The 7 Pillars of SEO 2.0
In order to succeed in a social media driven Web 2.0 environment website owners, bloggers and businesses have to take certain steps. These practical steps are based on a theoretical foundation with 7 main pillars. These 7 pillars of SEO 2.0 enable any webmaster to truly be part of the current web in order to succeed financially or in any other desired way.
The 7 pillars of SEO 2.0 are:
Presence is more than web presence as in the synonym for web site, it's the almost physical presence of appearing everywhere on the Net where it matters for a certain person, group, brand or business. For instance: Musician have to be on MySpace nowadays, social media mavens on StumbleUpon, professionals on LinkedIn.
Outreach means the active encouragement of bilateral communication between you and your audience. Be it blogging, be it UGC (user generated content) or letting the community decide which Linux distribution should be used by Dell.
Participation is about not only being there passively to be contacted like in "presence", it's not only short term or low level communication efforts, it's taking part actively in communities on social sites on a ongoing basis, being part of them, building them up or setting up new ones in a larger context. SEO 2.0 experts do not try to infiltrate social networks from outside, they are an accepted part of them from day one.
Recognition is based on stability, and recurring symbols like logos, avatars and names throughout different platforms and media. As log as active participation is not recognizable it does not work. An individual or company who has a positive record already on the other hand will be welcomed elsewhere on the web. While SEOs of the first generation where changing names and being viewed as attackers from outside, SEO 2.0 experts have an established and well respected online persona which can easily integrate into a new platform due to it's existing online credentials. Social media experts Tamar Weinberg is the best example for this. As a well respected member of a few online communities her sheer appearance on a new one ennobles this community.
Value is the most important part of SEO 2.0. It's the pillar that is in the center of SEO 2.0. Without value all of the other pillars are utterly useless. In fact the created value is the foundation on which all of the other pillars reside. Value is an objectively as useful accepted piece of know how transferred without payment to the web audience. Only free access to a created value makes it valuable for the Internet community. The free access ensures the acceptance by the web community. Value that is only accessible via payment does not count. If you give nothing for free netizens will not be willing to accept your presence among them in a casual no-commercial environment that social media inherently is perceived as. To sell something give something away. This is the reason why Open Source solutions have such a success. Nonetheless developers earn their fair share by support and services.
Trust is a middle term goal. Based on value and in accordance with the other pillars above you build trust. Once you have created value people will come back once again to check whether you will do it twice. When you provided value three or more times people will get accustomed to you and gain confidence in you. If you don't disappoint them by trying to oversell in between you will gain trust over time. The best example of building trust according to these principles is Maki of Dosh Dosh who could establish a blog with more than 10k subscribers just by providing value over and over in compliance with the 4 other key factors of SEO 2.0 mentioned above.
Authority is the long term goal you have to strive for if you want to succeed in SEO 2.0. While providing value and gaining trust are not that difficult to achieve, gaining authority is an endeavour you need endurance for. To become an authority in your industry, on your subject or in your community you have to create value and gain trust while being present, doing outreach, participating and being recognizable over a long period of time. The question of authority is too complex to be described in a short paragraph on a list. Let it be said that value and trust are compulsory along with the 4 others above while often they are not enough to achieve authority.
Now most of you new to the still vague concept of SEO 2.0 will argue along the lines of
- This is not SEO anymore or what does that have to do with search?
- To achieve this you need a whole team of Internet experts working 24/7
These assumptions are understandable but not true. While the borders between search and social media or SEO and other marketing departments are crumbling it's the historical and still valid connection of content optimization in order to be found on Net that is the basis of the evolved SEO 2.0 concept. While the content might not be on "a website" anymore and the search performed not via a so called "search engine" the metaphor is still the same. There is no need to come up with new cryptic acronyms each time the focus of the discipline changes.
When you look at SEO 2.0, the blog, the term or me as the force behind the SEO 2.0 philosophy you will notice that at least 6 pillars out of 7 can be partly or wholly attributed to my work.
I maintain an active online presence via multiple channels. I do plenty of outreach on various platforms while currently a SEO 2.0 group is growing on Mixx. My participation on at three international social media platforms can be described as substantial. There is no problem with recognition due to my name, nickname, avatar and the attraction of the SEO 2.0 concept itself.
The value aspect is not as easily achieved as the above but I strive to offer and promote the best and most useful information to enable my readers to succeed online. Already I can see plenty signs of trust like almost 500 subscribers in my narrow niche, other bloggers linking or referring to me, overall acceptance for my submissions and content on various social sites etc.
I'm not yet the authority I strive to be, but I went public globally only a little more than half a year ago. Before I was only known locally in Germany due to language barriers. Now, how long do I work on that daily? 2 hours per day. In most cases using the least productive time like when in the morning before being fully awake, at night or during breaks. You could argue that I spend up to 4h daily on that as I encompass my "private" social media participation into the overall process. I participated in social media anyways, so before it was a waste of time in a way while now I'm using this time productively.
So all in all: The 7 pillars of SEO 2.0 empower you to succeed online.
I'm living proof. When I gain the authority described above I will probably even sell you something. By then you will trust me as much that I won't need any marketing at all. I hate the term in the first place. The Internet is no market.
Stay with me to grasp the concept of value. Content, freebies or products are not value per se.