Searchlight SEO

Blurred Lines: Are Social and Search Merging?

Last night, there was a ruckus outside our hotel room in Chicago. @ChaseKreuter and ‪@kat2kati from our strategic account team and @doraluca from our Customer Success team were in their #pajamas. Fearing that we might have to make a quick escape, we decided to investigate the source of the pandemonium. Or at the very least, join in.

We didn’t go to Google. Instead, we went to Twitter.


Turns out, it was the #Stanleycup making the rounds at @RockitbarBurgerBar.

This changing search behavior is at the core of the new partnership between Google and Twitter. With Tweets now showing up in search results, the lines between search and social continue to blur.

As consumers change, so too must marketers. Therefore, I asked several of my favorite thought leaders, well… what they thought. Here’s what they had to say about the convergence of social and search:

“Yes, they are converging and I believe they should integrate further. If the goal is to find the most relevant content with links, there is no reason why social should not be an indicator of relevance and importance.”

Joe Taylor, Manager, Agency Success Team at Conductor

“I don’t really think there is a question as to whether search and social are merging – it’s already done. You can argue the degree of success, but Google has become a social network, Facebook has become a search engine, and YouTube – a platform built for video – is a titan of search and social.

Companies want to own the SERP. Take advantage of the additional brand presence and let your social pages help push competitors to Page 2.”

Geoffrey Forman, Content Marketing Manager / Marketing Analyst at Edmund Optics | America

“Google’s mission has always been to provide the most relevant search results and the best user experience. Twitter is a rich source of content, so it makes sense that Google would start showing tweets in search results.

Are social and search merging? I think they merged a long time ago. Searches are taking place on all social media platforms – YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and many more. Search is about optimizing all your content, for all types of search on all platforms and finding ways to communicate and engage with customers in a way that’s natural for the brand and for the customer.

Great content leads to engagement and how your customers engage with your content sends a signal for Google. Relevant, share-worthy content will find its way to the social platforms and search results.” 

Eliza Shamshain, Director of SEO at Tradesy
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“Truthfully, I haven’t seen an example of Twitter results in SERPS out in the wild. I’ve even been using keywords from other people’s screenshots and have seen nothing.

If there’s breaking news or an event I’m interested in, I go to Twitter. Google knows that. Google doesn’t like that. That’s why we’re seeing this partnership.

Joe Leyba, Marketing Manager at Capella University

“In reality (aka the minds of consumers), social and search are already merged. It’s only us content producers who are just grasping this reality and search engines who are responding to the reality.

Well-constructed social media can spur people to search. Optimizing content can get new people to engage with your brand via social. How they find it may be different, but smart content is smart content. Making smart content easy for the right person to find it at the right time is important whether you’re talking about tweets or cave paintings. Eventually it’ll all be searchable on any device at any time. Act accordingly.”

Garry Mendez, Content and SEO Manager at Black Lapel

Now that Twitter results are visible in search engines, Conductor Searchlight makes sure marketers can see how their social and search efforts are assisting one another.


We’d love to know how you are using social to influence search results. Be part of the discussion on Twitter.