#google – Hashtag searches now show up in Google

Love them or loathe them, there is no denying that the hashtag has been cemented into the way lots of us use the internet these days. This has never been more the case than now, with the news that Google is now displaying links to hashtag streams for some searches in its search results.

While this isn’t available in the UK yet (hashtag results will show up on Google.com and Google.ca for the time being), it is interesting to see how the hashtag has infiltrated the internet’s consciousness to the extent that people are Googling a hashtagged term to find the information they want.

For example, if we were to use Google.com to search for #richardbranson, on the right hand side of the results we would first see a link to the posts tagged with #richardbranson on Google+ (of course) and then a little further down the page, links to the #richardbranson streams on Twitter and Facebook.

Hashtagging is a simple, useful way to filter the content you see online to help you find other people talking about the same thing as you. For example, look at one of our recent tweets:

SEO and social media hashtags

Here, we have used the hashtags ‘#SEO’ and ‘#socialmedia’. This means that anyone who wants to see tweets about either of these topics can go to the streams and read everything that is being said about either of these topics. If we click through to a stream, it looks like this:

SEO top tweets hashtag stream

It is a similar premise on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and any other site using hashtags to filter content. It’s a simple, convenient way to find out more about what you’re interested in, and it can be used to great effect when live-posting to social media about a realtime event. For instance, when we went to BrightonSEO a couple of weeks ago, all our tweets from the day were under the #brightonSEO hashtag to tie in with the event.

So, how does this affect you? You could argue that it will make social media more important, and that you should think about matching your own hashtags to the keywords you want to target. It is no good tweeting ‘We’re so happy it’s #Friday’ if you’re trying to get people to find you with terms like ‘interior design’ or ‘bathrooms’.

What do you think about hashtags? Do you make use of them, or are they the worst thing about social media for you?