We are living in the era where information and communications technology is leading and triggering changes in all walks-of-life. For the last few years, search engine optimization remained one of the most touted buzzword in online fraternity and then came social media optimization. However, like always technology is not going to wait for anything to grow mature and continue to keep on taking strides forward. Owing to this tendency, we are witnessing another change in optimization world, where Google is showing its predilection towards social indicators as the basis of page ranks. Discover, to the point blog post by Samantha “Google Has Changed Their Website Ranking Advice” to have background information. However, in this article we will try to explore compelling reasons due to which search engines are drifting towards social media indicators and future scenario of optimization world.
Firstly, we have to reiterate the real objective behind setting back-links one of the significant criteria to rate websites; previously, this was the only option available that reflects reputation and demand of the content on the site by digital consumers. This led to introduction of new tactics of building back-links to the website so that its page rank is improved in the eyes of search engines. Due to the very reason, focal point of all resources and efforts were to gain back-links and not on the content of the website, this where problem lies as search engine as we speak most of the time show search results with irrelevant content because owners of the websites have optimized them. Thus, the state of affairs were such that search engines have to take some corrective measures in order to raise the quality of the organic search results.
With the inception of Web2.0 and rapid popularity of social networking sites, search engines have realized that there is another more efficient way of determining the reputation and demand of the content on the website and that is social sharing, comments and likes/dislikes. There are several reasons why this approach is being proffered over previous approaches and they are stated below:
- Ultimate goal of search engines are to provide organic search results as, per consumers demand, and what could be the better option than social media indicators (such as sharing, ratings, likes or comments) as these are the verdict of the same consumers.
- There are several aspects about the content, and these all are not related to the quality of the content. Rather, some of them points to the relevance as well, relevance of time, relevance of language, relevance of culture and to name but a few. It is hard to determine relevance with the help of algorithms, so why not to transfer that burden back to online consumers as they are selecting relevant content and rate them daily on social media sphere.
Finally, to recapitulate, social media has acted as catalyst here, and triggered change in search engine algorithms for rating websites. Thus, in times to come we will make web2.0 compliant websites in order to make them search engine friendly and all types of optimizations (such as Search engine optimization, social media optimization, On-page Optimization) will integrate with each other to form “Hybrid Optimization or Integrated Optimization”. Moreover, social media interactions will act as the key performance indicator for search engine bots or spiders and i will not be surprised if facebook or twitter launches its own social search engine. Furthermore, keywords in the content will be highlighted as hash tags ‘#’.
Coming to end, I think we are moving in a right direction and we are going to see interesting changes in times to come. Like always my advise is “Change with the Change! Otherwise Change will Change You!”