Whilst the general consensus is the future of SEO lies at the door of Google and Bing (although the jury is still ‘out’ on the latter), there is strengthening doubt regarding using SEO as the only strategy to adopt for a campaign. No longer is it just the search engine world which is ever evolving, but a relatively new online beast is making its presence felt everyday; the use of Social Media.
The internet has evolved to a position where it is not just about text, pictures and video from authoritative sources. The internet is now a fully fledged social and multimedia platform where anyone with an i.p address can be involved. The speed at which it operates is reflective of the ‘here and now’ characteristic of 21st century culture.
Subsequently, the search landscape has evolved too, and SEO disciplines such a link building, keyword research and constructing a clean and clear site are no longer the only main focal points of a campaign.
The ‘big 3’ of the social media world; Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are the channels search engines are increasingly paying more attention to. Google and Bing are attentive to these platforms as they strive to be responsive and understanding to user’s searching needs. As the web becomes increasingly more social, information is passed around and traded through a variety of platforms, and even ranked in their popularity (see social news sites like digg.com and delicious.com). There is a shift occurring where user’s voices are being heard and accounted for.
User’s now search for videos, up-to-the-minute news, and appreciate more human-like approaches from companies, such as twitter accounts and Facebook fan pages. Not only do the latter two blur the traditional hard-line between company and customer, but they present opportunities for the brand/company to be creative and social.
It certainly pays to adopt a social media strategy, as already Google are incorporating ‘real-time’ search results via twitter feeds and news articles, video results and Facebook pages into their results pages. In Google’s next algorithm update, their presence could more prominent.
It would be wise to future-proof a campaign against these changes.