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Where Social Media Fits Into the SEO Equation

SEO Benefits of Twitter, Facebook, Etc.

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We hear a whole lot of talk about social media marketing these days. There is plenty of evidence that there are great benefits to this medium, but there are still many questions about it as well. What  questions do you have? 

I thought it would be interesting to explore social media and how it relates directly to search engine optimization. I sent a couple of questions to several online marketing experts to get their thoughts on the subject. So contained here are the thoughts of Todd Malicoat, Joe Griffin, Joe Whyte, and Stephen Pitts.

Chris Crum: Where does social media fit into the SEO equation?

Todd MalicoatTodd Malicoat: Social media is an integral portion of a successful SEO campaign in the current landscape. Social media marketing helps mainly with creating the global link popularity that is essential to high rankings.  Successful social media distribution of high value content has helped to solve the issue of not having enough unique linking domains or global link popularity, which has traditionally been one of the most difficult SEO variables to succeed at.

Joe Whyte: Social media is great as one piece of the Internet marketing puzzle, so is SEO for that matter. The links, traffic, brand engagement and conversational marketing piece to social media is very powerful. Selling it as a stand alone service has always created some issues for me as it takes time and it does not reap the same rewards for clients as quickly and securely as traditional SEO. It is great to do a linkbait piece and get to the top of Digg and see all of that traffic come through but all clients are looking for is a return that affects their bottom line and they want to be able to equate a certain campaign to that success. Social media has always had problems in that regard. Converting Digg and StumbleUpon users to sales is just NOT realistic for every company and every site owner out there.

As the social web evolves, this hole will be filled and is already starting to be filled by the development of more social networking, bookmarking and sharing sites.

In my opinion, the best social media marketing tactics to fit into your online marketing campaigns would be researching who you need to target then cross reference that criteria against the different social sites in order to quantify for yourself and your client that you are targeting the right sites. Then building a presence while engaging users and creating unique and interesting content for that community is the best method.

By doing this you create brand awareness, ubiquity and engagement which is the ultimate goal. Social media marketing is great for targeting the same demographics but just on a different platform away from your traditional search engine results pages.

Joe GriffinJoe Griffin: Building a presence in the social web is all about reputation and branding. Most of the web’s top ranking websites maintain strong brand recognition in their respective industries. Strong branding leads to natural inbound links, and this is the lesson to be learned about building a reputation within social media networks. Most of the major social networks like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, purposely nofollow or truncate outbound links. This strategy drastically cuts down spam in their networks, and improves their quality and relevancy in the major search engines.

So, simply building profiles and linking to your site won’t help. If you’re interested in leveraging social media portals to improve your website’s rankings, then you need to look at the strategy in a completely different light. First and foremost, participating in the social web means building brand recognition, which can be used for your personal brand, your business brand, or both. It’s the brand recognition that leads to improved linking to your website – it’s not the social media websites themselves that will give your website link popularity. The inbound links will come from bloggers, forum moderators and users, resource websites, and new friends and colleagues that you will meet along the way.

Social networks build brands. Brand building is the key to top rankings over the long haul. Recent updates by Google, including the Vince update validate these comments.

Stephen Pitts Stephen Pitts: Social media is a form of offsite promotion, just like link building. A quality link doesn’t only come from any site, but one that is relevant and has visibility to engines and users, as should a social media effort. As with a SEO campaign, a social media effort should not be considered a project, rather a process that is continual. It can be one of the most effective means to entice users to speak and share online what you offer along with what is great and not so great about you.

Chris Crum: Strictly from an SEO standpoint, what are the benefits to using Twitter, Facebook, etc.?

Todd Malicoat: I’ve honestly yet to have someone show me a great SEO use for Facebook.  There is certainly potential for distribution through it though, based on the raw size of the user base.  With either medium, and with ANY social medium – the goal is simple for SEO’s: high distribution of top level content so it gets well linked. 

The traffic will ultimately help with this, and having traffic from the right people (namely webmasters and promiscuous linkers) will help immensely with this.  Twitter, on the other hand, HAS been a fairly valuable SEO tool in the same way that Facebook isn’t.  It helps to get your best content in front of the people that will want it in a very timely fashion. 

