Search engine optimization (SEO) has always been a moving target and everyone that seeks free highly targeted traffic from the search engines must pay attention. This latest change is one that I feel is long overdue.

Traditional Search Engine Optimization

Traditional search engine optimization is all about on page and off page optimization. Things like:

  • Exact match domain name
  • Header Tags (H1, H2, H3)
  • Image Titles
  • Image ALT Tags
  • Keyword Named Images
  • Title Tags
  • Keyword Rich Anchor Text
  • Meta Keywords
  • Meta Description
  • Keyword Density
  • More inbound links from on topic sites than reciprocal links
  • And More!

These are still an important part of your SEO efforts but something new is happening on the Internet.

The Internet Is Going Social!

For a decade or more, the search engines ranked sites according to algorithms that pitted sites against each other using 100-200 different points and this formula changed every time webmasters figured out how to gain an unfair advantage.

This still occurs today but the new element being added to the mix is social proof.

Facebook has grown so big and become such an important part of people’s online lives that Google and Bing couldn’t afford to ignore them. When Facebook introduced the ‘Like’ button, there weren’t a lot of webmasters that paid much attention to it. Today, we cannot afford to ignore it and the almost 700 million Facebook users.

Microsoft bought a small piece of Facebook in 2007 and they own Bing which is the search engine that powers searches within Facebook.

Bing is starting to display the ‘Likes’ your Facebook contacts have made next to pages showing up in standard search results. To me, this is a game changer.

If I do a search and see some people I know like a site, I’m more likely to check it out even if it isn’t in the top spot on the page and I’m betting you would too.

To counter the Bing and Facebook duo, Google just introduced Google +1 which is their version of the Facebook ‘Like’ button.

The Google +1 results tie into your Google profile and many other places so there is a whole social network there and the search engine results will display that your Google contacts +1’d the page similar to the way Bing shares ‘Likes’.

Social proof from your peers is usually MUCH more powerful than traditional search rankings.

Make your site’s content as likable as possible, prominently display both the Facebook Like button, the Google +1 button and other social media buttons so your visitors can choose the way they prefer to share your content.

I recommend buying and using MaxFBSEO which as a WordPress plugin that makes optimizing for Facebook and adding the +1 button easy. Any time you can add something that requires minimal extra effort but has a huge potential return for your efforts; it is worth exploring, especially in the world of search engine optimization (SEO).

Search Engine Optimization Is Changing Again
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