When a consumer wants to learn about a new product, sale, business or boutique, where is the most obvious place he or she would look for information? I am pretty confident that most people would Google it. Or perhaps use Yahoo, AOL, Bing, or MSN. Bottom line is, search engines are avidly used as convenience tools for consumers to acquire information. Companies rely on search engine optimization (SEO), or the process of improving the visibility of a Website in search engines via un-paid search results, to aid in marketing their product. Companies associate their Web content with the ultimate goal of making their page higher on search engines so consumers will click their page and thus are more likely to produce revenue through advertisements. However, the way Web content is marketed for SEO is about to change.
According to an article in Mashable, Facebook and Bing announced their agreement last week that would allow Microsoft’s search engine to return results based on the Facebook “Likes” of the searcher’s friends. Additionally, Google recently began including Twitter updates in its search returns. In other words, social media content from users like you and me will now factor into the way a company markets their product or idea for best SEO results.
Will this affect the way PR agencies market their product? Joe Devine, the chief executive officer of a full-service Web marketing company said, “SEO insiders have wondered whether this new search innovation would affect placement strategies. And the simple answer is: yes. Yes, there will be changes to the way SEO professionals run their clients’ campaigns. Yes, this will affect the industry as a whole. And yes, we believe SEO professionals will have to adapt to meet ever-evolving needs.”
Mashable comments that the Facebook-Bing agreement and the updates to Google will change elements of how business is done, but the fundamentals will remain the same. The goal was — and still is — putting clients at the top of results pages, whether this is through organic search, paid search or social media.
I think the agreement changes are inevitable. Social media is a relatively new thing to the Web, yet there is no denying that it is extremely viral and compelling. I also see this as a benefit to consumers. When typing in a product search or a business search, consumers will not have to sift through social media sites to instantly garner what they are looking for and what other consumers thought of the product/business. On the other hand, is it really necessary? Facebook and Twitter offer search boxes and I personally find it painless to find the information I am looking for on the sites just fine.
What do you think about the added feature to SEO? How do you think PR agencies will change the way they market their client? Will this change the way you market yourself on social media sites?