Sidenote: Watch our exclusive interview with Todd and Brent Csutoras from SES NY last year where they talk about social media platforms:

 

One main consideration with twitter should be that most people are not engaged.  To truly use twitter as a means for distribution, you need to have very engaging, or very specialized content.  "Cat blogging" (random posts about whatever is on your mind) didn’t work for regular blogging, and people have seem to forgotten this rule when it comes to microblogging.  If you’re going to use twitter, stay on topic at least MOST of the time in order to keep the increasingly distracted attention of your users.

Joe WhyteJoe Whyte: Well with the nofollow tags on these sites the link value can be debated. I tend to think that link value is still passed but at a much lower value. We also know that these links do get picked up and put into Google’s and Yahoo’s backlink checker and we know that nofollow still allows spiders to cache and index, which is still great.

There have actually been case studies out there for people who build nofollow back links to terms and it has been documented that there have been shifts within the rankings. However I mostly use Twitter, Facebook and similar sites to build a targeted community that I could market to. Also it’s another great way to open up a "connection line" with potential or current customers. It is also a great way to do some reputation management – We saw this with Rebecca Kelly of SEOmoz and I think it was Verizon or something. She was unhappy and decided to tweet it to all of her friends. A Verizon rep contacted her through twitter and helped her out where a telephone customer rep did not.

This is a great example of social media for reputation management.  One more way Twitter and Facebook can help with SEO is through a method I call parasitic hosting. Parasitic hosting is the process of creating pages on social sites and 3rd party sites that you do not own and building an optimized page for your business. This page has the ability to rank for a particular term through traditional SEO techniques and can be another way to dominate your SERPS!

Sidenote: Watch an exclusive WebProNews interview with Joe from SMX West 2008 when he discussed social media with Mike McDonald:

Stephen Pitts: Twitter and Facebook are a means for traffic and plant seeds that will hopefully turn into links and spur additional traffic. The other way is to use these platforms to find out what/how people find you and want to find you. Social Media is similar to organic visibility, it provides an opportunity to get a click, but the delivery is so important because if it isn’t delivered correctly it might not be seen!

Wrapping up

I’d like to thank Malicoat, Whyte, Griffin, and Pitts for taking the time to discuss this subject with me. I think while social media marketing is certainly a hot topic. Its relationship to search engine optimization is not discussed as often. Certainly that’s not what the medium is all about, but marketers looking for all possible angles and benefits should be able to keep in mind the effects that pertain to search engine rankings.

See other paralllels between social media marketing and SEO? Do tell.

Talk about your strategies with other WebProNews readers.

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  • http://www.eporiaecommerce.com/ ecommerce web design

    This is one of the best posts addressing the topic of social media. A thing to keep in mind is that social media also works as indirect SEO, in other words it’s another medium in which potential customers seeking your products or services can find you and ultimately visit your site. Also liked the comment on nofollow links. Although they do not pass PageRank, they still get spidered. Again, great post. Cheers!

    • Chris Crum

      Thanks for the kind words. I fee like it’s a topic not discussed very often.

  • http://www.medlawplus.com jjray

    “linkbait piece” … love that term from Joe Whyte. I used to do it on Digg and reddit but have not been following that strategy for some time. Need to revisit it. Thanks for reminding me!

    • http://keywebdata.com Chris Lang

      Digg is the way to go. The others have changed their link structure, Digg still passes on good links and is a very positive indicator to Google.

  • Social media isnt SEO

    I think it is important to remember that these questions are asked from an SEO standpoint… SEO as in search engine optimization… This means optimizing website pages within SERPS.

    @Todd: Social links with no follow tags from social sits I cannot see being to valuable.

    However I do think that google’s influence rank does take into consideration how many friends and your activity on these social sites to help gauge that company’s rankings in the SERPS.

    I do also think that social links are a good foundation and should be in your linkbuilding mix just not 100% social links and I don’t think people should be to excited about getting a link from a myspace comment or a twitter comment.

    content distribution across social sites that still have no follow tags .. yeaaa I think the traffic would be great from that but that is not social media for seo. That is social media marketing which is a part of internet marketing not seo.

    Just wanted to put my thoughts out there.

  • http://www.searchbrat.com Kieran

    This is a great piece of content. It’s something I have been really interested of late. I think most SEO people do not fully understand how social media can fit into an SEO strategy and if indeed it should. Some of the points made above are good but deal a lot with a social strategy in general and not how they would fit into SEO.
    There were some great points made however. I agree social sites can be places where you can rank for keywords that don’t fit into your main sites strategy. Especially for short campaigns you may be running. I often think building links to a Squidoo lens will get you higher up in the rankings that building them to a page on your website.

