Exploring The Relationship Between Social Media & Search

by Kat French |

We try to keep a reasonably tight editorial focus on social media here. The name of the blog is, after all, Social Media Explorer, not Random Internet-Related Stuff Explorer.

(Note to self: Mention to Jason in passing that while he’s working out the details of the blog revamp, to just consider a name with a broader scope. WebCrunch is kind of catchy. Fallsaleizer?)


For a moment, I’d like to widen the scope a little, and look at the sticky relationship between social media and search engine optimization.

Up to this point, there have been two distinct camps: the blogging/social media crowd and the SEO crowd. While there are a few people who move in both circles, there is also a history of discord between the two. Social media peeps complain that SEOs abuse and “game” the social web, effectively lowering the human value of those networks for material gain.

SEOs complain that bloggers, social news power users and other social media types are pimping the system in their own way, and are often woefully uninformed about the basics of how search engines index and rank sites.

On the other hand, I also see a lot of cross-pollination of ideas among the top players on both sides.

The fact is, search and social are, if you’ll pardon the pun, intrinsically linked. As long as Google dominates search (which all evidence points to being for the foreseeable future), developing quality inbound links will be invaluable in search engine optimization.

Unless user behavior dramatically changes, linking to others’ content is going to continue to be the working “social capital” of the social web. Smart bloggers and social site developers have a decent understanding of at least the basics of SEO; and smart SEOs understand how to use the tools of social media.

Ultimately, both camps roughly fall under the old, web 1.0 description of “webmaster.” Both disciplines share many of the same goals–attracting eyeballs and the dollars that go with them.  In both groups, the grey areas between “optimization” “marketing” and “manipulation,” of search engines and human visitors alike, can get fuzzy.

But there are tremendous opportunities ahead for the people who can master both elements.

About the Author

Kat French

Kat French is the Client Services and Content Manager at SME Digital. An exceptional writer, Kat combines creativity with an agile, get-it-done attitude across a broad range of experience in content strategy, copywriting, community management and social media marketing. She has worked with national brands like Maker's Mark, Daytona Beach Tourism, CafePress and more.