July 2nd, 2010

The SEO community starts to test social media search optimisation strategies

When we think of search we think of external search i.e. search engines like Google that act as windows onto the web. From these windows we can find and access news, videos, social media forums, maps – as well as a wealth of branded content and information about businesses, products & services.

But of course people search elsewhere on the web. After email communication search is the primary web behaviour. And there is another kind of search engine: internal or enterprise search. In the US in March of 2010 Facebook’s internal search engine, for example, saw its usage soar by 48% to total 2.7% of all US searches carried out on the Web in that month. OK, so compared to Google’s 64% share of the US search market that might not seem to impressive. Still, that’s a whole lotta searching going on – and mostly for people’s names.

As brands and businesses start to saturate social media properties like Facebook, SEOs are already trying to fathom what the ranking factors are, so that they can lend their services to help brands become more visible in social media search. This article by Marty Weintraub entitled “Facebook SEO Ranking Factors, 2010 Study Results” suggests that criteria such as the Facebook Suggest Box, inserting generic keywords into name fields, population of the Interests field, encouraging as many Fans and “Likes”, might become the focus of SEO test strategies.

However, as Weintraub points out it’s early days in terms of cracking the social media search algorithms. But that won’t stop the more innovative and curious SEOs from having a go!

Blog post by Amanda Davie, Founding Partner of Reform