    But one thing missing from the article above is how Social media is also a content and link stealer. A lot of people’s content is now passed around the social vehicles and the links obtained are on sites like Twitter that are nofollow. This is bad news for blogs especially as there ability to attract in content links from other sites and blogs diminish.

    I would love to see a case study where a social strategy was blended into an overall SEO strategy and exactly what lift in KPI’s this provided …

    Nice post .. I am off to retweet it … you see, a link stealer ;)

  • http://www.nvisolutions.com Guillaume

    You can see alot of interesting stats about Social Media being used for SEO purposes in one of the prez we’ve done at a few conferences… You can see it here: http://www.slideshare.net/nvi/emerging-social-and-new-media-landscape-nvi

    But, roughly, I can say that we do Social Media News Optimization mainly for SEO purposes!

    ^^

  • http://www.searchnews.net.au/ Search Engine News

    I like this article.

    I think social networking plays a very big role in an overall online marketing strategy.

    Ultimately, a website owner wants to drive traffic (and possible sales leads or an audience) to their website, and high-activity social networking sites and viral marketing campaigns are just part of it, but I also like email marketing (for opt-in subscribers) and other direct/targeted marketing approaches also.

    I think a lot of companies are starting to catch on to social networking, but my question is: will the search engines adjust their algorithms to remove the benefit of social networking (ie page rank benefits etc). I think that would be too difficult a task.

  • http://www.westcoastvinyl.com/windows.html West Coast Vinyl

    Great primer on what to do to be competitive using social media with seo.
    http://www.viddler.com/explore/tornadomaster/videos/1/

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk james mann

    Hey guys great article. Have you lot heard something that Google is experimenting with, its called GWO. Google Web site Optimization.
    I dont really know much about it, at first i thought it was just the same as SEO, so i am not too sure what the differences are.

    • http://inchoo.net Toni Anicic

      You probably mean Google Website Optimizer, I explained it here: http://inchoo.net/ecommerce/magento/magento-and-google-website-optimizer/

  • http://www.loansafe.org Moe Bedard

    Are these guys qualified to be speaking about this subject? I checked them out and they seem not to have much success with their own sites. That is the problem with the SEO and social media industry.

    A bunch of experts with no proof of actual projects they have done and dominated for.

    • Rich Ord

      Hi Moe,

      While I understand your concern, you might want to check into these experts a bit further. They are well respected by their peers, regularly speak at SES, SMX, Pubcon, etc… and have many successful client relationships.

      Thanks,
      Rich

      Rich Ord
      CEO, iEntry, Inc.
      Publisher of WebProNews

  • http://www.moovinonup.com SEO

    I would agree mostly with Joe Griffin on this nice article this.

  • http://www.solstice-inc.com IanR

    Well maybe there is if you’re branding and selling pop and bubblegum, but I don’t see the relevance for business to business commercial equipment sales where brand doesn’t play that much of a role.

    I would be really teed off if Google et all changed their algorithms to reward competitive sites with these social links without some due diligence! They’ve rushed in before and created the link exchange fiasco. We had a competitor who added 1000 links including a back link to hairdresser salon. How this had any relevance to optical disc duplicators was beyond me. But there it was along with the 1000 other links with absolutely no relevance, and yet the site was number 1 on Google! I’m told Google have since changed the algorithm, but not ’till the damage was done.

  • MaskedMarketer

    I’m a fuddy-duddy in traditional marketing communications. I’m sure that social networking can be valuable, but I do not think that it should take place at the expense of marcomm efforts such as public relations.

    I attended the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp for NonProfits last year. The Social Media Marketing and Campaigning for Nonprofits: Yyour Place on MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and More (podcast http://www.craigslistfoundation.org/index.php?page=Marketing_nbco) drove home to me how time consuming these efforts are. Organizations doing them well are also using older promotional efforts as well. Frankly, I am not sure that everyone understands that.

    Let’s not concentrate all our efforts in social networking and fail to use the other channels available to us.

    • http://googlingsocial.com Chris Lang

      As I said in a response above, get an assistant if you can afford it.

