I’ve Challenged the SEO Community, and they’ve Responded

A few weeks ago, I heard Andy Beal on Marketing Voices on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I’m focused on Social Media at this part of my career, and saw some areas where SEO and Social Media really impact and may conflict. Andy’s a good guy and a friend, and if he can handle my questions, here in public, I’m sure he could do the same in front of clients, and/or competitors.

Here’s the challenge questions on Search Engine Optimization.

Jeremiah’s Question 1)
“Because blogs score high in Google Search results, how does this impact corporations who spend resources on SEO campaigns for their websites?”

Jeremiah’s Question 2)

“If Social Media is an effective way to gain in SEO (as well as engage an audience), should we increase Social Media Program budgets and reduce SEO budgets?”

Jeremiah’s Question 3)

“The word of mouth network is becoming more and more efficient. Communities are forming and networks are formalizing, these networks allow users to share info about products and services without using search. (Twitter, blogs, myspace are good examples). update: If these word of mouth networks become so efficient and content is shared amongst a common group, will this reduce the need for searches?”

Jeremiah’s Question 4)

“I state that Web Marketing is not on Two (corporate and google) domains only. Some savvy companies are realizing the Web Marketing battle isn’t on the corporate domain only, as the word of mouth effect becomes more important, do companies really want visitors to come to their site? Or will the savvy company realize that the most effective web marketing is using advocate customers to turn cold and warm prospects. How does this impact the SEO industry?”

The SEO community has responded

Andy Beal has responded
, I feel kind of bad by putting him out on a ledge for question 3, but he seemed to handle it with no problem, out of the mayn SEO professionals I’ve met, Andy has been excellent in responding to any question I’ve had, so I’m not concerned about him hanging on a ledge. I’ve also seen that Daniel from Emergence Media has also responded, similar answers, but a different tone. Now if I can just get Calacanis to answer.

Also related, I saw a trackback from Nick Wilson that thinks that Andy, Jennifer and I are in the old boys club, I dunno Nick, I met Andy at a conference where we were speaking, I had him do a project for me while I was the Manager of Global Web Marketing at Hitachi and was impressed with him from then on, we’ve maintained a relationship since. I don’t know you Nick, but I look forward to meeting you one day as well, I’m an equal opportunity old boys club member.

If you’re an SEO professional, I encourage you to try to answer these challenge questions as they may start to emerge in client meetings as social media becomes a line item within organizations.

  • Happy to answer, I enjoy questions that get me thinking. 🙂

  • Jeremiah,

    Thanks for including me in your post.

    Nick Wilson is a cool cat, but then again, I’m biased since he put me on his list of “Must Reads” on Social Media. 😉

    The feeling of having Old Boys Network is true for any small niche community, but we definitely dont have the “Old Boys” mentality that Nick commented on.

    I can also be called to be part of the “Old Boys Network”, but it really is that in a small community of Social Media and SEO people, we all know each other – especially those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Let’s take me for example, I know plenty of great SEO folks like Rand Fishkin and I’ve met Andy Beal and Todd Malicoat.

    I’ve talked to Brian Solis, blogged back and forth on Stowe Boyd and heck I know of you Jeremiah via Karen at Crimson Consulting.

    We’re a small community. From the outside, it looks like we’re a bunch of Old Boys Network but in truth we’re just a small network.

  • “If these word of mouth networks become so efficient and content is shared amongst a common group, will this reduce the need for searches?””

    Let’s just rememeber that search is also for the common man or woman. In other words, people that aren’t active participants in blogs or other social networks will still do things the “old” way.

    Most of the population is not like many of us Valley folk…

  • Damon

    I’m not being insular:

    MySpace, Cyworld (Korea, Japan, China) and Facebook are not only limited to Silicon Valley. Social Media spans a wide generation of internet users.

  • Great questions. I like the last one. Visitors, even targeted, qualified ones, aren’t necessarily the last line in monetizing a web site or service.

    You need people ready to commit, ready to spend, and word of mouth is able to facilitate that. I completely see how the changing landscape of the net through social media sites and social networking sites and social bookmarking sites, and socially inept sites (jk) is mirroring your assumptions, but do you honestly feel that in such a stale, inhuman environment like the net, that users will be willing to listen to the feedback of others on products and services, especially for higher-end services? And what of those who aren’t social, I still sit in the corner of most of these sites, watching the jocks and the cool kids bicker over the hottest new video on YouTube.

    As the good people at NBC have taught us, while catching child predators, online, you can pretend to be anyone or anything…

    My real name is Tony Biscony.

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  • Hi Jeremiah,

    I realize that you’re not being insular. That being said, most folks still probably do searches in the traditional way…even if they are participating in social networks & the like. The sites you mentioned can help augment a traditional search for sure.

  • aaron wall

    >Jeremiah’s Question 1)

    Having a blog on their site makes it easier to rank, get press coverage, etc.

    >Jeremiah’s Question 2)

    It is all about ROI…to me SMO is a subset of SEO. It is the cheapest form of link building on the market. The latent links typically offer greater value than a short burst of traffic.

    >Jeremiah’s Question 3)
    I think people are generally quite lazy. That more than anything will keep search fairly concentrated. As a community grows in influence so does the profit potential (and thus demand) in spamming it. Anything that scales will have some flavors of spam to it. That is why Google is pushing personalization so much…it allows them to know you well enough to keep you there.

    >Jeremiah’s Question 4)
    Lots more widget sites and free information sharing and community building stuff is bolted onto typically boring corporate sites, but lots of fake reviews will spring up too.

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