Search engines are beginning to take more notice of social media sites and many people have begun abandoning the traditional search engines in favor of social search engine optimization. The main question to consider here is whether this is a good move for viability over the long term. Although it is obvious that social networking has become equally huge for both consumers and online marketers what is important to think about is if they are established sufficiently to actually replace normal SEO rankings.  Many of us are excited with the idea of social media for business, but it may not be prudent to abandon SEO completely just yet.           

So let’s discuss some of the reasons why traditional SEO is still going to be effective for a long time to come.

The first point is which source of traffic is more valuable to you? Although traffic from the social media sites has definitely increased, there is still strong evidence that organic traffic has more value.

There are some reasons for this, the biggest one being that top ranking search results will invariably bring in a substantially larger amount of targeted traffic, and in terms of volume the search engines still win hands down, particularly when you compare Google, Bing and Yahoo against any of the social media sites you choose. Also search engine traffic tends to be more sustainable over time.

Even though search engines continuously change their algorithms to prevent online marketers exploiting the system, the basic principles remain pretty much unchanged, while the social sites are unable to provide any consistent long term results and the reason for this is that they are based on real-time popularity rather than any proven commodities.

Another thing to keep in mind is that with a solid SEO strategy you will have a foundation for setting up campaigns, especially if you use content as your main SEO marketing strategy which gives you many different ways for people to find you, whereas with a social media site you are limited to just one or two ways for anyone to find your website.

One of the main ways in which social search differs from organic traffic is that socially the traffic is fleeting. Even if your Facebook page is wildly popular today by next week things could have changed and although it may be easier for a while to jump ahead of your competition, by the same token it is just as easy for them to get ahead of you. While it is really difficult to imagine Facebook ever shutting down or becoming less popular that does not mean that it won’t change its demographics which could affect the way you get to your target audience.

Last but not least traffic coming from social sites is less likely to respond when it comes to a conversion standpoint. What this means is that even if you generate the same volume of traffic, your number of conversions will be less. Generally this is because people will leave a social media site to look at a specific page, they are not going there to browse some else’s website. While your bounce rate may be higher you can partly compensate for this by creating landing pages specifically for social traffic.

Although social media sites for business may not replace traditional search engine optimization and all its benefits, it would still be worth your while to pay more attention to social site optimization.

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