Thanks for coming to today’s presentation. Before we get started, I want to provide some context about my approach to social media and SEO. I’m a content person as opposed to someone focus on SEO. My interest and expertise lies in creating compelling content that attracts users, who then want to share it with other people. For most of us, this is the ultimate goal when it comes to affecting SEO.SEO is an entirely different world and industry with its own approaches and techniques but I will hopefully provide a good feel for both worlds over the next 45 minutes. If you have any questions along the way, please let me know.
There’s a growing amount of talk about the marriage of social media and SEO so when I saw a blog post by Rohn Jay Miller, it immediately caught my attention.http://socialmediatoday.com/rohnjaymiller/283890/fabulous-collision-search-and-social
I think the easiest way to think about social media and SEO is consider how they work together as opposed to operating as independent entities. In many respects, they are inter-connected and complementary. They support each other to drive the benefits of each activity.
To provide some context of where we’re at with social media and search, let’s start at the beginning of search, which really goes back the mid-1990s
. I can remember working at the Financial Post, and going to the library to use the computer so I could search the Web. It now sounds like a bizarre concept but it was the reality of the Web.
Jerry Yang and David Filos started Yahoo in 1994 – the original name was Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web. Not the most originally name.
The thing about Yahoo was it was a curated directory created by people who would discover and collect Web sites, and then categorize them. It was a manual activity but given there weren’t that many Web sites, it was probably wasn’t overwhelming.
Then along came Google, which was started by two Stanford students – Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Google’s first “office” was located in a friend’s garage in Menlo Park, Ca. Any guesses about Google’s original name? It was Backrub.
Today, Google has a huge campus in Silicon Valley. It recently bought 19 acres of land to build office space.
The secret sauce behind how Google work is an algorithm called PageRank, which was created by Larry Page.
So, here’s the formula. To be perfectly honesty, I have no idea what this means but then again, I have no computer science skills.
But in quasi-English this is what it means.
And if you want to boil it down even more, this is probably the best way to explain PageRank.
In simple terms, search is based on the quality of the content and the quantity of links to that content. This is not to suggest that great content is always the highest ranking on search engine but it is a key factor.
The search world carried on indexing Web sites but then something big happened
: social media started to appear on the scene. Suddenly, there was a lot of new content being created by bloggers, people uploading videos to YouTube and photos on Flickr, and people doing all kinds of things on Facebook and Twitter
This meant that search not only started to take into account Web sites but blogs, news, videos and photos.
And then something big happened again – the emergence of real-time information. This meant that not only was content being published in real-time but the search engines started to index and display in real-time.
Here’s Google, which has a “Realtime” tab on it search results so you can see what’s happening now, as well as get results from the Web, video, images, blogs and the news.
As real-time has gained more traction and importance, there have been a growing number of search engines focused on delivering content. Some of the players include Topsy.
And Kurrently, which provides results from Facebook, Twitter, Google, Bing, Baidu and YouTube.
Now that we’ve got a handle on what’s happening with search engines and their approach to social media, let’s take a look at how you can put these two worlds together. The most important thing is have a plan so that social media and SEO just doesn’t happen. It’s great when things unfold organically but having a plan makes life a whole lot easier.
Here’s a graph that I borrowed from Lee Oden, who works for a marketing agency called TopRank. I like it because it provides a simple overview on how to combine social media and SEO. So let’s go through the different parts.
As you create content, think about who’s going to consume it. What are their expectations? What kind of content resonates with them?
What services are you going to use. Who’s going to create and promote the content.
As I mentioned earlier, while you can fiddle with SEO behind the scenes, content is king so focus on creating content that does one of three things: engages, entertains or enlightens. If you do one of these three, you’re good to go. If you can do more than one, that’s even better.
Another key element is making sure the content you create is distributed to a variety of different platforms to reach the widest possible audience. Keep in mind that different people will consume content in different ways. Many Facebook users, for example, may not be on Twitter .
You also need to make sure that consumers can easily share your content with friends, family and colleagues. This includes letting people share it on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, delicious, linkedIn and Reddit. You can also use widgets such as shareaholic
StumbleUpon recently hit 1 billion stumbles/month.Source: http://mashable.com/2011/04/09/stumbleupon-hits-1-billion-stumbles-per-month/
The Marriage of Social Media & SEO
How Social Sharing is Impacting Search <br />(And Why You Should Care!) <br />
“The fabulous collision between social networks and search engines is the most important change to the Internet in the last ten years. And it’s changing the Internet forever.”<br />- Rohn Jay Miller: “The Fabulous Collision of Search and Social”<br />
PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + … + PR(Tn)/C(Tn)) where<br />PR(A) is the PageRank of page A<br />PR(Ti) is the PageRank of pages Ti which link to page A<br />C(Ti) is the number of outbound links on page Ti and<br />d is a damping factor<br />
The only true indication of the quality of a Web page is how many other sites link to it. Each of these incoming links is considered a vote for the content of a page. The more pages linking to a page, the more important your content and the higher the search ranking.<br />
Translation: The more inbound links to a Web site, the better. If those sources are popular themselves, that’s even better.<br />