July 10, 2014 | Paul Jahn

For years, the SMX search marketing conference has been the go-to for both SEM industry vets and beginners. It’s a place to learn things new, brush up on skills and network at the same time.

At the latest SMX Advanced in Seattle, Justin Sanger from SupportLocal gave a compelling presentation, now on YouTube, titled Local & The Place of Humans. It’s a compelling watch and helps explain how humans — and our engagement and interactions — can influence search engine results.

Here are a few talking points:

The sharing economy and increased willing to share is taking root (5:05)
Justin makes a point about going online and interacting with people that we trust. I do this all the time. How about you?

Provide the signals that fuel search (12:55)
Post-transaction. What happens after a customer makes a purchase? SEOs can now become arbiters of quality and engagement. Because of your post-transactions online, you can influence others to possibly consider:

  • Intent
  • Consideration
  • Contact and Engage
  • Eventually, Purchase
  • Even provide endorsements

Online signals are just like offline word-of-mouth (17:48)
How many times have you chosen to visit a business based on a trusted connection’s recommendation on Twitter, Facebook or other social channels? They all realize this and because of it have advertising platforms as well. Here’s what Moz has to say about Facebook ads.

Say “hello” to the human algorithm (18:55)
I like this slide as he explains how Google wants to mimic the real human world in their search results.

People are the new critical links (21:17)
This is crucial and engaging with people is key, whether it’s on- or offline. They have blogs, social networks and even websites that they may want to mention and link to you. You can call this link building, content marketing, etc… I just call this good marketing.

We can indeed influence search results. Not by manipulation or tricks; just by talking about different businesses and organizations online that we support. In fact, Lee Odden from TopRank gave a compelling keynote at the MNSearch Summit recently explaining how, after people engage online socially, they’ll often go to Google and many other sites to learn more about a business or organization.

I’ve personally engaged with and eventually made purchases based on social sites, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr or other social sites. Then I would just Google the recommended business to learn more about them. There’s a good chance that you have too, maybe even without realizing it.

What are your favorite places to engage online and what purchases have you eventually made because of it?



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