I'm working on a Trend and Competitor analysis report for a client that is interested in starting Social Media and Search Engine Optimization. I started playing around with tools like Google Insight and SEOQuake, and I went down a rabbit-hole of information.
While juggling all the data on my client and their competitors, much like the tea cups at the Mad-Hatter's, I discovered strong evidence for the previous post's claims that SMO gets websites ranked better. Compare the website in the red column with the orange, blue and green.The red website has no SEO or SMO and rarely is found. The sites in the other columns are easily found at top positions for their search terms with some elements of SEO and SMO. Notice that standard SEO elements such as robot.txt files and XML sitemaps are absent from all the sites. The red column has more indexed pages but still does not rank as well as the others. While the green ranks the best, probably from its high count of incoming links, the orange and blue are a close second without any known incoming links.
Why? Take a look at their Social Bookmarks. Orange 3, blue 11, and green has 1. What does this say about Social Bookmarking and Social Media Marketing? Volumes. It is as if Google is weighing social media activity more than incoming links. And who could blame them? Social media is a much better experience for searchers than following links from site to site. Social media provides fresh content and engage the searcher to interact.
I've come out of the rabbit-hole more convinced than ever that Social Media Optimization works. Moreover, because those inbound links still have a lot of weight, it should be implemented with a strong SEO strategy for the best results. I'm excited to show my client the report and for them to get started on SMO and SEO right away, so I can share the results with you.