I’m going to speculate here that Google Wave is going to make social media even more important in web site search engine rankings. Let’s assume Google implement Wave in more or less its current form. I see four SEO benefits for social media practitioners.
As you know, comments on your blog lead to traffic and in some cases back-links which pass PageRank. In other words, they help your Google ranking.
Sometimes people comment about my blog posts in Twitter or Facebook. Which is less useful from an SEO viewpoint than commenting directly on my blog. With Wave you’ll be able to re-direct comments made on your Facebook profile to your blog. You’ll probably be able to search for and drag in Twitter threads as well. So if you have a well developed social network and a web site you’ll see an increase in your comments. Where comments are relevant to what you’re writing about, all things equal, your search engine ranking should increase relative to people who don’t use those networks. That’s benefit #1: more commenting.
It’s also the case that the more often you post the more regularly you get indexed. Which leads to higher ranking.
Successfully implemented, (and I think that’s what’s going to happen) Wave will break down the barrier between email and web applications. Your emails will become more like threaded IM conversations and you’ll be able to suck them across to your web site as content. Conventional businesses will not allow instant publishing, but once again the social media junkies will ride the wild tiger. Their email/IM conversations and their conversations on social networking sites will become easily publishable content on their blogs. Benefit #2: more content.
The logical consequence of Wave technology is that social media networks will spawn web sites with multiple authors (multiblogs). In other words a new and very fast way of creating web content, which of course can link back to the site you’re promoting. Benefit #3: link-building.
The ‘federation’ aspect of Wave gives you the ability to aggregate contacts from your different social networks. This will lead to social network expansion and benefit #4: more followers.
If you’re a black hat SEO, you have already started working out how to manipulating Waves for Search Engine Optimisation purposes. If you’re a white hat, you’ve got six months to help your clients build the size and quality of their social networks.