Here on Handshake 2.0, the topic of enhancing a social media footprint as a means of getting found on the Web has been addressed many times. Authors of these posts have encouraged readers to Google themselves to find out how they rank in search results both as individuals and as the businesses they represent.
Engaging in blogging, using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedInand other social media tools have been recommended as strategic moves to increase prominence on the Web. While all of this has been solid advice for any Web marketing and/or social media strategy, the relevance increased significantly when, in December 2009, Google announced it was changing its traditional search methodology to include real-time search. Search engines Bing and Yahooquickly followed Google's lead.
Now, it's not just a company's web site that gets indexed by search engines. Updates to Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook Fan pages are indexed immediately after they are posted. And, according to an article by Adam Ostrow on Mashable, real-time search also works on some mobile devices.
Activity in social networks not only increases a company's Web presence, it now impacts how Google ranks an individual or a company in search results. Size matters – businesses and individuals with the bigger social media footprint are more likely to be discovered on the Web.
If you've been putting off starting a corporate blog, using Twitter or making a video and posting it to YouTube, maybe now is the time to do so.
How competitive are you? Would knowing a competitor appears in the top level of search results ahead of you because they use Twitter or have a YouTube channel be reason enough to enlarge your social media footprint?
From Handshake 2.0: Creating corporate social media channels and keeping them updated with high quality content got even more mission-critical when Google announced its new search index Caffeine on 6/8/10: "Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish."