When I see search engine firms promise #1Rank in search results, I cringe. They are giving us all a bad name. Social search has made it difficult, if not impossible, to guarantee rank to any business. With search results so individualized, it is possible for two people to type in the same search term and come up with completely different results.
In the beginning, it was just about getting your information on the web. Then keywords were all the rage. Then we entered the world of content. And although content still reigns supreme, relevant content from your social connections is the new variable.
Google has made it possible to individualize search results. “Your Social Search experience is personal and the highlighted content that you see is unique to you and your social connections. Your social connections could include people in your Gmail, public friends on sites like Twitter or Flickr and public friends of these friends. Google is not just giving you the best results, but they are giving you the best search results for you.
What does this mean for business? It means social media, reviews, social bookmarking and commenting are all effecting search and are all becoming increasingly important. To stay ahead of the curve, businesses have to incorporate their prominence in their social media strategy.
In my opinion, it not only makes search better, but it makes businesses better. The quality of your web content has to be better, you don’t achieve prominence with bad content. The product or service a business provides has to be better, reviews influence purchase.
So next time somebody promises a #1 rank in search results, ask them, #1 for who? And remember in the end rank doesn’t matter, results do.