Is Social Optimization the New SEM

As Facebook reaches 500 million users, Twitter reaches 20 billion Tweets, and U.S. consumers devote close to a quarter of their online time on social networks,  it is little wonder firms are seeking to optimize these networks.

Even less surprising: an industry has sprung up to help them do so. Called “social optimization” many of these providers are defectors from the search space.  Gigya, for example, shifted its business model late last year when it realized publishers like Huffington Post and USA Today were getting more traffic from social referrals than from search engines (via Portfolio). “It became obvious to us that there is an addressable market of at least tens of thousands of online businesses who are willing to pay at least tens of thousands of dollars for both the technology and service for social optimization, in the same way they have paid for search optimization,” CEO Dave Yovanno told Portfolio. He maintains that optimized the right way, social could be the top source of traffic for businesses.

Another convert is ShareThis. CEO Tim Schigel tells Portfolio that social marketing will drive an increase in display advertising because of the way it can segment audiences. “With search, you’re only able to get to people when they’re searching,” he said.

Facebook Questions and Social Search

Social networks, for their part, are actively taking steps to hijack search traffic, facilitating this trend even faster. One example is Facebook Questions, which launched in beta last week. People use it to ask – and answer – such questions as ‘who makes the best pizza in Manhattan’ to ‘which is better for an eight-year-old – Wii or Xbox?’

In the long run, Facebook Questions could have a significant impact on the emerging category of social search, Evan Bailyn, founder of FirstPageSage told TechNewsWorld. “Question like these tend to make up a tremendous portion of searches. With Facebook in the picture now, I would guess there would be enough data to increase search traffic by hundreds of millions of queries. “It is going to give them a big slice of long-tail search — and a leg up on Google as well.”

At ShoppeSimple our content management publishing system helps your business socialize your Social Search placing your feed links in all the relevant social media communities. For more information on ShoppeSimple go to or email info@shoppesimplenetwork or phone 612-349-2740