It’s time to redefine SEO
The problem that I am seeing recently is that SEO is defined as the following:
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.” – Wikipedia
That maybe true 20 years ago, but honestly life has changed since that definition was made.
20 years ago if you wanted to find a contractor, you’d use a search engine, find what you wanted and contact them. Today you’d still search Google, but you also might post on Facebook asking your friends if they know any contractors that can do that project as well.
This wasn’t really that much of an option when the term SEO came out. The point being that SEO started to become the same loose definition for online marketing. Clearly the situation has changed.
Search Social Optimization might be a better definition. Though that does not fully encompass everything, it does however define it somewhat more robustly, but it’s flawed in the fact that you’re calling PR in the case of Social “Optimization”. So this is better, but inaccurate.
Online PR might be even better, because you’re trying to get both Google and others on social media to suggest your site and products. But online PR is sometimes confused with Reputation management, which is an entirely differing animal. That’s when some former customer or former employee puts less than helpful information on the internet about you and your firm.
Let’s go though some ideas. Finding the proper word for Modern SEO and Social might be more difficult than you think.
SEO – Only referred to organic rankings, the internet changed in the past 2 decades.
Search Social Optimization– this is not a terrible definition, but it still implies optimization for Social, when it’s actually PR.
Online PR – too often confused with Reputation Management. The confusion alone makes this definition terrible.
Reputation Management – This is sometimes called “Crisis Management” .. it could technically be defined as what SEO and Social is, but in reality is already is defined as a defensive measure rather than a marketing strategy. In other words Reputation Management isn’t a marketing campaign, it’s to defend yourself against someone else’s marketing campaign against you.
The problem is there are hundreds of way to define this, each of them with flaws in the definition. What are your thoughts, comment on Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook hashtag #yooter to see what other’s have said.