Search Engine Visibility and PR – An Edelman Digital White Paper | (re-blogged!)

(NOTE: This post was re-blogged as shared reading. Please, follow the reference link at the end of this post to where it was originally published. – Jos Schuurmans;

Regular readers here know that in addition to focusing on emerging technologies, I also have long taken an interest in how search engines are evolving. Fundamentally, I believe that Google is media and also every brand’s home page. Therefore, search engine visibility (and all of the reputational concerns that go with it) are front and center an opportunity for the public relations industry to shine.

With this in mind, my colleagues and I have co-authored a 13-page position paper on Search Engine Visibility. We released it to our clients last month but now we are making it available to the public today at the Edelman New Media Academic Summit in Washington. You can download it here (PDF). It’s also embedded below. This is the second in a series – the first is here.

In the paper we posit that today there are two primary search visibility tactics: Paid Search (more widely known as search engine marketing – SEM) and Optimized Search (e.g. SEO). Both of these are generally not managed by public relations professionals.

Now, however, there are two new disciplines emerging. And both sit squarely in the public relations professional’s domain…

  • Reputational Search – The premise and promise of Reputational Search is that any company, NGO or brand can apply a search mindset to tried-and-true PR tactics and, in the process, influence the search results around certain keywords.
  • Social Search – With Google and competitors increasingly prioritizing social content from Flickr, blogs, Twitter and others in result pages, it is imperative that brands build out “embassies” in all relevant networks – places where employees work to serve the interests of the community, as well as their company.

If you read the paper you will see that we are convinced that search engines for the foreseeable future will have a critical impact on how brands are perceived – far more so than any single social network site, which tend to come and go. As always, we’re interested in your views. Please share them below or on Twitter or Friendfeed.



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