Panda, Penguin, and other SERP updates from Google are "leveling" the SEO playing field. Once dominated by link building, we are learning that original content and high-quality information are increasingly influencing better search rankings. Matt Cutts, on the Google Webmaster Central Blog said, "We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all) to be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling web sites."

Sure, we all want great content. But where do we start?

Panda and Penguin give social the thumbs-up!

Add social marketing to the toolbox.

Facebook "likes", Google "+1", Pinterest, and Twitter are influencing authority on search rankings by harnessing popularity. Consumer-generated content also has impact on your brand and search results. Google translates this popularity into high-value for users. The result is better search rankings. This social sharing approach within contents marketing is also the new link building approach.

So how do we Ratchet down on Social Trends? This blog is a quick look at 5 tools that will help locate, track, and analyze trends relative to your web marketing strategy. These tools range in scale and price.


image is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content into a single stream of information. This is a great tool for tracking and measuring what people are saying about you or your company in real-time across the various social media properties. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.

Right tool for the Job?

I find Social Mention a good place to go for a quick overview of top keywords, sources, and overall sentiment before creating content. By looking here first, I know what to talk about, the message tone, and on which social channel(s) to post my content. The best part, it's FREE!



IceRocket refers to itself as a "pioneering commercial search by putting the interests and wants of consumers before advertisers." I really find this useful to support marketing campaigns once I'm into the phase of leveraging social. IceRocket uses an innovative approach to searching the blogosphere.

Right tool for the Job?

With search settings that filter by Blog, Twitter, Facebook, or even video and images, IceRocket is a great news aggregator. Keep in mind that user's search social channels differently, including entering different search queries. All of this combined in the Big Buzz, you can drill down into what is trending online all at once. This is a great starting point for preparing content for social or updating your website. And again, it's FREE!

3) Google Social Plug-in Analytics


If there was any doubt that social media is a major player in your web marketing strategy, Google Analytics may change your mind. With the recent Social Plug-in, social reports are measuring conversions, content, and community. These three C's are a gold mine of data that all Web Market Managers need to drill down into.

 Right tool for the job?

Absolutely, when preparing your 4th quarter campaign, social media is going to come up in the conversation. With the right data in-hand, you can plan an effective strategy to optimize these three C's. Another major advantage is tracking. Link building is not dead; it has reinvented itself within a new context- Social. With Google Social Plug-in Analytics you can get custom reporting for your links from social.

4. Brightedge


BrightEdge prides themself with leveraging social media for search to provide the highest in search engine results. In fact, BrightEdge has partnered with Facebook and Twitter to better meet this goal. Specifically, BrightEdge harnesses social to help you manage your company's reputation, increases visibility of your brand, and drives engagement.

Right tool for the job?

The BrightEdge platform has several advantages, but price is not one of them. With Fortune 500 companies as customers, this is a great tool for SEO on the Enterprise scale. One of the great advantages is the insight into social and how it is impacting organic performance. Another advantage is your access to what your competitors are doing. Not only can you see backlinking strategies, you can monitor how your social channels are performing within your field of competitors.

5. Chartbeat


Chartbeat, the "leaders of the real-time revolution" prides themselves on providing an alternative to the hierarchical organizational structure with real-time information that gives you instant data on your users' behavior. This is another great product for tracking real-time links, search terms, and social mentions. Track active visitors on your site or community engagement on social.

Right tool for the job?

With a free trial period followed by a low monthly fee, this could work for small to medium size business regarding your SEO efforts. I often use Chartbeat to follow what content we are currently posting, and what social channels are responding well in real-time. Mainly, I want to increase traffic to my website where I have more info or original content that will continue the conversation.


Google updates are "leveling" the SEO playing field. The days of irreverent and irrelative link building are gone. We want to focus on original content and high-quality information. We also want to support our website(s) with engaging social media that will direct traffic back to our site. The concepts of link building are the same. But today, we want to reach out to real people with similar interests and create a community. This form of link building is a partnership that is researched, relevant, and revelatory. You can do this by following the social trends and interacting in the dialogue. This social sharing approach is the new link building approach, so ratchet down on social trends!

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