{Searching & Consumer Opinion on the Web: What are the Effects?}

Getting organic search results on a search engine is difficult, but not impossible. Ranking on search engines is especially important for smaller businesses and if they create and update quality content filled with good key phrases along with inbound and outbound links, they will have success over time if the optimization is done correctly.
While search engines are no longer the only determinant of site rankings, nothing else has caused enough of an impact to cause a major shift in the current landscape. Review sites have helped some small businesses gain placement in the rankings by gaining traction within the ranking sites, but there is great instability in this process. Consumer opinions can vary widely from site to site, and poor reviews can push a small business down in the rankings, hurting them in the end.
Social Search however, has the potential to be a tidal wave in the ocean called the web space. Google+’s social search is an opt-in application. When logged into their Gmail account, users are able to see the opinions, posts, tweets, and reviews from their friends and other users they follow in their social networking sites. It has been proven that opinions from friends are the most persuasive to a person trying to make a decision on where to go, what company or service to use, or product to buy, etc. Social Search gives users references they trust all in one easy-to-access location on the web.

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