Larry Brauner
Web marketing to me is entirely about building up both social capital and search equity, nurturing relationships and reputations both with people and with search engines.

In Social Media vs. Search Engine Optimization and in The NEW Search Engine Optimization, I underscore the importance of both social media and search engine optimization and their interdependence. Your web marketing recipe must include plenty of healthy social media and search engine optimization ingredients.

31 Days to Build a Better BlogI also point out in Website vs. Web Presence,  that SEO, social media, relationships and reputation each contribute to the building of a presence on the web. Darren Rouse, the author of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, shares in a video his blog-centric approach to web marketing in which social media sites — which aren’t under our complete control — serve as outposts for our blogs and websites, i.e. our home base — which we do control.

I agree with Darren’s point of view and adopted the same approach when I started Online Social Networking 24 months ago. I must stress however, that I have always envisioned search engines providing me with more than enough targeted traffic over time.

A Note of Caution

Many social media enthusiasts are in search of a predetermined blueprint for success. However, beware! One-recipe-feeds-all diners and buffets aren’t for you.

The precise description and proportion of each ingredient must depend upon your objectives, and upon the tastes of all the distinguished guests for whom you’re cooking up this sumptuous but scrumptious feast.

Bon appétit mon ami.

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Larry Brauner

In Social Media vs. Search Engine Optimization, worth a read, I discussed the synergy between social media and search engine optimization.

Today, thanks to heated competition between Facebook and Google, the connection between social media and SEO may become much tighter than a mere relationship of loose synergy.

A More Natural Form of Search

According to the Wired.com article which I referenced in Most Popular Social Networking Sites for Business, “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline.”

In other words, the endorsements of both web pages and their authors by people in our personal networks will influence the outcomes of online searches we perform as much as or more than the current system which analyzes external links to determine a site’s authority and relevance.

New Role of Social Media in SEO

Facebook intends to leverage the vast amount of member data stored in its global network to facilitate this type of search.

Facebook is adding tons of new data by the second through its site, as well as via its Facebook Connect API that opens a window into a growing number of other sites such as Digg.com.

Google is pursuing initiatives to develop its own proprietary data through Google Friend Connect and the anticipated releases of Google Wave and Google Chrome OS.

Furthermore, all search providers can mine public web data to monitor additional social media buzz about web pages and their authors.

Let’s consider how big this SEO paradigm shift will be.

Social Media Presence

In the new SEO, your online reputation is an integral part of your overall web presence and influences your search results. Social media enables you to nurture the relationships and shape the opinions that underlie your online reputation and social capital.

So important is social capital today that new products and services such as Sumbaa, by Paden Noble Consulting and Morpholytics, LLC, are emerging to meet a fast-growing need in the marketplace.

Webmasters work to build external links to their company’s web pages. Savvy companies are already beginning to dedicate additional staff to build and manage social capital as well.

High Cost of Complacency

Companies that neglect their social media presence will suffer in several ways:

  • They’ll have no influence over their online reputation.
  • Their customers will view them as backward.
  • They won’t receive traffic from social media sites.
  • They’ll receive less search engine traffic too.

Be Proactive

Build your social media presence right away. Pay special attention to Facebook and Google. I intend to write much more about Facebook and Google in future articles.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, please take a minute to join my Facebook and Google networks using the widgets on my right sidebar.

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