Are you still just publishing content to the web?  Or are you injecting content in to the social sphere?

For a long time, the only websites which have been easily discoverable in search engines have been those which are optimised and well linked to, particularly for competitive search terms.  This also applies to image search, if I perform a search today on Bing for ‘Thailand photos’, whilst I get some great results…

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The chances of any my personal Thailand photos coming up in the search results are pretty slim.  In fact, what I see are photos from Nationalgeographic.com and other large optimised travel sites dominating the search results.  Whereas a similar search from my Facebook profile reveals photos and other updates from my friends  about Thailand…

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OK some of the time I may well want to see professional photographs and videos, and image search does a great job of that.  However what if I am going on holiday and I want to check out REAL photos of the hotel I am booking, taken by people in my social network?  Or perhaps I want to read a night club review from my friends, rather from a trendy music critic who’s taste in music pre-dates my own by ten years!

If I am looking for personalised information on a particular topic, do you think I am more likely to find it in Facebook or a search engine?  That question will start to become harder to answer as search engines begin to pull in social networking data, and connect it to your online profiles.  Whilst Google will not be the only ones to move in to social search, they have recently released their implementation in to beta and provided a nice video to sum up how it integrates with their image search…

 

How big is your social/professional network?  Do you have enough ‘friends’ to help you launch your content in to a wide enough network?  Or do you have influencers/customers who can help you do it?  Do your competitors have more friends that you?

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