Every so often, I do some quick keyword searches for my company, my clients, and my own name, to see how everyone is doing regarding search engine optimization. 

Two things are notable.

Number one, it looks like the black art of search engine optimization (SEO) is rapidly losing relevance, and it’s being replaced by the much simpler art of social media optimization.  Which means, essentially, that search engines will now be able to find you largely by your own social media conversations on Twitter, Facebook, and on your blog.  You still need to make your content “search engine friendly” so that you don’t make it hard for Google to find you, but the complicated voodoo is being replaced by activities that you do.

Number two, much to my surprise, when I entered the same search criteria in both Google and Bing, Bing told me something useful that Google did not.  Bing told me that someone had linked to my blog from Twitter without letting me know.  I was happy to find out so that I could thank the person, but the point is, Google didn’t tell me about this and Bing did.  Now, it’ll take A LOT more than this to win even 1% of my search loyalty, but I was surprised that given the same search criteria, Bing scored a point on Google on my scorecard.

PS – If you ever find yourself in a conversation with someone who tells you that Twitter or Facebook is a fad that could disappear because they don’t do anything useful, and you don’t know what to say to them, remember that people still pay big money for “search engine optimization.”  Twitter and Facebook displace this costly marketing activity with a non-cash alternative.  In other words, rather than paying for SEO, smart businesses are using social media.  That’s the opposite of useless.