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You might have been hearing the buzz about Google’s new search engine, Caffeine, which is a “re-architecting” of the search engine, from the ground up. While initial reports say that the frontend user experience won’t seem much different, the back-end algorithms which drive search engine positioning are going to be very different.

Caffeine is focused on reducing the time it takes to get new information appearing in search- which means high quality, highly relevant content should get indexed more quickly. This is good for anyone who is blogging and offering a good user experience.

This shift to faster indexing and change in back-end algorithms will also mean that it will be more difficult to “game” the search engines, and I believe it will be more difficult to retain search engine rank for highly competitive phrases.

I also predict that, with this shift, first page ranking on Google isn’t going to mean as much as it once did, because results will be shifting so rapidly that companies won’t be able to retain top positioning for very long. Or, alternatively, that it will cost them a lot in pay-per-click to do so.

I recently read an article that suggested that up to 50% of keyword searches are made up of unique phrases now, which means the the average web searcher is becoming more sophisticated. This also means that it will be harder to take a broad base of keywords and rank for all of them consistently.

The world of search is about to get a lot more competitive.

This is why, starting now, you must broaden your focus to the overall user experience. You need to start investing in what I call “persuasive social media”, which is more than just scatter-shotting content onto the web and hoping someone pays attention.

You must begin a systematic process of building influence, credibility and visibility. You must seek to actively develop your so-called 1000 true fans, or, (my new favorite term): build your 1,000 brand advocates.

Every business will need to focus on engaging their ideal clients and moving their ideal clients from the vastness of the world-wide-web into smaller brand-focused and brand supportive communities.

You must cloister your ideal audience away from the 4,999 other marketing messages they experience each day. Move them to invest in your business, and to stay involved for the long term. You can accomplish this by constantly listening to what they need, and providing them even more value than they expect.

Get them talking about you and sharing your business with others. Build your tribe- because this is only path to true business profitability and stability.

Learn more about the Future of Social Media