Does seo include social media?

January 24, 2008 // seo, Social Media

seo social media

I recently got into a discussion with a blogger who stated that any kind of social media work was not considered seo. I for one have to disagree with him, rather than email him my complete thoughts I have decided to write about it here.

Search Engine Optimization is what it says. You are optimizing something for search engines, period. This obviously involves the following (in no particular order);

1. Site architecture
2. Code optimization
3. Appropriate tagging
4. Content optimization
5. Keyword research
6. URL structures
7. Internal link structure
8. Link building
9. Redirects
10. Domains
11. Analytics analysis
12. Benchmarking

Now I perform and promote the use of social media campaigns as part of my overall seo strategy because it gets results! The list below includes additions I consider to be social media but what should be considered in an seo strategy.

1. Blog setup (including bookmarking plugins etc)
2. Social Bookmarking
3. Social networks
4. Community activity
5. Link baiting

Basically these additions to an seo strategy would help with optimizing a site for search engines. The blog would provide regular content updates, and the others would provide opportunities to generate natural links that search engines love.

It seems to be that “link building” these days should be considered as “social media” as old link building methods have now become near useless for producing results!

Matt Ridout

About the author

My name is Matt Ridout, I've been working in digital marketing for 9 years; worked for agencies and currently Head of SEO at fashion startup called Farfetch. Try to test my own theories.


  1. Pingback: Facebook » Does seo include social media?

  2. I agree with a lot of this Matt and can see why they appear to be so connected. Using both SEO and SMO as a strategy to both optimize and promote a website/blog is a great strategy that has proven to work. I was listening to Danny Sullivan, the Godfather of SEO, last night on WebmasterRadio and he believes that they are two different things. Same or different, whatever it takes to get the job done. 😉

  3. I’m with you on this one Matt. In the end, I see three real components:
    1) ensuring the site is not an impediment to ranking technically
    2) adding and optimizing the necessary content
    3) promoting the content so others will know of its existence, and can reference it and use it accordingly, which is in all reality … link building and social media.

    Though, in the end I’m not sure there’s any real definition. Its just a matter of perspective. Its easier then to refer to it all as just internet marketing.

  4. Yeah, I’m with Jeff on this. It’s all perspective. I guess with all the niche service providers, new titles came with them. When it comes to social, you could break it into what your use of it is.

    1) Link building through social media = SEO

    2) Building brand awareness, networking, traffic, etc. = SMM (Social Media Marketing)

    Then as Jeff states, all together it’s really just Internet Marketing.

  5. You’re right, Matt.

    I find social media and SEO to be highly complimentary, but they can also serve very different goals / people, too.

    As in the link I’ve provided (click my name for more), I also got into a discussion over social media and SEO.

    In real terms, SEO is always going to be there for everyone, while social media really only benefits a select few…

  6. I do agree with the comments guys, the link building and the brand awareness are created hand in hand which is at the end of the day SEM

  7. Matt, Jeff and every comment made so far, I am with you on this one, not just for the me too value, but as a result of seeing the impact a hot post can bring from any social network to keep a page flying high for months without any manual link building whatsoever.

    Social media / link building is just another slice of the pie. When considered from the results of increasing exposure and readership, it does just that.

    As an added bonus, it also can drop your alexa ranking (if your into monetization) or just flat out scream popularity to search engines, which is yet another metric they use to assess where a site sits in the SERPs.

    So, it very much is SEO if the people with blinders on choose to acknowledge it or not. Just a touch of denial perhaps, but they will come around.

  8. Pingback: Link building is now social marketing | SeoUnique Blog

  9. I disagree.

    You left off the part about having to be the copywriter most of the time as well. 😉

    Otherwise, Nice post. The lines between social media and seo are indeed melting away faster than an ice cream in hell, social media is playing an ever larger role in building link equity for a client in a really rough industry.

    But as daunting as it may seem, do it slowly and do it well, and you’ll be reaping the rewards for years to come.

    Soc.Me. has some really cool spin-offs like free focus groups (FaceBook), beta testers (Spin), user generated content (Digg, YouTube) and it helps get dusty pages re-indexed in a snap.

  10. Pingback: SEO and Social Media: Do they mix? | Social Media Marketing Blog

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