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SEO Vs. Social Media – 2009

I want to take an example of one of the most competitive markets in the world to give you an idea of how far link building can get you. I am not trying to pick on anyone by any means, but want to share a site that doesn’t have as big a name as Oreilly or Autozone, and show you what they have been able to do with link building.

Before I get to that let me say a few things. The issue will always go on about social media and how it is another way to build a website from the ground up in an online world full of link builders.  That’s great for those who like to toil and never reach their full potential. I am not against social media by any means as it can be a great way to boost your image, and gain some trust, but lets be real here. Social Media is never going to get you perfectly targeted links for what you would like to rank for. Social media is never going to bring you the exact people who are searching for a product or a service. You are playing with chance if you are going to rely on social means for a business growth strategy. Social Media might be a great business model for the make money online niche for those who want to peddle their crap and make a buck, but its a horrible game plan for a  niche like auto parts unless you are already a huge well established company searching for new ways of boosting your brand or interaction with customers.

Social Media should be used to complement basic SEO principles such as link building and on page optimization. In some cases where there is not a niche looking for something in Google, social means may be the route to go. But in 99% of almost all cases, link building should be at the top for ranking your website in the search engines. For those that get it from experience, I don’t even have to prove that fact, but for those that follow big names in the make money online niche, it can be very hard to prove otherwise because of all the sweet talking of the very people they worship.

I would like to ask those who say they view social media as their method of growth and of building a website how they would go about ranking for car parts? If they say they would use social media as a means to promote their business? Then I would ask them how they could ever reach a mass audience who is searching in Google for auto parts that have never gone to twitter or facebook looking for a car part. I wouldn’t say that social media can’t help you build a brand or trust, but it is not going to bring the maximum amount of people who are looking for you with the effort you spend. Of course you could get a few sales here or there, or maybe even get some people to tell you that they will buy from you in the future, but how will you reach millions every month searching for auto parts?

Lets look at a company who has used this method of link building to get to the top. Autoanything.com has managed to rank on the first page of Google for car parts. I guarantee you they didn’t get it there through focusing on social methods. They focused on link building. If you were to look at some of the terms they are targeting, you would find they rank for a whole slew of terms that are very difficult to rank for. How do you outshine a company like this with Social Media?

I’m sure you could comment and tell me I have used this example in a narrow context, and that social methods for getting traffic or building brand can work in their own way. But what I am telling you is that if you don’t start first with SEO as your main focus to ranking in Google and seeing traffic for years to come, then you are going to be busting your hump chasing after social traffic day after day without seeing the big money results. I guess I would liken that to 10 guys digging a hole with shovels rather than just using a large piece of machinery such as a backhoe to digging the hole for you.

There are plenty of other things I could add to this but I am going to leave it be now. Stop following the guys that feed you bull and start doing something that will really pay off for you.


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