Content Marketing Blog

Google can now search hashtags

Hashtags have recently taken on an important role in social media marketing, primarily due to their immense popularity on social networking sites. Hashtags are also a great way for businesses to monitor trending topics and gain insight into customer behaviour.

Now it is possible to search Google for hashtags. Google’s Senior Software Engineer Zaheed Sabur announced the changes last week on his Google+ blog. However, users can only see posts that are public, or that have been shared specifically with them.

The search will show suggestions from Google+ on the right-hand side of the screen, but the remaining results will be purely organic and include hashtags from other social media sites.

Hashtags are often added to a post to give context, or to reference a major event. Twitter was the first to realise the hashtag’s potential, introducing it in 2009. Most other social media sites have followed Twitter’s lead, such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Facebook introduced hashtags this year so users could easily connect with their friends over recent happenings, according to Facebook Newsroom. Facebook demonstrated the success of this addition by reporting that, in reaction to the “Red Wedding” episode from Game of Thrones, 1.5 million users took to Facebook to mention the show.

Facebook is the world’s largest social networking site, so many large brands were quick to make use of hashtags in their Facebook campaigns.

A study by Simply Measured from the end of June, two weeks after Facebook introduced hashtags, looked at how the top 100 brands were using Facebook. The study found that over half of the top brands had included hashtags in multiple posts.

Although searching hashtags on Google is definitely advantageous for marketers, one problem is that posts can only be seen if they are made public. This is an obstacle when looking at Facebook, as only 28 per cent of users make their posts public, according to recent statistics from Socially Stacked.

Posted by Dylan Brown