Jeremiah Owyang of PodTech has posted up four great questions on SEO and Social Media. Andy Beale who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at SES San Jose 2007 and Natasha Robinson (who I met several times to discuss bars not SEO;) have answered the questions. So I guess, it is my turn.
So let’s get to the Q&A Session!
“Question 1) Because blogs score high in Google Search results, how does this impact corporations who spend resources on SEO campaigns for their websites?”
Good Blogs are effective because they 1) generate good, timely and updated content; 2) encourage bloggers to link to them and vice versa; 3) have a clean technical format that is easy for search engines to crawl.
Corporations can either choose to create their on blog (which takes resouces and cultural shifts) or choose to emulate why blogs do well: timely and good quality content with good linking from other sites.
“Question 2) If Social Media is an effective way to gain in SEO (as well as engage an audience), should we increase Social Media Program budgets and reduce SEO budgets?”
Cutting edge SEO is already incorporating website usability, widget creation, RSS feeds and linkbait (PR tactic to try to get people to link to your website) as part of the “SEO Tactics Toolbox”. Indeed, I’d say SEO people are one of the leaders pushing Social Media Marketing.
SEO will not compete with Social Media, but will eventually merge with it. SEO will be about Website Positioning Strategy. As I’ve mentioned in my post “SEO as Website Positioning Strategy“:
The idea of Strategic Website Positioning is to think of search marketing (organic SEO and PPC), social media marketing and website development as an integrated approach, by asking questions centered around:
- How is your websiteâ€™s content, structure and usability fit with the intent of your audience?
- How does your website â€œfitâ€ in how people search (one-box searches on Google/Yahoo, Technorati, Oodle, vertical search engines) for what you offer?
- How is your website positioned in Social Media Community? How do you want to participate?
“Question 3) The word of mouth network is becoming more and more efficient. Communities are forming and networks are formalizing, these networks allow users to share info about products and services without using search. (Twitter, blogs, myspace are good examples). update: If these word of mouth networks become so efficient and content is shared amongst a common group, will this reduce the need for searches?”
Short Answer: No.
Long Answer: Twitter, Blogs, Digg are places of communication and sharing and creating content. So people will still use search to find articles on Digg and use Technorati to find blogs.
Social Media sites like Digg, Twitter and YouTube are great on keeping abreast with the latest information, but its a real pain to actually use it to find something. You need search.
These new types of websites are opening new search frontiers: what do I need to do well on Technorati? How do you make sure your YouTube video gets found when someone searches YouTube? Blinx for example, just released guidelines on video search optimization.
“Question 4) I state that Web Marketing is not on Two (corporate and google) domains only. Some savvy companies are realizing the Web Marketing battle isnâ€™t on the corporate domain only, as the word of mouth effect becomes more important, do companies really want visitors to come to their site? Or will the savvy company realize that the most effective web marketing is using advocate customers to turn cold and warm prospects. How does this impact the SEO industry?”
Web Marketing will (already is?) about where ever your company or its services are mentioned or should be mentioned: Google, Corporate, Social News Sites (Digg), Blogs etc. (Furthermore, there will be a blur between mobile, web and gaming/entertainment consoles but I’m saving that talk for this posting.)
This is why SEM (PPC/SEO), Reputation Management, Blog Marketing, Viral-Videos and Word-of-Mouth will begin to blur together and require a shared strategy in the coming years. People move easily from one website to another with a click – from Digg, to your corporate website, to a Google Search to MySpace Video – and that requires coordination to ensure that the same message and goals are implemented for each of those channels.
SEO needs to lose the SE (Search Engine) part and become agnostic – optimizing any kind of “organic” traffic”. As I’ve mentioned:
“I believe that eventually search engine optimization (SEO) will be succeeded by simply â€œOrganic Traffic Optimizationâ€ – optimization that is agnostic to where the traffic comes from, but is limited to the organic (natural and unpaid) side of things.”
It is gonna be crazy fun to do this! At least for me ;)