The TM Crew is back again this week with another podcast covering the latest in social media and SEO news. This week I am joined by Michael L. Hoffman, TM’s Copywriter and Social Media Manager.

There were several big news stories in the past week that we discuss in this week’s podcast. Some of the topics we touch on include Google’s “Search, plus Your World,” protecting children on Facebook and the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Perhaps the biggest news this week is the roll out of Google’s new search format, Search, plus Your World. This new format is an integration of social and public search that is unprecedented. Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan discusses the new search format in detail saying, “The new system will perhaps make life much easier for some people, allowing them to find both privately shared content from friends and family plus material from across the web through a single search, rather than having to search twice using two different systems.”

What we wonder here at TM is what implications this will have on SEO. If personal results are getting shown before organic results, it will force more companies to get social and engage. We also note that this could really push the competition between Google+ and Facebook to a new level because of Facebook’s search deal with Bing.

One issue that has been gaining traction over the past few months is protecting children on Facebook. According to the New York Times, many parents are actively lying to let their children on Facebook under the age of 13, Facebook’s minimum age requirement. This is a multifaceted problem, and needs to be handled on many levels. First, parents need to stop letting children on Facebook under the age of 13. This is a direct violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and it also compromises their children’s privacy. One of the things we think needs to happen is either a) an update to COPPA or b) a completely new law that is more relevant to today’s Web. What do you think needs to happen to help solve this problem? It’s something that needs to be tackled, but it’s still unclear what way is best.

Another issue that has been getting a lot of attention online, but not in the mainstream media, is SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act. For months there has been opposition on the Web to these bills, but until now there hasn’t been a lot of action taken against them. That’s all going to change Wednesday Jan. 18 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. when Reddit and the entire Cheezburger Network go dark in protest of the bills. But will this be enough to sway the US Congress or will more sites like Google and Facebook have to go down too?

We want to know what you think of all of this, so let us know in the comments below or contact us to tell us your thoughts!

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