      If not, get an intern from the local college.

      You don’t have time to do what I do. If you are seeing good conversions at what you already do, forget social marketing, you can’t do it all. You know this, but get an intern, you will both learn something.

      Even if it is just from having a 20 year old kid around the office. Watch what they do, it is much different that how we manage our life.

      In 10 years those fuddy duddy marketing principles will be worthless.

      Like ezine articles? Kids don’t use email.

      Email is not dead, it is not dying, but it is going to have less and less effect.

      @IamChrisLang

  • http://meemblogando.blogspot.com/ Fabio Carvalho

    Dear Chris,
    I must say that has been one of the best pieces on social media I’ve read all this time. Thanks for contributing to my ideas on the topic and for making me believe even more in the power of the social tools for marketing. I’m a websites manager in Brazil, currently working for a large publishing house group, and each and everyday have to fight the challenges we face to promote our books on the web. I believe that there should be more and more talks like this on the topic ’cause no one really knows what is THEE best way to market online, yet. We shall find out together. Thanks for the opportunity. Cheers.

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Debbie Morgan

    I’ve been using social media to help raise awareness for my safety and security products and web site for some time now. Conversions are sporatic at best and it is time consuming but I don’t rely on this alone. I have a SEO team that works on my site all the time. I think the combination is working well. Thanks, Chris, for bringing us the insite from these experts.

  • http://www.homebusinesshints.com Chuck Anthony

    Thanks, Chris. These are helpful insights for an old codger likw me.

  • http://www.adwebdesigns.com Bill Scott Phoenix SEO

    “does not reap the same rewards for clients as quickly and securely as traditional SEO.” – Yea I usually find sticking with methods that work are the best solution for my clients. They want to see ROI.

    More traffic and Search Engine Optimization are two different things.
    When I think of SEO I think control. You have a purpose and plan.

    When I think of Social Media I think of a different marketing campaign & plan all together.

    Any long term seo is certainly a bonus. But going into a project it’s pretty hard to calculate ROI on social media for search engine optimization purposes only.

    Make good sites and content will always win out in the long run. A great website is great natural link bait. All you have to do is get people there.

    SEO is only in third place when it comes to web site traffic conversions.

  • http://www.thebrainchildgroup.com Green | Brainchild

    Excellent article and I completely agree. These marketing mediums are well worth it and all businesses should research them if not utilize them. I’ve had excellent results from Twitter, Reddit, and the others.

    Thanks again for the post!

  • http://www.firmalatter.dk/latterkurser-og-workshops/latterkursus.htm Ejvind

    Is it possible to put it like that? In a sense I think so, because the social media is so much faster in building links than blogging or making web pages. I wouldn’t be suprised if web sites a s we know them ar e about to change into a much more dynamic presence on the internet.

  • http://www.htmlcut.com psd to html

    Extremely useful post! And very timely! Lately there were lots of articles about social media sites, and honestly, some of them look like pure hype. This post is absolutely different and very to the point. And it’s very good that it’s a SEO standpoint.

    Really great! Thank you very much

    BTW, I’ve placed a link to this post on Facebook :)

  • http://www.meintrendyhandy.de Zanes

    I made today Facebook Page&Group for www.mytrendyphone.com and we will see the results.
    My opinion is that this way is just a part of business (15%)
    Now, I need your opinions:
    http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Mytrendyphone-Webshops/1562725334

    • http://googlingsocial.com Chris Lang

      You just demonstrated the worst aspect of Facebook. I can’t see your page without joining the group. I am logged in and all, but I have more than enough junk (not that yours is) streaming into my inbox in Facebook. Not likely to join another group.

      So, the problem is that I cannot even look in to see if I want to join the darn thing, or even just click thru a link to see your commercial site.

      Not a real good indicator of a likely conversion to most of us from here.

      What you have to do is build up a Facebook reputation, pull in lots of NEW friends, not us from this blog, we are not going to buy anything.

      So, as I have said many times, and this is my recommendation from a real social marketer, not a wanna be:

      Decide on ONE social site, participate highly, HIGHLY, and backend the users into your product.

      This is not easy, I recommend all my consulting clients get an assistant to handle just social media. If you can’t afford it, get an intern, college is letting out soon. Kids need experience and get social media.

      Hope this helps and makes sense.

