November 5, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — Good news for affiliate marketers who got an early start on social media: Google’s long-anticipated efforts to integrate sites like Twitter and Facebook into its search engine results pages is finally underway.

As promised, Google recently adjusted its algorithm “to drop in Tweets among other standard fare like videos, pdfs, blog posts, etc. in the first page of search results,” reports the T-List Blog (read it here). Like all other content the search engine sorts, the tweets are ranked according to a mix of keyword relevance and links.

(The T-List Blog goes on to provide some advice on how to get your Tweets into Google: First and foremost: Get more followers — for each one is a link. “Consider the keywords in your followers’ one line bio as a key to relevance.”)

Of course, not everyone is happy about this development. One blogger claims that it will “place friend rants above retail results” — even though the new social search appears at the bottom of the page, it will let searchers see perhaps unwanted, maybe hostile rants about products they’re searching for. And for retailers, that’s not welcome news. (Anyone who’s worked for marketing in a large, established company knows its inevitable; every past unsatisfied customer, fairly or not, seems to get a great deal of satisfaction about registering his or her unhappiness on the Internet. And the fact that these rants could now hit page one of the search engine rankings, though democratic, could certainly undermine a lot of Internet marketing efforts.) For more on this, read Fred J. Aun’s blog here.

Yahoo is getting in on the act, too, partnering with a start-up online firm called OneRiot “to provide its users with search results based on real-time sharing trends, and will launch a live test of the functionality within days,” reports Brafton.com.

These new searches of live data “from Twitter, Digg, and other social networking websites will only appear for certain types of queries at the outset, but the Wall Street Journal reports that Yahoo is considering a system-wide integration of the technology. Search engine optimization (SEO) professionals will be watching any future move on that front with interest.” (Read the Brafton article here.)

The bottom line, though? Smart affiliate marketing strategies can really take off with this news, since it gives the “little guy”, or the smaller voices, a potential to get on the first page of SERPs in a new way. And that’s more reason than ever to incorporate social media strategies into your affiliate marketing efforts — but remember, do it smoothly, or it may backfire. If there’s one thing social media users dislike, it’s being obviously marketed to. Stealth, intelligence, and hard work are required to be successful here. But, considering all this exposure, the payoff is likely to be worth it.


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