Google Realtime Search officially went offline this week. This follows news that Google didn’t renew its contract with Twitter to include content from the microblogging site in the Realtime search results. It’s been speculated in the media world that Google’s decision not to renew its contract with Twitter is a sign that Google is getting ready to alter all of its search utilities, not just Realtime, but the Universal Search results as well, so that it gives preference to its own, new social network, Google+.
Translation: Instead of getting top rankings and great exposure on Google because you’ve integrated Facebook and Twitter activity on your site, you will instead be rewarded by having a lot of activity on Google+. So the more +1’s you get and the more activity on your Google+ company page, the more traffic will be coming to your company website.
For the last few years, Google has incorporated social media activity in its search results. This is why sites with social media integration, as well as thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook fans, have been getting such great exposure on Google. However, Google is no longer interested in being a third party that directs people to Facebook and Twitter. Now, Google is trying to become a mega-website that combines search and social activity all across the Google platform.
As Google changes its search algorithm to give more importance to its own social network than to Facebook and Twitter, you need to reconsider how you will use social media to grow your business. The last few years, the best way to use social media to win over new customers was to create a dynamic online presence on Facebook and Twitter. In the coming years, that might change. Instead, you might need to incorporate search engine marketing and social media marketing into a powerfully synchronized strategy that gets your business found all over the Google platform.
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