If you have anything to do with social media, inbound or content marketing, you should be aware of what’s happening right now with SEO – one of the building blocks of doing business on the social web.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) simply means getting your site and content found by your customers and prospects. It used to be an IT geek thing. But it has become more and more a core business skill. SEO is the glue that keeps your online inbound and content marketing strategy together.

Recently some new stuff has started happening that has blurred the lines between SEO and social media.

In the past …

A well optimised web site used to be enough for your content to be found in Google. But now Google is starting to use ‘social signals’ to determine ranking of a web site or web page.

Google looks not just at how well your website is optimised, but it also looks at how your content performs in social media.

What do I mean?

  • When two different pages are competing on the same set of keywords, the page that gets liked or shared in social media more, will rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs)
  • If your content is shared by influential people, this will have an even greater effect on search engine rankings.

In a nutshell, social media is becoming increasingly influential on SEO.

Why is Google mixing up social media with SEO?

Google is developing ‘social metrics’ to find out if the optimised content it finds also comes from a trusted source.

One of the biggest social metrics is the content’s perceived value to others. In plain English: Google is trying to find out if everyone else thinks that your content is as good as you say it is. And it will rank you on what it finds out.

So what do you need to do about it?

Well, you still need a keyword strategy. And you still need to become a publisher of great content.

But! It’s no longer enough to just publish and then forget about it. Why? Because the more people share, like, tweet, buzz up or comment on your content, the higher that content will rank in search engines.

So you need to get busy. Here’s two great places to start:

  • start sharing your content much more actively
  • actively engage people in conversation about your content (start by listening).

If you want to be part of the future of search, then you need to be social.

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