Online Search Trends

Just returned from the 2009 PubCon Conference in Las Vegas.  One of the sessions I attended was about the changes that are being seen in people’s online search behavior. I’ve included some notes below so that you may take the search trends into account as you roll out your 2010 Internet Marketing Strategy.

  • YouTube is now the second most searched website. 
    Been thinking of making videos?  Now seems to be the time to get moving on that.
  • Twitter and Facebook appear in the top 10 list of most searched websites.
    Do you need to ramp up activity on these websites?
  • Searches on Twitter and Facebook are replacing searches on Google. Twitter and Facebook searches reach much more targeted audiences.
    Traditionally,  “getting found” involved SEO of your website. SEO of your website is still needed as Google remains the most searched search engine, however, now searches are being done on interactions at the social networking websites, so, you want to augment SEO at your website with your social networking interactions. Make sure that you are active at Twitter and Facebook — and you use your keyword terms in your profiles and posts so that you can get found for the terms that are relevant to your business.
  • Will changes in search behavior adversely affect Google?
    • Probably not as Google has everyone else’s data – except Facebook’s.
    • And it appears that Google is converting itself into a social networking website. See google.com/experimental Google Social Search for a taste of the new functionality being tested.
  • Facebook is currently not sharing data with Google.
    Develop a separate strategy for Facebook interactions as those will not appear in the Google search results.
  • Panelists conclude that Google’s Friend Connect is not effective and Facebook’s Fan utility is effective.
    Consider inviting readers/followers to become a Fan of yours. Add the Become a Fan link to your website as well as your Facebook profile.
  • The popularity of digg, del.icio.us, reddit,  and stumbleupon has declined as the results of good positioning in these produces spikes in traffic, but, not long-term gains in followers/readership. Activities at Twitter and Facebook reach a much more targeted audience and tend to build relationships which result in long-term gains.

Bottom line: Become more active in Facebook and Twitter. Engage like-minded social networkers in conversations and focus on building relationships. <– Back to basics.

Notes taken 11/12/09 at the Search Bloggers: What’s Hot and Trending session.

Search Bloggers Panelists

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