Search marketers are hugely time-constrained. So many pages to optimize for so much search activity, yet so little time. Where do you spend it? Most likely on the top categories or keywords. But if you have thousands of pages, most pages go under-optimized—and will always be unless you have the ability to “create” time. As a crowd sourcing technique, that’s where social media content comes in.

Similarly, by approximating keyword management decisions SEO experts make on each page of the site, leading brands are starting to harness consumer-generated content to propel their SEO into a new era. These types of cutting-edge techniques augment what SEO experts can contribute for the most important pages of the site. We’ve seen these “crowdsource” search optimization techniques contribute upwards of 15-20% traffic lift on keywords “selected” by consumers versus those selected by experts, in very short amounts of time (as little as 30 days).

Naturally some SEO experts feel skeptical about techniques that do not rely on keyword research methods. But that is the crux of our problem—there simply isn’t enough time to optimize every page perfectly. To put things in perspective, how about a visit to the late 90’s: This online directory called Yahoo provided great results for people searching for websites. One of the problems though was the human editors didn’t scale, and a directory search only returned the main page of a site. Techniques that cleverly use dynamic social content as a proxy for SEO expertise, without harming performance or impeding top priority SEO initiatives, are the future of SEO.

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