Search Engines: What They Are Good For

“Search Engines are the new homepages,(Edelman Digital).” Eighty-nine percent of U.S. adults use search engines and the top users are Gen. X&Y.  With that being said, companies are utilizing social search, which is “brands build out embassies in all relevant networks (places where employees work to serve the interests of their community, as well with their company.” In other words, social search is becoming more prevalent in usage combining social networks and search engines. Today, search engines are based on  relationships  with social content connection. So, how do companies embed search engines for monitoring their company’s content?  There are various methods to searches.

One method is reputational search in action, according to Edelman Digital. The goal of the reputational  search in action is to generate social media coverage to influence search engines. Reputational Search in Action’s tactics include press releases, media relations, and most importantly, blogger engagement. PR pros can create the messages do that those messages are based on reach or relevance. For example, a person who’s  searching  for “headache remedies, and not necessarily aspirin.PR pros and others can carefully adapt the messages to have a more well designed message.

Public Relations Professionals, Marketers, and other Company management can use free tools such as Wordtracker, GoogleInsights, the Google Adwords Keyword tool, and Yahoo Site Explorer. These tools help PR pros have a better understanding of what and how people search and use search engines.  Another way to become engaged in search engines is to  blog, post viral videos, microblogging, and social networking.  From there, there are websites (Technorati, Facebook Lexicon, Radian6, Twitter Search) that social monitor what’s being said in real-time format about a specific topic or company. All of these social media tools can help anyone “demonstrate an increase in searches around a given phrase or group of phrases,”(Edelman Digital).

JetBlue engaged in social networking by activating a Twitter account to react to customers in a real-time format.  They were very responsive to their customers’ complaints. For example, JetBlue customer posted a Twitter message “I need a wheelchair!” and before she contacted their customer service, a JetBlue Representative responded to her by referring to her to someone who could help her with her flight arrangements. Not only was JetBlue ranked in the top 10 results in an airline Google Search, but they also enhanced their reputation.

Search Engines aren’t just search engines today, they are becoming vital tool to use for social monitoring, marketing/advertising, and engaging in the conversations between companies’ and its customers. Search Engines are good only if you do not want to be lost in the digital media revolution. Edelman Digital provides tips to become more visible online, which are:

  1. Research- know how people search, converse, and work online
  2. Teamwork
  3. Planning-Reputational and Social Search takes time and effort to develop quality content & networked relationships
  4. Experimentation- While SEM and SEO are managed by others, there isn’t a reason why they couldn’t be used in a public relations context
  5. Benevolence- Google knows if you’ve been bad or good. So, the more you create value online and others recognize, the more you will be able to build a sustainable and online visibility presence
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