Popular Search Engines are not The Future

     There are many ways to increase your presence online, but in 2021 the biggest benefits will come to you and your website through social media.  Many are beginning to think of social media channels as the next great Popular Search Engines.  If you think about it, social media channels like Facebook, Pinterest, and Linkedin have many things Popular Search Engines do not.
     Popular Search Engines are very old school.  You put a word or phrase in the search box, and the return is a mix of matches that are part of manipulation called search engine optimization.  People and companies pay others to optimize their websites, articles, and pictures so that they get returned to the top of Popular Search Engine results.  Are you getting the best match with the most accurate information for your needs or just the best paid-for optimized result?  Who knows.
Each social media channel has a search box where you can enter a word or phrase and get back results.  The results on social media tend to be more recent and usually cumulate the thoughts and opinions of other people regarding the topic you are searching for.  Yes, you have to wade through some personal opinions, etc., but that is not all bad.  Social media is a daily accumulation of information and opinions from people like you and me. It is not the information being fed to us by a rules engine that the latest Search Engine Optimization trick can manipulate.
     Test the waters.  Search for the same phrase on a popular search engine, and then search for that same phrase on your favorite social media channel.  I assume what you will find will probably surprise you.  Popular search engine results tend to be ads or paid-for spots at the top.  This is becoming more and more true as the focus of these companies becomes advertising revenue.  You will probably find on the Social media channel results information about your phrase with public opinion from recent engagement with that topic.  Personally, the latter would better meet my needs.  I like the thought of my fellow citizen building a profile around each topic and then informing me based on their recent experience.  This approach will work for any topic or knowledge point.  Since amazing people are speaking up and building the information stored by each social media platform every day, their value adds to your life increases every minute.  As that value builds, we may see the value add by the old-school search engine decrease.  Is social media the next great OZ?  It could be that it already is.