Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SEO and Social Media for Small Businesses

This excerpt is from my book Snake E-Oil: The SEO Swindle, published earlier in 2014. Keep in mind that search engine algorithms are in constant flux, and what used to work a while ago, may not work today.

I believe that unless you are willing to spend the time and effort to maintain a current and up-to-date social presence, you are better off waiting until you are ready.

There are so many useless Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram pages on the net that the only conclusion one can make is that—by publishing garbage just to justify the reason for having a social channel—all you accomplish is help sites that provide social media services by giving them content.

I am sure some “experts” will argue that a social presence is a must, and, therefore, you have to launch such pages, quality be damned.

Some may even promise you a constant stream of “likes” or followers as part of their services. Do not fall for that one. For social networks to be valid, they have to grow organically. Besides, having tens of thousands of followers that fail to interact with your site is pathetic, and it may raise a red flag to search engine bots that keep getting smarter by the hour, or so it seems.

Will not having a social media channel hurt you?

I really don’t believe so. And like I said before, having a social media channel “just because” can be far worse.

If you are ready to launch one, I suggest you start with Google+. Nothing personal against Facebook, but I consider Google+ a better choice, both audience- and platform-wise.