Answering Jeremiah Owyang on SEO and Social Media

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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 website’s content, structure and usability fit with the intent of your audience?
  • How does your website “fit” 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 isn’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 “Organic Traffic Optimization” – 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 ;)

7 comments

  1. […] The SEO community has responded Andy Beal has responded, I feel kind of bad by putting him out on a ledge for question 3, but he seemed to handle it ok. I’ve also seen that Daniel from Emergence Media has also responded, similar answers, but a different tone. Now if I can just get Calacanis to answer. […]

  2. Great article. I was searching for a new word for SEO myself, as the tools and tactics they now fall under this blanket (inaccurate term) are not exactly related to Search Engines… I especially like the idea of SEO as website positioning. Maybe SEO will become WVO website visibility optimization?

  3. Website Visibility Optimization…

    I get a lot of questions about SEO or search engine optimization. A lot of people and companies want their web site at the top of the search engines, and so, by association, they think SEO will do it for them, and to some extent it will. But, SEO is a …

  4. Avinash Kaushik came by podtech to be on my video show, we talked about these topic on my show…more news soon.

  5. […] Daniel Responded from his blog Nick Wilson responded from his Podcast (great job) […]

  6. Re: “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” – Wow Daniel, well said. I agree wholeheartedly. The only problem I see in this is selling it to clients who see all of this as compartmentalized efforts that must take budget away from other related efforts. I’ve always believed that SEO/SEM is part of a complete web strategy but not a whole web strategy (hence why I’ve always called myself an Online Marketer as opposed to an SEO). So we get back to the tough issue – how do we help clients see that what you are saying is true… and they need to pony up a little more to get all of this done :)?

    BTW: Ha! I was actually looking you up on Yelp to ask for some good 3rd date spots – lol.

  7. Re: “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” – Wow Daniel, well said. I agree wholeheartedly. The only problem I see in this is selling it to clients who see all of this as compartmentalized efforts that must take budget away from other related efforts. I’ve always believed that SEO/SEM is part of a complete web strategy but not a whole web strategy (hence why I’ve always called myself an Online Marketer as opposed to an SEO). So we get back to the tough issue – how do we help clients see that what you are saying is true… and they need to pony up a little more to get all of this done :)?

    BTW: Ha! I was actually looking you up on Yelp to ask for some good 3rd date spots – lol. AND I hope you’ll be attending the Opening Reception for Glowlab – http://upcoming.org/event/151871/ – Friday, which includes the launch of NOSO – http://www.nosoproject.com, “an anti-social networking project that involves discovering the identity of another without being discovered” while it “offers a moment of relief to the technology wearied. Via the web, the public is invited to participate in a citywide micro-intervention known only to its participants.” I think that describes our tribe – lol!

    *Anyone can participate by signing up at http://www.nosoproject.com.