      @IamChrisLang

    • http://www.tmart.in www.tmart.in

      Same as me! I did for for http://www.tmart.in. But I am getting better results from Stumbleupon.

      Thanks /Tissy

  • http://www.shoppersmall.net Tony Lee

    It’s really great to see so many folks adding to this post Chris.

    And as Joe mentions, nofollow links still have some value after all.

    Social networking sites do have much value to offer all of us. I’ve been fairly successful in using them myself.

    • http://keywebdata.com Chris Lang

      Google has shown time and time again that they ignore nofollow when they want to.

      It is a moving target though, one thing nofollow links will do is get content indexed very rapidly that other wise might wait for the spider on a site that only sees GoogleBot once a week.

      Another thing that social bookmarking especially will do is get new sites in Google very quickly. Using Digg I got a new blog on a brand new domain ranked in Google five minutes after the first blog post was published.

      Two major organic SEO guys both said it would take me 2 to 3 weeks, I had my clients site in Google results the same day we pinged them.

      With 5 Diggs.

  • http://philmiranda.com phil miranda

    Phil Miranda here…As always top notch information from you guys…Thanks a bunch.

    Your buddy,

    Phil Miranda

  • http://free-ads-2biz.blogspot.com Free Ads

    I didn’t realize the power of social media before. Thx for the info

  • http://www.patrickmcmurray.com Guest

    It all makes good sense to me, as long term relationship building strategy based on consistency and trust.

  • http://www.ebook-site.com Bryan Quinn

    As an advocate of social media I found much of this of great interest. The interview with Todd and Brent Csutoras, although short on content (nothing given away here) is worth a watch.

  • http://www.changagorham.com Mr. CG

    The point I want to make about using Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms was touched on by Mr. Joe Whyte. The most practical use for these mediums is catering to and building a more ‘targeted’ market. The relationship building and connectivity that microblogging and consistent communication and feedback can provide is unmatched. The effect it can have on you and your business can be priceless.

    Imagine having tens to hundreds of followers consistently wanting to know more about you and what you are about simply because you have provided them a gateway with a well timed comment or link on your properly presented home page. People want good timely information and providing value can fulfill that desire and spark curiosity.

    Lovin’ Social Marketing,
    Mr. CG

    • http://photojourn.wordpress.com John Le Fevre

      Social media should be ignored by people at their own peril as commented on by Mr CG and a few others. Those who see no value in the no-follow links are missing the point of social media entirely and it’s not surprising they cannot leverage it to their or their clients advantage.

      Social media may not deliver immediate benefits in the manner of a PPC campaign, but if used correctly to engage with existing and potential users of a website

  • Guest

    Hi there peeps,

    I think the comment by Todd is misleading as most social media sites have no follow so I don

    • Nathan

      I just wanted to make a quick comment about this. I am most definitely not starting an argument here in anyway. It has been discovered that even though there is a no follow attribute added to a link – the search engines still follow the link to the referred page, but stop there. The idea behind it is to not have the (what ever is indexing) follow the link and continue. The search engines still need to know that the link is not broken – and they will follow it. I agree with Todd. Even though there is no link juice passed along with the link – there is the credibility (and possibly anchor text, and relevancy, etc…). These links are just as stated – greatly devalued. There really is no strategy to just throw up links where ever you can on facebook (or wherever) and even though they are “no followed” expect them to greatly help. You still need to have a good link building technique. We have been able to actually test this theory because if you build a fresh website and make no reference to it anywhere and build absolutely no links – it will never exist in the search engines eyes. If you reference it even one time in any area (with the no follow attribute in the link) the search engines will find the website. They may not continue to index it, but they will know the referred page is there.

      • Ghetto

        Thanks for your comment – i am right to think that link juice stands for, (PR, anchor and relevancy) but if there

      • http://www.the-system.org Social Media Marketing

        Right right and right again – links are links are links and from W2 properties are much more valuable than from joe bloggs unranked website.
        what is all this with nofollow – as you said even Google lists so called nofollow
        more importantly what about Bing and Yaho who certaintly doen’t give 2 hoots about this attribute.
        Some people just don’t see it. I’m dominating car insurance just by using SMM!

  • http://www.stuntdubl.com Todd

    Just for the record, I was not trying to say that links FROM social media sites are good for links…they are not. They are just the distribution point to get in front of people that will link to you.

