Content Marketing & Social Media: The New SEO – By Chad H. Pollitt

by Colleen on May 2, 2011


Why did J.C. Penny recently get punished in Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Page)? They were allegedly caught buying hundreds of links from spammy, low pagerank websites by the New York Times, who reported their findings to Google.

J.C. Penny took a black hat shortcut with their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaign, which is a clear violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. They could have avoided the violation if their campaign focused on the new SEO – content marketing and social media.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the creation and sharing of content with the purpose of promoting a product or service. The focus of this content may not specifically be about the publisher’s organization or its offerings. Assets created for content marketing include a mix of problem-specific information and thought leadership.

For affiliate publishers, Google’s Webmaster Guidelines recommends, “If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.” In other words, publish unique problem solving content.

Social Media

Social media acts as a distribution conduit for content marketers. By distributing content via social media, the distributor potentially has access to millions of eyes that may comment, share, consume and/or evangelize the content.

The New SEO

By no means does content marketing and social media distribution alleviate the publisher from doing basic SEO due diligence such as a keyword workshop, defining on-page conventions, competitive research, etc. Below are just a few of the SEO benefits that can be realized by deploying content marketing and social media distribution.

Link Building

Content marketing and social media distribution lessens the publisher’s need to acquire backlinks using “grey” or black hat methods, because quality content that is properly distributed creates backlinks naturally.

Crawl Rates

Publishing valuable problem solving content daily, even several times per day, is ideal for content marketing in order to maximize its SEO value. The more frequently content is published on a website the likelihood of the website being crawled more increases.

Social Media, Increased Social Authority & Web Traffic

A robust publishing schedule will also drive social media engagement on blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Google and Bing recently admitted to that their algorithms do look at several social media metrics when ranking websites.

As a result, social media engagement around a publisher’s content is more valuable than previously thought. When properly executed this engagement will lead to increased web traffic as well as growing the social authority of the publisher.

The above SEO benefits of content marketing are not exactly “new.” They represent a more holistic approach to SEO while firmly remaining within Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Rather than looking to game the system, like J.C. Penny supposedly did, consider the white hat strategy of content marketing and social media for SEO.

Chad H. Pollitt is the Director of Social Media & Search Marketing for Kuno Creative.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

allison bliss May 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Thanks for this info, Chad. Lots of rumors about ‘content marketing’ so good to read your evaluation, social influence with Bing and Google.

Chad H. Pollitt May 9, 2011 at 10:06 am

Any time Allison!

For the last eight months I’ve been engaged in 100% content marketing and I find myself scraping my jaw off of the ground every day. The results are incredible!


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