On November 3rd, Google released a new update to their ranking algorithm. The update is meant to give very recent, fresh and relevant results to searches. The example given in the Google Search blog is for the Olympics. If you were searching for the Olympics, you are probably going to want the most recent Olympics news. Google will return you results for the latest information, rather than historical information about the Olympics.
When we think of recent news, our thoughts automatically go to blogging and social media, as these are the best ways for an average small business owner to get more recent information out to the public. So when you write your blog post, and use great anchor text such as "your city, your state bed and breakfast" for a link to your home page, your post will be the most recent information about the topic, and have a better chance of returning results for your query.
SEOMOZ's famous Whiteboard Friday was all about this new update last Friday. Rand and Mike talked about the effect of social media on recent results:
Mike: It doesn't seem to be like a one-to-one thing, so it's hard to say. Maybe they're looking at shared or how much is being pushed on social.
Mike: Exactly, Google+, how many people are pressing that magic +1 button. So it's hard to say, but I would venture to guess that they're thinking about social, because if it's the most relevant, it makes more sense that it's shared the most.
Looking at it from this angle, it makes sense to make sure you've made it easy for people to share your content by adding the Facebook Like, Google + and Twitter share buttons to your blog.
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