The Critical Interplay Between Social and Search

Rand Fishkin

New Social Pros with Logos

Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz @randfish

Rand Fishkin, Founder and CEO of SEOmoz, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss content calendar and community management at SEOmoz, the rumors of Google’s Author Rank, and the future of Facebook’s new Graph Search feature.

Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.

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Tweetable Moments

(click to tweet)

“Social is how we discover, search is how we learn more.” -@randfish

“Social is part of the mix. It’s a helper monkey; it’s not the only monkey.” -@jaybaer

Graph Search “could be a very interesting platform, but it’s not a replacement.” -@randfish

The Relationship between Social and Search

Rand starts off the podcast by expressing his love for organic search, social media, content marketing, email marketing, conversion rate optimization, etc – all of which SEOmoz invests in to earn traffic and grow the brand while keeping the costs of customer acquisition very low. In fact, there is not one employee at SEOmoz whose job is sales. Daily blog posts are an important part of this, and Rand points out that blogging every day is not nearly as trying as people make it out to be. “It’s just part of my life,” he says. “When it’s part of your founding core culture, it’s not actually as challenging as people say.”

Jay asks Rand about Google Author Rank and why it might be important. “This is another tendril that Google’s leveraging to get people into Google+. I think it’s a powerful one and it’s a smart one,” Rand says.

He adds, though, that no one knows if or when Google will actually implement Author Rank as a search ranking tool. It could clean up search results if Google decides to implement it, but for now all we know is that rel=author exists as a way for blog authors to claim their posts and contribute to blogging transparency.

Jay, of course, could not let the opportunity slide to ask Rand what he thinks about Facebook’s new Graph Search feature. Rand points out that we are all basically in speculation mode right now, with little more information than we had even before Facebook made the announcement. “We don’t know how they’re going to leverage it with advertising and with commerce, and whether that will have any push on consumers.”

His main point, though, is that he doesn’t see Graph Search replacing Google search or any other platform we currently have at our disposal; instead, he sees it as a new tool that will have new applications.

Social Pros Shoutouts

Rand: I’ll give a couple of folks who I think are pretty terrific marketers that I would recommend that more people follow. One of those is for sure going to be John Doherty, who runs Distilled. John tweets really excellent things, super smart guy. Very well connected to what’s actually going on in the world of digital media. I like him a ton.

The other one that I was going to add is someone that I think is one of the most brilliant marketers of his time, and yet is never labeled as a marketer, which probably adds to his brilliance. That is Neil deGrasse Tyson, who has transformed the way we view astrophysics and science in the modern era, especially the last 10-15 years. I think he’s done as much for popularizing the right kinds of science as anyone in the field has done. I’m tremendously excited to see what he continues to do.

Social Media Stat of the Week: Organic Facebook Impressions Lead to 76% Increase in Brand Website Visits

Eric: Ignite Social Media used comScore data to track the behavior of fans that saw earned Facebook impressions, fans that saw paid Facebook impressions, and a control group that did not see any impressions on Facebook. In short what they found was that people who see Facebook impressions – organically more so than paid impressions – are measurably more likely to take actions on the web that suggest buying signals. It’s pretty cool stuff. It goes to illustrate the value of the Facebook audience, and how earned media and paid media on social really does have a correlation to the things that are important on the revenue side of the business.

Jay: Although I wonder if they controlled for whether those people were already fans of the page. If somebody is already pre-disposed to liking you in three dimensions, they are much more likely to click the “like” button on Facebook. Therefore they are likely to see your organic posts, and therefore they’re also pre- disposed to coming back to the website.

It’s exactly what Rand was talking about a moment ago, that people find sparks of inspiration in social, and then they use search to clean up on that and say, “What was that exactly?” They don’t know the exact domain name, so they search for it and they end up there.

See you next week!

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