New Google search update

New Google search update means social network updates will impact on search results

Internet giant Google has launched a new tool that integrates social networking updates from sites like Twitter and LinkedIn into search results, showing users if a friend has tweeted or shared an article, video or piece of content.

While Google has previously integrated results from social networks this new upgrade is much more – content your friends have retweeted or liked will now show up higher than it otherwise would have.

Stewart Media chief executive Jim Stewart says that is another reason why businesses need to be on social networks like Twitter, commenting on and sharing all types of content that can be spread through a fan base.

“About two years ago I said that Twitter was bigger than Google. And by that what I mean is that it has completely changed the way Google ranks search results,” Stewart says.

“This whole “real time marketing” aspect of everything is changing how Google works.

“Google was always lacking a type of integration with social media and this is the element that Twitter provides to them. This is just an exaggeration of that.”

In a new blog post Google outlined the way Google Social Search will work. Previously there would be a section of the results page dedicated to tweets but now they will be integrated throughout the results themselves.

“This means you’ll start seeing more from people like co-workers and friends, with annotations below the results they’ve shared or created,” Google says.

“So if you’re thinking about climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and your colleague Matt has written a blog post about his own experience then we’ll bump up that post with a note and a picture.”

In a second major update Google says links shared on Twitter will make their way onto the results page with a little note saying one of your friends has shared it before.

“For example, if you’re looking for a video of President Obama on “The Daily Show” and your friend Nundu tweeted the video, that result might show up higher in your results and you’ll see a note with a picture of Nundu,” the company says.

The third major update to Social Search is control over accounts. The new Social Search only works if you are logged into a Google account and you now have the option to connect an account or refuse content to be shared.

Google product management director of search Mike Cassidy has told TechCrunch that in some cases the search results may be changed depending on the content that shows up and one aspect to be considered is how many friends share a link.

As for Facebook, Cassidy said: “We’re focused on sites where it’s relatively easy to crawl for data … we’re interested in including any publicly available content.”

Twitter seems to be the main focus for now.

“One of the big arguments when Twitter first came out was that it would kill Google. But what Google has just done is combined them. It’s a good move,” Stewart says.

“This is simply another reason why businesses should be getting online as fast as they can and start sharing content with others.”

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E-mail resolutions to attract and keep customers in 2011

When your e-mail program is profitable and running smoothly, don’t get complacent. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself, ³Are they bored with the same old campaigns and promotions?²

Take the time to examine key measurements of your list churn and the percent of subscribers who are engaged, and work to develop fresh and compelling campaigns.

This year is a good time to really incorporate social media into your marketing. Social media and e-mail are symbiotic, so leverage the strengths of each to enhance the other. Your marketing should be all about the connections, and socializing your data unifies and integrates your disparate data sources to provide a complete customer view. This deeper understanding enables you to target your e-mail campaigns, increasing their relevancy to drive higher engagement and conversion.

Correlate e-mail metrics with other key metrics ­ purchase history, social buzz, Web, call center ­ to compile a connected view of the customer. Broadening beyond open- and click-rate metrics will paint a richer picture of e-mail performance.

Augment your connected customer view with actionable demographic/geographic data ‹ zip codes, household income and even weather reports ‹ to engage customers with compelling, timely and targeted offers that inspire action.

Cross-pollinate e-mail promotions with social channels by posting and tweeting about them. Enable fans and followers to subscribe directly to your e-mail from your fan page. Create Twitter campaigns featuring landing pages with special content or discounts to encourage future sharing. Identify your brand ambassadors and provide them with unique rewards.

Texting is a popular form of messaging worldwide. Smartphones have even become many customers’ primary interface. In 2011, engage your customers wherever they are located.

Rethink and then redesign your templates for smartphone users. Analyze your open metrics to understand the how, what, where and when of your mobile campaigns and know which devices are popular with customers.

Develop text messaging campaigns and leverage the immediacy and bidirectional, conversational nature of this channel to make special commute-hour offers, confirm appointments and send reminders or renewal and replenishment alerts. Use texting contests to drive growth or reengage customers.

Don’t assume your e-mail service provider’s views and click reports paint the whole picture. Look at your entire e-mail marketing funnel, from subscriber acquisition through inbox delivery to the landing page, and finally to checkout. You may be surprised that the weakest stage in your funnel wasn’t what you thought.

From the January 01, 2011 Issue of Direct Marketing News http://www.dmnews.com/issue/january/01/2011/1953/