When you hear the term ‘social networking,’ what first comes to mind? If you are like me, the first thing that comes to mind is MySpace and Facebook.
Besides this point, there really is no good industry definition for ‘social networking’ yet. However, a good definition could be “web properties where people can build relationships, collaborate or exchange information with like minded people.”
‘Social networking’ online is the same as ‘social networking’ in the physical world, except it’s on the web.
There are 3 types of social networking sites:·
– Shared web pages (MySpace, Facebook, MyWeb, etc.)
– Tag engines (Technorati, blog lines, etc.)
– Collaborative directories (Wikipedia, etc.)
One neat thing to know is that search engines observe us as we are searching online – meaning they observe our click patterns, popular URLs viewed, etc. – which helps to modify their algorithms. So, the search engines are watching our every move as we socialize on ‘social networking’ sites. In fact, social search is already impacting algorithmic results as we begin to see more and more ‘social networking’ links in search engines. Google and Yahoo are said to be moving slowly on embracing social sites within the SEM industry. That being said, ‘social networking’ sites are becoming increasingly more popular with time. Most ‘social networking’ sites today are not specific to an industry. But, we expect to see entrepreneurs launch industry specific social search sites in the near future.
So, you may be asking yourself, what is the point in creating a company profile on ‘social networking’ sites? Well, ‘social networking’ sites themselves may not drive business your way. However, they can be used to build links, which in turn, can increase traffic to your website. Therefore, where ‘social networking’ sites will benefit the most (and the most important detail to walk away with from this blog post) is in helping to produce more links to your website over time, thus increasing website traffic by becoming more visible in search engines.