The social component of Web 2.0 is commonly referred to as social media, social networking or user-generated content. But whatever it?s called, this social aspect has the greatest ability to influence searcher behavior and search results right now.

Social media is often user-reviewed, user-rated or user-recommended. Think of sites like MySpace, digg, del.icio.us, YouTube and just about every blog. As a marketer, the key is judging which of these social media sites will benefit your particular audience and to figure out how much effort to invest in them. Don?t invest resources to create a MySpace page if your target audience is not going to benefit from it. Whether these efforts affect search depends on the quality of the user experience. Get that right and improved search results will often follow.

Why? Simple ? a good experience is going to generate inbound links, one of the most critical variables of search engine algorithms.

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