The concept of Web 2.0 is that the next generation of web-based services will be structured differ-
ently than those in the past. It’s not about new technologies, really. Instead, Web 2.0 is about the
way that people will interact with the Web.
In the past, it was pretty straightforward. You went to a web site, saw what there was to see, and
then if you liked it you talked to your friends or sent them an e-mail that included a link. Web 2.0 is
about streamlining that process and taking advantage of the connections that the Internet enables.
Specifically, Web 2.0 is about using the Web as an application. This means that many social-media
sites are considered Web 2.0 sites, but not all Web 2.0 sites are social networks.
Now, when you find something you like online, sure, you can send your friends an e-mail — or you
can distribute it using one of the social-networking services. This allows you to stay connected with
your friends, streamlines the connection to those friends, adds new friends to the network, and makes
it possible for you to receive items of interest from them as well.
In short, social networking and social media are all about one thing: communicating with your
friends about common interests. People want to classify the Web. These technologies allow them
to do just that rather than depending on someone else’s classification who doesn’t see the world
the way they do.
What Is Social-Media Optimization?
When you understand what social media are, it’s not a far step from there to social-media optimization.
It’s about using social media to spread the news about your web site. And instead of tweaking the
elements of your web site, when you’re practicing social-media optimization you’re participating
in social networks and tweaking the content that you share within those networks.
It’s through that participation and optimization that your site is distributed, and that’s what brings
traffic to your web site. There are also a couple of added benefits to social-media optimization. First,
it’s free in terms of monetary investment. There is no cost to participate in these networks except your
time. But make no mistake about it, you will have to invest a chunk of front-end time into this type of
optimization. You must become familiar with the communities and participate to establish a name for
yourself before anyone will take serious notice of you.
The other benefit of social-media optimization is that it’s really a viral marketing strategy. Nearly
everyone is familiar with a virus. It’s that nasty little bug that multiplies exponentially and makes
you believe death would be an improvement. Viral marketing is neat, not nasty, but it works in a
somewhat similar way.
When you can tap viral marketing for your online presence, word of your brand spreads like a
virus — it moves faster and faster as the buzz increases, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to
stop it. And that’s good. If your marketing message has become viral, you can expect to see some
serious growth in the number of visitors to your site and by extension to the number of goal con-
versions that you see.
Optimizing Search Strategies
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