    My gameplan is as such:
    1. Have some content that is great (and I don’t mean like – you made it good, I mean like your mom sends it to you in a mass chain email without knowing you created it great).
    2. Get it initial distribution on digg, delicious, stumbleupon and reddit.. This is the sites I mean when I refer to social media, in the same way I say search engines when I generally mean google.
    3. Get links from some of the thousands and thousands of people who saw it on these sites. I am looking for links from bloggers, and people who still link to fun or valuable resources.

    In summary, you have to actually CREATE a fun and valuable resource first, which is the truly hard part that most people won’t do. THEN you distribute that content via social media, which IN TURN gets you links from other places.

    There are no shortcuts. The second tier social media folks will have the same ultimate fate as second tier SEOs, and will be back to scraping by for a few bucks in two more years when the hype settles down. Those that did it right will have defensible web properties with thousands of links that others can’t buy or beg for, and a nice passive income stream from them.

    Social media is just another tool in the arsenal. There are really no gurus – only people that use it effectively, and people that don’t, and past performance doesn’t dictate future success.

    • ghetto

      Have you read the first line of your opening thoughts:

      Todd Said:

      “Social media marketing helps mainly with creating the global link popularity that is essential to high rankings.”

      Which is it, they do or they dont.

  • http://monetarytruths.blogspot.com/ SEO Tips

    Actually the nofollow tag imposed by some of the well known sites like Twitter will not fit in the SEO equation anymore.People interested in SEO will always other media sites which have a dofollow tag on them.Now even reddit have started using nofollow tags and so the visitors per month is suffering.

    • http://www.dollarzandcents.com Guest

      It’s simple: There are billions of registered domain names and websites. It is not possible to catalog them all so that everyone gets a decent ranking. The big corporations just pay cold hard cash to be placed at the top. The rest of us are left begging.

      You can have the best content on the web and never get noticed even if you employ every reasonable SEO tip in the book.

      Social media just tallys the number of links out there and orders page rank according to the number of links.

      This doesn’t mean your site is good or you have any worthwile content; it just means you have the links.

      These days you can pay for links, you can participate in link exchanges, you can blog your links all over the web just to get a good link count.

      Ultimately this doesn’t mean the best site wins, it just means the most audacious webmaster wins.

      I don’t know any just or fair way of properly ranking sites for SEO; with all of the sites out there it may not be possible. I just know that social media link counting simply isn’t the way to do it. Counting the number of links doesn’t mean the site is worth anything.

  • http://www.melbourneonline.com.au Mark – Melbourne SEO

    It’s a redundant argument unless you are SEOing a massive client with broad brand recognition. Nofollow links, of small value at best, are not going to get you results. Bloggers are not going to start posting about Fred’s Milkbar because it’s not of interest.

    A social networking campaign relating to kmart or Greenpeace might hold some SEO value, but it is too time consuming to take the gamble for a smaller client. Your time and their money can be better spent in numerous other areas.

  • http://www.attorneyservicesetc.com PosterGal

    The fact that everyone is talking about them makes it even more essential to look at these social networking tools closely.

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk Nick Rinylo

    There is no competition between the marketing aspect, twitter provides an excellent way of pointing your followers to your blog / site etc.

    Facebook allows / provides communication between users via much more comprehensive search facility. i.e you can find old friends distant relations etc.

  • http://blog.hichamaged.net/ Hicham

    SM make it easy to get more traffic and thus new readers for the website and maybe someone got interested and go through linking back. So it’s great for socializing the content and make your site/blog more familiar among readers. Nevertheless, it’s not that jucy in case we talked about the no-follow tag which plays important role in pageranking via linking back.

  • http://www.krisolin.com Kris Olin

    All social media sites, Facebook and Twitter including are important components of the social media marketing umbrella. You will need a combination of these in order to be succesful online.

    Regarding Facebook and Twitter however, have you noticed how similar Facebook’s opening page looks to Twitter? This change happened soon after they had lost their $500M plan to take over Twitter end last year. I have always been wondering why would you even want to follow people you don’t really know. (Except for stalking purposes, maybe…). Facebook has now corrected this issue, so that you can now follow people that you actually do know; your friends and relatives.

