6 Reasons Why Social Media Trumps SEO

Does social media trump SEO? I can already see the flames I’m going to be getting from SEO’ers out there. They’re holding on to a sinking ship. I’m not saying SEO is necessarily dead, just that Social media will swallow it up. Good social media translates into higher SEO rankings – but you can’t say the same thing about good SEO practices.


1. My Twitter Profile’s PR is 6

Basically what I’m saying here is that any link I post to twitter is getting some good link love, because the PR for my personal twitter profile is 6. This is different from Twitter.com’s pagerank. This is also true for every profile you create – they won’t all be the same PR but they will give some link love to whatever links you share on them.

2. Social Nets get Googled

Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc show up in search engines. Higher ranked, shared, and retweeted posts and articles can result in more traffic from search engines. Also youtube videos show up in search results and can help to increase the overall rank of your website.

3. Social is a Virus

Social media can easily spread like wildfire. You put out one good piece of content – and it gets shared 50-100 times by friends, and contacts. Their friends also share it and eventually you get upwards of 300-500 shares. That’s 300-500 individual links on social sharing sites like digg, reddit, stumbleupon, twitter, facebook, and more.

The alternate is writing 300-500 articles and submitting them to article directories, getting 1 backlink per article, and being satisfied with that. Now which is better? Write 1 article and get 300 backlinks, or write 300 articles for 300 backlinks? I think it’s pretty obvious which is less of a headache.

4. Social Media is “im-media-te”

Social media marketing happens the instant new content is pushed and shared. SEO can take a lot longer to work – mostly because anything faster would send alarms up at google and other search engines.

5.Greater potential for Authority Status

You used to write some good articles relating to your niche and people would find them on Ezinearticles.com and think – ok this guy knows his stuff. He must be an expert. Zoom into today – now we have seo experts outsourcing article writing to people in developing nations. These people write ‘OK’ english, but it’s not great. The quality of posts suffers, and the content just isn’t as top notch as it used to be.

Face it – as much content as is produced now-a-days we need to cipher through the garbage as fast as possible to find what we’re really looking for. Enter: Social Media. You post a tweet saying “Need a good recipe for Apple Turnovers”, immediately your friends tweet back links to some of their favorite recipes. These are people you generally trust and chat with frequently – both online and offline.

Having a bridge of trust already built makes these warm contacts much more likely to like what you share, and vice versa. By sharing great articles with your social network you can become an authority, and then your friends will recommend you, and so on – creating a much more stable, honest and trustworthy network of authority. This also applies to increasing brand awareness and credibility.

6. Search is going social

Even the search engines are making a go at social media. Google recently launched Google Buzz which integrates with gmail and other google properties. Google has a starring mechanism added to search results which are for personal starring of results – but could positively or negatively effect search results one day.

Both Bing and Google have real-time search results from twitter, youtube, and more. It’s very possible with all the social media api’s that are built – that the next generation of google’s algorithm will evolve to measuring the social impact of a link and using more of a social way of choosing which links are more authoritative on a subject.

Can you provide a good rebuttal? Be my guest – Lets get the conversation going and see who wins the fight: Social Media or SEO.

Guest author Patrick Curl is a social media marketer with MarketingOC (Orange County) founded by Brian Fluhr who’s the CEO. Together their primary business focuses are: Local Marketing, Mobile Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. Image by HubSpot shared under CC license. You can also guest blog on QOT and share your social media tips.


  1. Make Money Online with Gregory Hyne says:

    Excellent article. At the end of the day, Google is going to have to change its algorithms so that backlinks (which are so easily gamed) become less and less important. When it comes to finding good content, you need people. Social Media IS people. The challenge is on how to separate the buyers from the browsers.

    • Swamykant says:

      Hi Patrick / Gregory

      Google is a big giant in the Internet World and it knows the secret to success(i.e.. adapt to changing environment). Youtube & Orkut are best examples.

      I believe Google that can take over all these social media very easily and it can reach the people too.

