PR Avalanche: Google Gives Way to Social Search

by PR Coach on May 31, 2012

big powder avalanche

Social search impact huge on PR & business

How would you respond if someone asked you to identify the most important shift in PR now and in the next year? One thing is certain. You wouldn’t say “Google is becoming irrelevant.”

Yet that’s precisely what’s happening as social media continues its avalanche of impact on PR and all business.

Dan Verhaege’s post Social Search to Gain 70% of Search by 2013; Google Becoming Irrelevant says it best:

” Info-Tech Research Group expects that Google, which held 90% of the search market in 2010, will only hold 30% in 2013, due to the rising impact of social search. Most major research companies have struggled to recognize this as they measure search market share by search engine rather than the whole search paradigm.

Google in the United States still leads with about 66% of search engine market share, according to traditional research, with Microsoft’s properties next at around 15%.”

That’s a stunning shift for PR and business in just three years.

It would be easy to dismiss this trend and move on to the next shiny new thing.

This can only be described as a critical trend moving at high velocity. Its impact has already shaped PR, marketing and business and a failure to shift and respond quickly will make you less competitive, relevant or even worse, cause your business to fail.

Eight reasons why social search matters to PR 2.0 pros

Think about the impact social media has had on the PR profession. In just the past five years, the business has totally changed. Social PR would be a more accurate description of the business in many ways.

So, why should public relations pros care about a shift away from Google search? Eight reasons:

  1. Need for speed: quick response to adjust and shift some practices such as monitoring, search and community building
  2. Less reliance and budget spent on traditional media monitoring and the need for more attention to social media monitoring
  3. Curation grows in value; PR needs to help filter Internet noise and add value by contributing to business “intelligence”
  4. Content marketing becomes the most critical function in a world where you can reach directly to your key audiences through many social media channels; SEO is no longer the “only” factor in reaching your target markets
  5. PR pros need to be adept at many social media channels, not just a few
  6. Staying ahead of the social media curve is critical; watch for new tools, test and adopt where practical, embrace if impact and ROI dictate
  7. New analytical tools and social media measurement are more important. If you thought measuring PR was tough, try measuring social media ROI. The most important thing? Try!
  8. What PR skills still matter? Writing, judgment, listening, networking, counsel and community are still great foundations when complemented by social media skills.

The irony is that better content marketing, especially after Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, will get you better SEO than many old school SEO tactics.

So, should you give up on Google? No. You’ll still use it every day. But you must sharpen your 360° vision of social media and be ready to adapt or adopt new search choices and social media channels quickly.

Remember, as next year approaches, social search will gain 70% of search by 2013. Are you ready?

I’d enjoy hearing from you. Are you using Google less and social search more? What channels give the most valuable research results? Just shout in the comments below.

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Author:
 Jeff DomanskyAPR is a PR and social PR strategist. He blogs at The PR Coach and you can also follow him on Twitter @theprcoach or Scoop.it (PR 2.0 Insight).

Photo credit: Jonathan Griffith via Flickr