It’s funny, I’ve been working on the social media side of Voce’s business for about two years now and for all that I’ve learned and done, search engine optimization was never that emphasized. I don’t think it was because I purposely chose to ignore the topic or thought that it didn’t have its benefits, it’s just that it sometimes seems a little hokey.
Manipulating search results? Really? That’s going to help me and my clients? Really!?!
I wouldn’t be the first person to question the merits of SEO tactics. I found Jason Calacanis’s post back in 2007 quite on point at the time, especially this statement:
“There are some whitehat SEO firms out there I know, but frankly the whitehat SEO companies are simply doing solid web design so I don’t consider them SEO at all. SEO is a tainted term and it means “gaming the system” to 90% of us.”
This rings pretty true for us here at Voce, although I don’t completely agree. Solid Web design. That’s our game … well, that, the content development, and consulting layered on top of it (we like to get our hands dirty). None of our clients have had much, if any, trouble with their SeRP. Why? Because it’s not about gaming the system, as Jason says, it’s about delivering quality, linkable content. If you’re doing that, you’re probably shooting up the results pages regardless.
The more I come to understand about SEO and social media, I can’t help but see the overlap in places. There are those that argue that the two are independent of each other, and that may be true when it comes to job titles and duties, but as a communicator and consultant, they’re one in the same for me. The two have their places within any online campaign or project, especially those that we’re working on here. But, the fact of the matter is that if your plan is to be a well-rounded consultant, you need skills in a lot of areas, and SEO is just one of them. I just don’t think you have to be an expert at search engine optimization to help your clients find success with their search results and page ranks, because if you’re executing your social media strategies and tactics properly, you should already be moving the SEO needle in a positive direction.