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Here’s an interesting post on how social media is changing search. There’s actually some real serious thought fodder here.

Specifically, here are a few snippets to bite into:

If I want to find information about very recent events, such as the things going on at occupy wallstreet or occupy oakland, I’ve been finding it much easier to type the hashtags for those into twitter than search at Google or Bing or Yahoo. At this point, Twitter still seems to be very much ahead of Google’s new freshness approach in pointing out recent pages about those protest movements.

Amen to that! Twitter’s been ahead of the search engines on recent information for a couple of years now. Twitter has actually become a breaking news center and is able to get news to the public faster than traditional news outlets. The search engines have yet to capitalize on that need.

(Source) So Google needs to have the best product to continue selling ad space. That product was ironically endangered by Caffeine. With Panda Google tries to solve the content issue and with the Social Signals linked inextricably to the Authors and Publishers tries to solve the obsolescence of the Link Graph.

Bill Slawski concludes:

Some topics demand very fresh content, and social media has raised the expectations of searchers by providing them with a way of finding fresh information on natural disasters, breaking news events, and other topics that are recency sensitive. If you search at one of the search engines and get no results for those topics, that might seem like a failure on their part. Google’s move towards providing fresher results was pretty much demanded by the expectations of searchers who want fresher content.

I for one believe the search engines have not yet fully tapped into social media’s potential for their search results. We’ve got a ways to go. But I do believe they are working on it. Bing is probably ahead of Google in terms of social media impact on search results simply because it includes Facebook in its results. And you can use Facebook to conduct Bing searches.

Don’t think that Google isn’t thinking of ways to make its search better with social media. Google+ is a big part of that effort and I suspect will become an even bigger part of the picture in the future.

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