Social Media’s Impact on Search Engine Marketing

    February 14, 2007

Today I’m doing an online radio interview over at RSS Ray on social media and search engine optimization. Our discussion will cover fundamentals of social media and how businesses, small and large, might use such tactics as part of their online marketing mix. We’ll also discuss blog marketing and press release optimization.

The kind of social media optimization and marketing that gets the most play these days is hitting the home page of digg or getting tons of traffic from Stumbleupon,, reddit, etc. Many of the SMO/SMM campaigns we run achieve these kinds of results, but it’s not the end goal. If you’re familiar with the services we provide at TopRank, you’ll know we take a holistic approach to search marketing and view things like social media on a longer term basis.

Not that there’s anything wrong with getting to digg’s home page or the popular list on social news sites, but it’s tough to maintain as a sustainable marketing strategy.

For perspective, here’s an exchange I had last year with a high profile social media marketer/master link baiter. He asked if we wanted to participate with a social media community that builds up the profiles of it’s members by voting and submitting each others’ stories. I expressed my reservations and his reply was, "Oh that’s right. You use social news for legitimate purposes and for PR." This talented marketer understood his efforts might be detected and penalized and he accepted that as a reasonable risk. .

Do aggressive social media marketing efforts provide value? Is it worth $5,000 or more for a one shot SMO campaign? For the right company and market, I say yes. But it’s not a blanket strategy and not applicable to all sites. Just like PPC, SEO or direct mail or public relations are not appropriate for all situations.

TopRank’s perspective on marketing with social media is focused more on educating clients on how they can optimize the various media formats of content produced for long term, sustainable traffic and link popularity. Rather than relying on our profiles, we show clients how to build their own and incorporate optimization tactics with as many relevant online media formats as possible. Optimizing multiple media (text, images, audio, video) in conjunction with participation on social media sites provides the distribution channels for content to attract quality traffic as well as build link popularity.

Useful, unique and provocative content plus a robust distribution channel are the building blocks for a long term social media and viral link building strategy.

This is the perspective I’ll be sharing later today in the interview on RSS Ray about how social media affects search marketing. The show starts at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern and I invite our appreciated readers of Online Marketing Blog to listen free online at


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About the Author

Lee Odden is President and Founder of TopRank Online Marketing, specializing in organic SEO, blog marketing and online public relations. He’s been cited as a search marketing expert by publications including U.S. News & World Report and The Economist and has implemented successful search marketing programs with top BtoB companies of all sizes. Odden shares his marketing expertise at Online Marketing Blog offering daily news, interviews and best practices.