Google Changes the Game of Influence

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Google Social Search

How would you like to be everywhere? Your business so omnipotent that every time your customer looks up something relating to your industry they see your face or company logo.

How much business do you think that would bring you? How much social proof and authority would you gain? A lot.

Of course, you can’t really be everywhere, right? Well, the trick isn’t to be everywhere…just everywhere your customer is.

While this may seem like a tall order (which it is :) ), Google has inadvertently made it easier for marketers to target their audiences.

How? By gaining influence through influencers. Read that again: gain influence through influencers.

That means you don’t actually have to build up your reputation by pumping out quality content for years until people notice you. You don’t have to go out there and locate your target audience either. By targeting a small group of individuals, Google will find your target audience for you.

…Huh?

Google Gets Social 

The algorithm now takes into account your social interactions online, and the interactions of those you are connected to. That means if I share a blog post on Twitter, my contacts are more likely to see it if they are logged into Google.

Logged in to Google? Yep…how many people have Gmail accounts? A lot.

Google’s new integration of social metrics into their algorithm has actually provided influencers with more influence than they already had!

A Social Example

With the launch of Content Strategy Hub, I published a post with whole slew of awesome people talking about business publishing.

The post has been shared a lot. And rightfully so, the post is great. The people I interviewed are absolutely brilliant, so I can’t take credit for the quality of the post :) .

When I search for “business publishing” on Google, this post shows up on the front page of my results.

But as much as the post has been shared, it only shows up on my first page of results because I shared the post.

To double check if my theory was correct, I asked a friend of mine (who has nothing to do with marketing and has no connections to any of the people I interviewed) to run the same search. Again, my post was on the first page of his results…because I shared the post.

When I ran the same search in an “incognito” window in Google Chrome (meaning no cookies), the post was nowhere in sight.

More Leads through Incestuous Content?

Google loves to effect people’s businesses, doesn’t it? And again, it didn’t fail.

The new social search feature has a huge implication on how businesses can be found on Google. And it doesn’t have to be a bad one if you know how to work it.

I mentioned before that you should focus on your ideal customer and avoid incestuous content  (or content that is targeted at other industry companies/leaders rather than the customer).

While you should still focus primarily on creating content directed at your customer, creating some content directed at influencers in the industry can go a long way.

WTF is an Influencer?

Traditionally, an influencer online is someone who has a huge following. This is someone that effects the way people see a subject, or even behave.

…In the realm of social media, this is someone like Gary Vaynerchuk.

…In the realm of professional blogging, this is someone like Darren Rowse.

…In the realm of dog training, this is someone like Cesar Millan.

You get the idea.

But Google just flipped tradition on it’s head. If your neighbor has Gmail, Twitter and is connected to you, they can influence your search results (even if your neighbor isn’t one of the people mentioned above).

Target the Industry Influencers

So what happens if an influencer in your industry shares your post on Twitter? You are going to show up higher in the search rankings for people who follow that person (and traditional influencers have a lot of followers).

Influencers also get Re-Tweeted…a lot.

This creates a trickle-down effect of influence. If someone else in your industry shares your awesome post because it was shared by an influencer, eventually that person’s neighbor can see your post ranked highly if they search for related keywords.

Whoa.

Wouldn’t it be nice to intercept your competitor’s neighbor? :)

One More Thing…

You don’t have to be a well-known individual with a huge following to get influencers to share your content. Want to know how? More on that coming soon. But first…

I would really appreciate it if you help me out by using your influence and sharing this post on Twitter, Facebook or both.

Also, if you haven’t done so yet, sign up for updates below to get information on content strategy. All sorts of good stuff to come :) .

7 Responses to Google Changes the Game of Influence
  1. Jessica Northey

    FANTASTIC post Eugene! great info & incredibly articulate! Thank you for sharing!

    • Eugene

      My pleasure Jessica, glad you enjoyed it. Now time to go influence some people :)

  2. Jim Traister

    Extremely insightful article! Opened my eyes up!

    • Eugene

      Thank Jim, glad you found it helpful.

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  4. Business Answering Service

    Good post and I think you’re right on in terms of social’s increasingly powerful effect on search results. We’re only at the beginning of the transformation and I’m sure Google has a lot more in store for us. – Melanie

    • Eugene

      Perfect, we’ll have something more to write about :)

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