  2. Angel says:

    It’s a good article. No one, who is being around for a while, thinks that SEOs really works. You need content and people who really read that content, not just crazy keywords finders.

  3. Daniel Norin says:

    What about all the nofollow on twitter?

  4. Steve says:

    Very interesting article. Makes me want to put some effort back into my social media marketing stuff.

    And Angel, I have to disagree. Good SEO can create a foundation so the great content that you produce can actually be found and read.

  5. Sandra says:

    As Daniel Norin said – what about the nofollow on links in Twitter?
    It’s the same on Facebook.

  6. Kay of savemysystem says:

    Hey, are you looking to expand your service/ business?Do have idea how online marketing generate huge business for you? A good SEO can give you tremendous response and you will ends up really big deal.

  7. Fahim Hanif says:

    nice suggestion

  8. Thomas Griffin | SEO Blog Help says:

    Like you said, social media is gets you immediate results..but that’s just it..only immediate results. Too many people use the ‘nofollow’ attribute now, so instead of organic backlinks which boost your rank, you get ‘nofollow’ backlinks that boost your link popularity (and link popularity has no effect and your search rankings whatsoever). I’m not saying that social media isn’t important – I’m saying that you need to have a good mix of both.

  9. Rick says:

    This is not a flame

    You’re partially right but also misunderstand seo so you can’t make a fair evaluation or comparison. You understand you have a PR6 Twitter page but don’t understand what value that has in terms of juice which is likely little due to the rel=”nofollow” tag applied to each link.

    If someone were to write the most interesting article EVER but didn’t understand basic seo practices, that article would likely never be found by others to share.

    The two are symbiotic (seo & social media) but at least at this point seo still trumps social media for driving sustainable traffic. What about that article that has merit but was written 18 months ago, social media will likely never send a person to the page but search engines might for years to come.

    When I say seo, I am referring to building a website that is easily indexable and understandable by the search engines.

  10. Chinese visitor says:

    This article is very useful.
    Yet there is a question: you own a social media but it is not big enough or effective enough,e.g. it has only a few members,or its members are not active,then how can it work?
    In sum, we should use our social media,but if you don’t have a good social media, SEO is the best way that can improve your website’s performance.

  11. Carl Burckhardt says:

    First of all SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not just “crazy keyword finders” @Angel, SEO embraces many important components and practices. SEO will never be dead or trumped, it just evolves!

    SEO is optimizing your site so it’s found for relevant search terms and then giving users a good experience after they’ve found your site. If a user has a good experience they will most likely link to your site, or they may use different Social Media channels to promote/share the content they liked on your site. If used correctly, SEO and Social Media will boost your rankings and give you great results. However, if your focus is only Social Media, you lack good relevant themed content, and your site is not properly laid out using good coding practices. Your site will never be found in the search results.

    Only those who don’t fully understand SEO will think SEO is stuffing thousands of keywords within your site and finding inefficient ways to get bank links just to get ranking. If you take the time to understand and use good SEO practices, such as

    * using good clean Symantec code
    * creating quality themed content
    * refreshing your site frequently with good content
    * offer cross-links within your content to other relevant content within your site
    * promoting through various Social Media channels

    You will be successful.

    Patrick Curl asked “is Social Media trumping SEO?” and the answer should be; SEO and Social Media are working together to give the user a great experience, while promoting and humanizing your brand.

    Do you agree?

  12. web design company says:

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  13. iPad Developer says:

    I am sure, I will tweet this to my twitter account. This will help a lot of users.

  14. Va Infotech says:

    Yes. this is very timely and a great resource.

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  18. Greg Jameson says:

    Thanks for this post – I’ve been preaching that SEO is a waste of time for years! I run over 100 websites and have investigated thousands of others and on average, only about 20 percent of traffic ends up coming from search engines. Even large sites like IBM bear this out. Why spend effort on old out-dated strategies? Newer methods like social networking, videos, and joint venture campaigns are what make your site popular. And only after you are already popular, do the search engines care about you. It all comes back to word-of-mouth. More info is available at facebook.com/webstoresltd and theecommerceentrepreneur.com.

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