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The Convergence of Search and Social Media

by Jonathan Lawoyin  |  
May 23, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • How search and social media have become interdependent marketing channels
  • Steps on how search can drive social media, and vice versa

Over the past couple of years, social media has become the hottest buzzword in digital marketing. The emergence of Facebook as the top medium for connecting with friends online, and Twitter for microblogging, has caused marketers to descend upon social media websites in hopes of reaching their target audiences as cost-effectively as possible.

The rise of the social medium has affected a lot of marketing fields, especially public relations and search marketing. In fact, a whole lot of search engine optimization (SEO) agencies are now offering social media services.

Search Meets Social Media

Search and social media have become closer siblings in recent years. Ten years ago, SEO professionals would say organic rankings were all about optimizing page-level elements, such as title tags and on-page copy. Five years ago, SEO strategists were probably harping on the importance of inbound links pointing to your website.

Those things are still important today, but getting real SEO results these days requires not only a technically optimized website and relevant inbound links but also a strong, vibrant Web presence that supports your overall brand. Which is where social media comes in.

Engines React to Social Media

Because of the exponential growth of social networking sites over the past few years, search engines have had to make major adjustments.

For example, when people first started hearing about Twitter, the question often heard was, "What is a tweet, and why would I want to do that?" But as the site grew and more people were tweeting, from Washington DC to Tehran, users began to realize that they could find out about the most recent events by searching tweets. Twitter had morphed into a real-time search engine before our very eyes.

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Jonathan Lawoyin is the director of search engine marketing and social media at eWayDirect Inc. and co-founder of, an online community for fantasy sports fans. Reach him via Twitter @eWayDirect.

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  • by Jennifer Tue May 24, 2011 via web

    No real new information here, if you have been working in search and social media for a while. Great info for people that are relatively new to either area, though.

  • by Nick Stamoulis Wed May 25, 2011 via web

    "Twitter had morphed into a real-time search engine."

    I think that is a very good way to describe the power of Twitter. With the recent inclusion of Facebook information in Bing's results, social signals are having more impact on search than ever. Social media has become one more piece of the SEO puzzle.

  • by Steve Byrne Mon May 30, 2011 via web

    As Jennifer commented, good information for those new to these practices.

    Too oversimplify, back in the middle of the first decade, Google viewed most seo marketing as spam, Google views social marketing as revenue. No big surprises regarding how they have been modifying their algorithm.

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