For as long as I've heard that Social Media is on the rise, I've heard that SEO is on its way out. Just type 'SEO is' into Google and you're served the following suggestions from the search engine:
- SEO is dead
- SEO is evil
- SEO is bullshit
- SEO is a sham
- SEO is stupid
Though it is true that social media in growing in popularity and influence, SEO isn't dead. Search Engine Optimization is constantly changing, evolving and growing, not vanishing. Though many early Search Engine Optimization practices are dead, the industry is still alive and well. While we no longer rely on keyword stuffing or search engine submissions, we do rely on optimized content and search friendly website architecture. Though Google is punishing the outdated use of link farms, search marketers are relying on Social Media Marketing for current link building programs. SEO is not dead, it is evolving. Social Media Marketing hasn't replaced SEO, it has enhanced it.
Why Social Media Hasn't Replaced SEO
While it's true that search engines are in fact using the social media trends and data in order to improve their search results, they aren't relying solely on social media. Search engine algorithms change, and as they change, they take new information in account when awarding search visibility. A well constructed, sincere and interactive social media campaign can boost search results, but not on its own. Here are a few reasons why social media hasn't replaced SEO:
- Social media sites are easy to manipulate. Brands are still playing games on these sites, search engines know that. While social media plays a part in the search algorithms, relevancy, quality and trust are still more important.
- There is too much social info to keep up with. People are using social media at unprecedented rates, publishing content, sharing links, etc. Search engines take this activity into account, but do not base their results off of this ever changing data.
- Social search has not replaced search engines, and SEO is still crucial for gaining and maintaining top search visibility on search engines. While social media may influence search visibility, it does not dictate it all on its own.
- Search Engine Optimization enhances Websites for both search engines and potential customers. The shift from push to pull marketing has really sparked the need for well optimized content and Websites, done through quality SEO.
SEO isn't dead. Social media isn't the end all be all answer to online marketing. The key to online success is an integrated marketing campaign, with SEO and social media working side by side to increase a brand's online presence and search visibility.