Bill Grunau

Social Media Enhances and Complements SEO, like Yin and Yang

Yin-Yang-relationship-SEO-social-mediaThe argument that Social Media will ultimately kill SEO is an amusing one. Yes, Social Media will dramatically change SEO, in it fact already has changed  it forever; but Social Media will not replace SEO.  SEO and Social Media have a Yin Yang relationship – opposite forces that complement each other within a greater whole.  I think Social Media is the most exciting thing that has happened to SEO in many years and it will significantly improve the relevance and quality of search results.

Social media, combined with the Google Panda Update, and eventually Google +1, have changed the landscape of search rankings.  The Panda update made great strides toward better rankings based on quality content, pushing down the rankings for content farms and junk content.  Google +1 will eventually reward highly regarded sites with quality content with higher rankings.  Social Media in a similar fashion will reward websites with quality blogs, great content and engagement via Social Media with higher search rankings, higher website traffic and greatly expanded exposure.  Panda, Google +1 and Social Media are paving the way to more democratic search results based on user likes and interests and much less influenced by those that game the system.

So with that said it would appear that SEO is in fact on it’s way to extinction,but this is far from true.  Yes old school SEO of mindless link building is already on it’s way out and is only marginally effective today.  However, there is now a huge demand for Web 2.0 SEO utilizing best practices of website SEO combined with SMO (Social Media Optimization). Organizations still have a need, in fact now more than ever, for high quality SEO and thanks to these developments quality content and engagement will be rewarded and Spam will be ranked accordingly.  So how does Social Media figure into this and what is the Social Media and SEO Yin Yang Relationship?

The purpose of SEO is to get your content found, BUT, the presumption and requirement is that someone is looking for that particular content in the first place.  If so, then SEO works beautifully.  SEO relies on people proactively searching for words associated with your product, service, or organization.  SEO is reactive to a proactive user.

Social Media has evolved from personal chatter between close friends to sharing news, discussion, debate, and education across diverse groups.  Sharing and discussion is driving the viral affect of Social Media and this is the link between SEO and Social Media.

There is a 24/7 discussion raging on Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook and LinkedIn about everything from politics, to music, news, movies, and products.  These discussions often share links to blogs, websites, Facebook Pages, and other posts and these posts are often re-shared and commented on.  Sharing and the viral affect of Social Media makes it proactive in the sense that the message/discussion is reaching people that weren’t necessarily looking for that in particular.  This is how Social Media is complementary to SEO.  Social Media actively reaches out to and engages users, while SEO relies on users to actively search for content.

This is the Yin Yang relationship of SEO and Social Media and why the two are complementary to each other.   Social Media is now an essential be part of  a comprehensive digital marketing strategy along with a SEO campaign designed to work with and complement social media.  With Social Media becoming an essential element of a Digital Marketing Strategy and SEO campaign a new term has been coined to label SEO work specifically focused on Social Media and that is Social Media Optimization or SMO.

To develop and implement a successful Digital Marketing Strategy today one must employ top notch SEO, with high quality content, and a lively and interesting SMO-Social Media campaign.  More on that in a future blog…