Time Machine Pick: Google vs. Facebook in 2012: How Is the SEO World Changed?
Let’s play a game. Let’s pretend that one of our talented employees developed an Internet time machine and traveled forward in time so she could copy and paste an article that we will publish on our blog in February 2012 – seven months from now. Sadly for me, her program collapsed before she could check out some news sites and peruse the stock market. Sigh… foiled again.
But her trip wasn’t a total loss, because what we read in that article is worth re-printing. Or, should we say: pre-printing? Anyway, here’s what we found:
Google vs. Facebook in 2012: How Is the SEO World Changed?
by: Ali Husayni
February 12, 2012
If you haven’t signed up for Google+ and you haven’t migrated from Facebook, you’re among the remaining 35 percent of the social media late-boomers. Almost 65 percent of those who only used Facebook a year ago are Google+ fans now- while some still check their Facebook accounts.
Google once again has beaten another IT giant by building a more successful social media platform that is much savvier, easy to use and more intuitive than Facebook.
Only a few years ago, Google beat Yahoo! with its Gmail account and later bought YouTube to become the owner of the most visited sites on the planet.
As a result of Google+’s success, Facebook – which was at the top of the social media world just six months ago – lost more than 50 percent of its stock market value since July 2011.
So now the question is this: how does Google+ play into SEO, and how are we going to get our clients ranked at the top of Google (Google+ uses the same algorithm as Google search)?
How to Rank on Google
Since Google launched its new algorithm “Grizzly Bear” in December 2011, the results of every search you make today is unique to you and is based on the +1’s your friends, their friends, and friends of friends have given any particular website (given that you’re logged in to your Gmail account).
And in general, the more +1’s a site has, the better it ranks on Google.
This doesn’t mean the back-links have lost their importance, but rather, back-links now work hand-in-hand with +1’s.
SEO used to consist of three parts: content, optimization and back-links. Now +1 is another main factor in ranking on Google. Adding +1’s to your site is more difficult than the other three factors and thus “manipulating” Google SER’s is not as easy anymore.
Here is a short-list of what you need to do (in addition to what you already did) to rank better with Google:
1- Add the +1 button to ALL the pages of your site. Any visitor who goes to your site needs to have the ability to “vote” for your site.
2- Encourage your constituency (friends, clients) to +1 your site. This will increase the number of people you’re exposed to and therefore your +1’s will continue to grow.
3- Write GREAT content for your site and keep it up to date. As we have said for many years, become an authority in your field and be interesting for those who find your site.
4- Increase your site’s traffic in any shape or form possible. Run banner ads if you have to and sign up with Google Adwords. The more visitors your site gets, the better chance you have of getting +1’s.
The Future of Facebook Search
We expected Facebook to launch its search engine a while ago to compete with Google. But Microsoft took longer than expected to give the green light to Facebook and integrate its search algorithm with its partners’ social media platform. Now it seems to be too little, too late.
I conducted a few searches on FB search and compared the results with Google. Its weakness is that FB search only indexes sites that have been linked to from Facebook.com – leaving many sites out there un-indexed. Also, its algorithm is just based on the “likes” and on-site optimization and is leaving backlinks out. This is a fatal error of FB search developers.
I conclude that FB search is going to be a total failure just like Yahoo! and Bing and their merger. Google has more or less monopolized the search market, as well as the social media market. That, plus its advancements in word and spreadsheet processing, Google Maps, YouTube and their other FREE services, is going to guarantee their long-haul dominance over the Internet world.
But there are always ways to do things better, and Google needs to be very careful not to start late – as it did in the social media war. Google got lucky this time around, but it may not be so lucky the next time.