Back in the early days of the Web I used to have a series of sites I visited each morning. I still do, but those sites have dropped in number thanks in large part to my RSS reader. This allows me to take in a lot more news with a lot less clicking.
But now I’m finding another shift both in my personal habits and those of some people I’m speaking with: less time visiting their RSS reader and more time linking from Twitter and Facebook.
It’s something that plays out on my personal blogs as well. More traffic comes from Facebook and Twitter than from any other source. Granted, an occasional hit from a highly trafficked blog will boost my numbers. But for consistent traffic nothing beats my regular followers. In fact, I haven't seen many people adding my RSS feeds, but I'm getting more traffic.
This would be a fascinating shift, not only because of what it means for driving news coverage, but for SEO purposes. SEO, as defined by companies that use Google as the standard-bearer of the industry, focus not only on optimizing content but also on getting links. Those links help raise the pagerank and that, in turn, drives a result higher on Google.
Now, I don’t believe Google is going away any time soon and landing as a top search result in the organic responses remains a primary goal for most companies.
However, Google doesn’t measure links from Twitter and Facebook. Meaning a blog could very popular but not come up too often in Google searches.
Also, Twitter crosses people’s desks so fast that the news becomes an individualized news feed, a piece of news shows up once then disappears forever. Maybe they saw it, maybe they didn’t. Facebook has a little more longevity, in my limited experience, but only for those who are actively following me.
I'm certainly going to continue to watch reading habits and try out different methods for boosting traffic, but there are still more changes coming in the media landscape.Tags: new media, search marketing, seo