SEO and Web 2.0, strategies that must be considered together

01 mai. 2010 | Written by Julia

It is now undeniable that web 2.0 is not a simple trend. In the USA, Facebook overtook Google in March (see graphic), and in Europe the tendency is the same (93% growth of the number of Facebook accounts in France, March 2010; and 50% of users that connect every days).

Then, Web 2.0 is not a new isolated tool to be added to the marketer’s weapons. It is a real evolution of the Internet that brings new behaviors, and that contribute to build a bridge between off and on-line world.

Moreover, Web 2.0 is often described as an obscure part of the web for search engines. Indeed, this content is hardly indexed because of its technologies (e.g. Ajax), real time updating, private aspect of social networks…

Thereby, to ensure their online visibility, travel players must  include Search (SEO) and Web 2.0 (SMO) in their online strategy.

Moreover some Internet Gourous have even announced the end of the Search (the one based on powerful algorithms) in order to have a web based on recommendations.

Thus, to well understand the evolution that is taking place on the web, it seems very interesting to compare these two dominant players : Google and Facebook.

This will help us, as webmarketers, to optimize our SEO and SMO strategies, strategies that have a main common point : being considered in a long term period.

Google vs Facebook: 2 web paradigms

Google Facebook
Philosophy Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Shift to a more personalized and humanized Web.
Indexation of the content Crawled by robots Posted by users (UGC)
Access to content Powerful algorithms to determine order in results pages. Recommended by our network.
Visitors Anonymous
Analytics data (localization, material…) + behavioral data (activity, historical…)
Real identity
Explicit data (provided by user) + behavioral data
Starting point Results page. The Wall.
Content and services Accessible by the majority of people. Private (except some pages) + notion of two-way friends.
API More than 60. Facebook Connect, Open Stream, Like Button.

We can shortly resume this table by a Google paradigm which is open and confident to technology, but a bit « has been » because it is aside of the social sphere. As for Facebook, it is more focused on human being and on the power of the network.

Evolutions:

However, while keeping their specificities, we notice that Google is making progress beside Web 2.0 and that Facebook is becoming more open.

Indeed, Google is considerably improving in integrating content generated by users (UGC) and real time information. Furthermore, it offers results increasingly personalized and customizable.

Concerning Facebook, it is currently opening on the web. The network stays private, but it is becoming richer and integrates all that happens on the web with tools like Facebook Connect, Open Stream, Like Button… Thus, we can conclude that a new form of indexation has begun.

How to take advantage of this polarized web?

As ever: Think global and act local!

In fact, Internet users have different behaviors depending on the context (Search or Web 2.0). So we must adapt our strategy to each way of surf.

On the one hand, we should make easier interactivity and sharing. Users are discovering new content (like your product) thanks to their friends, their followers, bloggers, or unknown people that have related center of interests.

On the other hand, the SEO strategy is consisting of creating content always more relevant, more focused, more contextualized, more up-to-date… to climb search engine ranking and gain a more qualified traffic.

This draws our attention on the fact that SEO and SMO are extremely complementary in terms of content generation.

If content is relevant and pointed by qualified links, this will have a positive effect on search results and will bring new visitors. If these visitors are well targeted, they will be more willing to interact with our products or our brand (=create links). So we would easily see how a virtuous circle would be established.

To conclude, to create this positive dynamics, we no longer have to consider the traffic manager as a “keyworder” or as a “link builder”, nor even consider the community manager as a simple coordinator or moderator, but we definitely have to synchronize the missions of these two functions.

Then, planning SEO and Web 2.0 inside a global strategy is a good means to optimize one’s visibility and break through the more and more complex and competitive online world.

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