should look more natural/credible.
Will agencies manipulate social sharing?
- Yes. Marketers will always try to encourage people to share the message.
- There will be tools available in the future that will replicate the ‘natural’ shape of social ecosystems.
- They will be available within 6 months.
What are we actually doing? What do we call ourselves?
- Inbound marketing. Everyone seems to hate this term.
- Seo? Online marketing? Holistic marketing? Digital marketing?
- Owned media, earned and paid media?
- We’re doing Marketing. Everyone seems happy with this definition!
What do you think the biggest threat to the industry is?
- Everything changes anyway, tactics generally have a limited lifespan.
- What works now wont work in 12 months time.
- You have to be able to adapt to what works.
- Now we have tools to find out what people are doing, we have much more information available.
- It’s more of an opportunity than a risk.
How will it work for people who aren’t yet on social sites – e.g. My 2 year old.
- There are social networks for 4 year olds – Moshi monsters has the highest average visit count.
- You will never be able to fake a natural social profile.
- Ralf disagrees – it’s easy to get real people to connect with a bot without them realising it.
- There are tools that can locate people around you, male or female with single status on their Facebook profile.
- Kids often don’t understand how dangerous it can be to publish their data.