The years 2011-2012 saw a huge rise in social sharing and its effects on search. Google, in particular, began to incorporate a huge number of social signals into its search results. This involves serving personalized results to logged-in users that include content shared by the searcher's social circle (Facebook, Twitter and others). These results might not always appear in the top ten, but are undoubtedly promoted due to this social influence.
The potential power of this shift towards social for search marketers is huge. Someone with a large social circle, who shares a lot of material, is more likely to see that material promoted in search results. For publishers, it's beneficial to have your content shared by these highly influential folks with large social followings. For Google searches, this is especially true of content shared on Google+.
If you run a local business, optimizing your site for local search is absolutely critical. More and more consumers are using local search queries to identify local businesses and to find locations, hours and directions.
According to Google, 50% of consumers who performed a local search on a mobile device visited a store on that same day. These searches also led to higher sales: 18% of local mobile searches led to a sale within one day.