Social Search Results and Beyonce Is Pregnant

This morning I received an email about Google’s update to their social search results, a feature Google has been experimenting visibly with for the last year.

While I was impressed with the technology back then it was really nothing to write home about. To Google’s defense, they have been determined to understand the value of integrating social within the framework of search. I made a short video clip back in January, when the Toyota domino recalls were happening – this is what it looked like nearly a year ago.

Since then, Google has made vast improvements and beneficial enhancements to how they have integrated social into search. It is less intrusive. They show the real-time updates subtly instead of the constant scrolling updates.

If you do choose to click on the recent social updates below the news results, you’ll be taken to a real-time search results update page, a trending timeline and the – pièce de résistance – top links! See video clip below.

Initially, I looked at this page and said, “Okay, this is pretty cool but who cares?” So I took a closer look and came up with a few good ways all of us marketers may be able to take advantage of this new offering from Google:


  • Share Something New: The majority of people who are RTing on Twitter, commenting/sharing on Facebook and other social platforms are most likely saying the same thing over and over and over again. This is your chance to share something new. Join in the banter, but offer a fresh perspective, valuable piece of information or other. Something that out of all 585 comments yours will standout because you are offering a new sound into the noise. Incidentally, at the time when I looked on this morning to get the top trending search, the most popular item was “Beyonce Pregnant” – just in case you are curious about the title of this post – we thought we would play along in the trend and offer up some new information to be shared (highly irrelevant to the folks that care about Beyonce’s pregnancy, by the way, Beyonce congratulations).
  • Profile Audiences: Without going into too much detail on this, clearly the folks commenting on Beyonce being pregnant are not the same folks commenting on Virginia Thomas, but it is a good way to understand what your target audience is most interested in (if you don’t know this already).

Top Links

  • Early Bird Gets the Worm: If you can’t be the first to create the news, you can be the first to comment on it, and quite possibly get a link from it. If you can watch (obsessively) for trending topics in your industry, Google will show you who is the most authoritative for that trend – get a comment on there – maybe with your link and you’ve got exposure.
  • Identify Authority Sites: If you aren’t the early bird, you may still be able to get the worm. By observing which sites are visible for your target topics, you will discover new opportunities for SEO, such as who to interview or be interviewed by, guest write for and comment on.

These are just a few ways Google’s new social search can benefit you, there are several more.

What is your take on social search results?


  1. Hi Liberty:

    Thanks for taking the time to explain how Google’s latest evolution might impact marketing strategies. I’m intrigued by your notion of leveraging “trending” and “top links” – I see some experimenting in my future.

    Let me ask you to look into your crystal ball a bit further – can Bing pull off a similar approach? Does it need to?

    1. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your comment. I think Google’s latest real-time search results and bing’s deal with Facebook are very different. Google has longed for gain into the data of Facebook and now bing has it. That is the biggest game changer. I’d be interested to see some real data on how people make decisions based on knowing what their social network’s behavior is. Now that search and social have come together in a completely different way on both google and bing, we’ll just have to see what will really take hold. It seems though that bing may have the upper hand here – but sadly, I feel that Google could probably find better use for the social data that facebook is providing bing than bing will.

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