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Social media receiving higher priority in Google search results

February 19, 2011

As reported this week by the Wall Street Journal’s Scott Morrison, Google is making its search results more social by prioritizing in search results relevant content content shared by those in the user’s social network.

The move is part of Google’s effort to adapt to a rapidly shifting Internet in which users increasingly rely on such social media sites as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. to discover content and products on the Internet.

Google first rolled out its social search feature in 2009, but social results were relegated to the bottom of the results page. With the changes introduced on Thursday, content shared by friends on Flickr, Blogger, or Twitter will be woven in among Google’s main search results, a change the Mountain View Calif., company said will give users “even more information from the people that matter to you.”

An example is my search on Martindale-Hubbell. Highlighted in Google’s search results are blog posts published by Attorneys within my social network, Ernie Svenson and Doug Cornelius.

Social media in Google search results

Google’s highlighting social media makes a lot of sense if you think about it. What are you apt to trust more – random search results from Google or content shared or produced by those you trust within your social network?

Facebook ‘likes’ do not appear yet in Google social’s search. In time I expect ‘likes’ to appear or in some way impact search results

As a lawyer your social network is now becoming more and more important. First, if you don’t have a online social network of people you follow, the results you receive in Google will be a little less rich.

Second, without a social network you’ll be seen less in search results. You simply won’t have people sharing what you’re saying (writing).

I blogged earlier this week about the growing impact of social media on Google search, that being the sharing and liking in social media may become more important than a link to your content.

The prioritizing of social search is growing evidence that change is on the way. Social media is becoming more and more important to lawyers and law firms.

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