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Why Social Media Will Have a Stronger Impact on SEO in 2014

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Trends in search engine optimization are changing all the time. The overall landscape with regards to search engine optimization changes all the time. Many of the search engine optimization techniques that people have used over the years may no longer work. Spam filters are becoming good enough that filling your work with keywords may only decrease the number of people that ultimately see your web content.

Many people that specialize in search engine optimization are trying to respond to these changing parameters. Using keywords in a much more targeted fashion is becoming much more popular online. However, it is possible that other faithful search engine optimization techniques may soon become dated as well. All search engine optimization specialists must constantly update their strategies if they wish to stay relevant in a field that shifts extremely rapidly.

The Increasing Popularity of Social Media

In the early days of social media, even having a relatively strong social media presence was not anywhere near as useful as having a strong social media presence today. Social media has only become more influential since its introduction. At the end of the day, having a solid social media presence is more useful today simply because significantly more people are involved with social media.

In the early days of the Internet itself, Internet marketing campaigns may have only reached a relatively small number of people. Today, the Internet is such an integral part of modern life that many people can scarcely imagine their lives without it. Doing Internet marketing now is significantly more rewarding that it would have been a mere twenty years ago. Similarly, marketing using social media websites can produce excellent results for people today.

Active Customer Involvement

In some ways, many of the more conventional search engine optimization techniques create a relatively passive interaction between businesses and their potential customers. The businesses create targeted varieties of web content in the hope of catching a customer’s eye. On the other end of the interaction, the customer responds to that web content and becomes involved with the business or not. Often times, businesses try to create as many of these instances as possible for the sake of generating almost any interest in what they provide.

Internet marketing through social media involves much more mutual interaction between businesses and clients. Clients can send messages directly to the people that are involved with the business itself. Some social media websites will also make recommendations as to who to follow. Potential clients could find the social media page of a given business by using mechanisms that are unique to social media websites.

Social Shares and Link Building

share baby

One of the big ways that social media will affect SEO in the new year is by replacing the old form of link building. Traditionally, building links has been one of the best ways to increase your search results ranking on Google.

However, due to the fact that Google is cracking down on any and all schemes for getting backlinks and increasing your rating this way, it’s probable that social media approaches will be a big alternative in the next year. For example, sites that focus on link farms or link exchanges are quickly vanishing. Instead, we’ll be seeing a lot of social shares as an alternative.

SEO and Twitter

These social shares will include things like retweets from Twitter, for example. These could have links in them but won’t be counted as much towards link farming because it counts as a social media share instead. Twitter is a fantastic way to spread your brand and get the word out about your site quickly. This is because it’s so easy for people to share things on Twitter. It’s often trivial inconvenience that drives practices on the Internet after all. And having a way to send your site out to a hundred people or more with one click is a massive advantage.

This will be reflected in the new year with the fact that Google often prizes sites that have a lot of retweets. The assumption is that people are actually paying attention to the site for a reason, so the ranking will often be higher.

This is significant because it means that people will be gearing their advertising more to the quick nature of social media than to the more long form approaches with blogs and articles. Entire organizations are now forming around this idea. People are honing their skills when it comes to sending out the perfect Tweet along with a link to their site. This is a focus more on conciseness and wittiness than on anything else.

After all, you need a single sentence or two to be so potent that people feel compelled to action after only seeing the sentence for a few seconds. There is definitely something of an art to it, and it is absolutely going to drive SEO practices in the next year as companies that want exposure seek out companies that are learning the talent of getting a bunch of Favorites and Retweets, since these will be the new gold mine commodities of the Internet moving forward in 2014.

Optimization Through Facebook

Many of the social media sites are very similar in terms of promotion, but Facebook and Twitter are definitely at different ends of the spectrum in terms of getting exposure for site promotion. For example, where Twitter is more about quick attention and the clever turn of phrase, Facebook is often more media intensive. Pictures and videos are the currency of the day on Facebook, and if they can be linked thematically to a site for the purposes of SEO, all the better.

One big trend on Facebook in the coming year will be personalization. Because Facebook has recently implemented changes having to do with personal networks, this will have a big effect on how marketers approach the site.

In particular, people on Facebook will now see a lot of “likes,” from people in their Network. This will include restaurants, as well as products of every sort. This means that specific demographic targeting will be a big strategy for getting high search rank in 2014. After all, Facebook posts that have a huge number of Likes will often do very well on Google as well as on other search engine pages.

Google+

Another factor to consider is the fact that Google+ is heavily integrated with Google now. A person’s network on Google+ and who is in it will have a huge effect on what search results come back to them. Restaurants that have a lot of plus votes from the searcher’s network will be way more likely to show up than any other kind of restaurant. And Google+ will be more likely to influence results on Google than any other social media site like Facebook or Twitter, though if you’re signed into these sites that could certainly happen as well.

Local Searches

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Social media is going to be especially important to any site that needs to focus locally, such as for a restaurant or a local store that needs to generate local traffic. Sites including Yelp, Urbanspoon and others will affect SEO practices this year as well. Mobile phones are bigger than ever, after all, and catering to them is important.

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Daniel Threlfall

Daniel has a nerdy fascination with SEO. He's even been known to study Penguin and Panda for "fun." As well as being a family man and world traveler, Daniel prefers his coffee without cream or sugar.

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