    Since this twitter-style” upgrade Facebook users have now been a whole more active in updating their own statuses and following up their friends statuses and comments. And this is how it should be. I still like Twitter as the original inventor of microblogging, however, I think it works better on other social platforms, such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace. What do you think? Send a me a Tweet. http://twitter.com/KrisOlin

  • http://www.moovinonup.com/ seo

    this may have a knock on effect but no direct effect

  • http://www.yummybouquets.com Guest

    I’m still wondering on social media. So much info both ways. Thanks for the info.

  • http://www.whatcom.it communiGator

    this issue is very complex.
    IMHO in small scale SEM nofollow links can be the real added value that make your site appear very high in SERPs.
    TBH I have to say also that being an italian SEO, I often face low semantical competition environments in which you may just need a bunch of backlinks to rank high.
    anyway, I agree with Jow White in the sense that nofollow tags, though not passing pagerank, are still evaluated by serach engine spiders in order to rank the page.
    from a stict traditional marketing perspective, I think that often big budgets invested in high competition SEO activities, earn low revenues, while, in well blended proportions, they can be one of the most valuable parts of a marketing and branding strategy.
    very good article indeed

  • http://www.westernshowsaddles.net George Packard

    I knew there were SEO benefits with social bookmarking sites, it just took someone with more knowledge than I have to lay it out.

  • http://www.blocksand3dpuzzles.com Garolyn Bowe

    Although I have had a website up and running for over three years now I am just learning about social networking.

    I have a question I hope to get answered before I get too deep into signing up on various sites. I would like to know the advantage of inviting someone to be your “friend”. Or why I would accept an invitation to become someone’s friend. I just do not understand what all that is about.

    Thanks!

  • http://hubshout.com SEO

    I think that SEO on social media is tricky. People have very different expectations of behavior (i.e., linking) on social media sites. They are quick to pull out the “SPAM” label for anything they don’t like. As you consider SEO plays in social media, you need to be aware of this.

  • http://www.socialtrending.com Online Reputation

    There is an SEO use for Facebook and it is much more simple than the analysis above has returned. Traffic Generation! Games and Applications can direct customers to your site as a simple link out of facebook or in a more complex form submission mannor. Also, I have seen excellent examples of facebook applications used as “teasers” that finish with the message “if you like this check out more on our site”

  • http://linkdirs.blogspot.com/ Eric

    “Nice Article”, I must say, I understand that these days SEO experts are emphasize greatly on the benefits of social media in SEO and obviously it might be very helpful, but I personally am not able to gain success with social media. I do get some traffic from social bookmarking sites but I am yet to have SEO benefits from it, though DIGG is one good site in my personal opinion when you talk about backlink.

  • http://www.franportal.com/ Franchise Opportunities

    Social media is necessary in any SEO campaign nowadays.

  • http://www.tmdesigner.it Tmdesigner

    I Social Media Network sono molto utili a livello di pubblicit

  • http://inovasibelajar.com Inovasi Belajar Online

    I haven’t got benefits from this ways

  • Ann Miller

    SMM networks can work exceptionally well IF YOU ARE ALREADY A RECOGNIZED BRAND in a target niche. If you are a small business in the process of defining your brand, trying to locate your target niche, developing PR, and linkbaiting

  • http://BlendNewYork.com Fashion Boutique

    This article was good because it shows how you can use SM sites to your advantage, as well as how it will and will not affect your SEO efforts. Nice!

  • http://www.googlingsocial.com Chris Lang

    I hate to say it Chris, but these guys are so far behind what we are really doing in social media and these are the same people that told me for years that social media does not influence Google.

    They were wrong then and they still have no idea what is really going on. Parasitic marketing? Are you kidding me? Howie Schwartz was talking about this in 2005.

    If you want to know what is really going on in SEO and social media talk to Jeff Smith, Jennifer Horowitz, Mari Smith and Simon Ford, they do know what they are doing.

  • http://www.guruetteonthenet.com/wp Marianne

    I know that this article has been on for a while, but profiles at Social Networks really do work for you. Check your own stats, Google yourself. Good networks come up first. You don’t have to be a known “BRAND” t gain traffic from this phenomena!

  • http://www.harleytourism.com Harleytourism

    I have personally noted with more participation in the Social Media Sites my Ranking of www.harleytourism.com has jumped. I have also noted that in Search results, DIGG< Twitter, Face Book have high ranking