Kings and Princes of the Internet

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~Dramatis Personae~
as: The First King
Social as: A Would-Be Usurper
Content as: A Lumbering Giant
Kevin Costner
as: Kevin Costner

land of the internet

The wild, untamed lands of the “Internet”

I have written you a play.

This play, full of drama, murder, betrayal and romance, takes place in a strange, far-off land called the Internet. This “Internet” is populated with myriad creatures large and small, lorded over by fortresses (websites), and despotic rulers (SEO, Social), whose power plays determine the fates of the fortresses and all their lowly inhabitants.

But, of course, you cannot begin any good action flick without Kevin Costner.

build it and they will come

Kevin Costner has provided the entertainment-starved masses with a slew of wonderful, top-notch movies (see: Waterworld, and The Postman [also note: sarcasm]), but, in our professional opinion, no other movie of his was so poignant as Field of Dreams.

“Build it and they will come” provided marketers their first glimpse at Internet success. Build your website (your fortress) and the masses will find it. After all, the only way to be successful in this land, The Internet, is to have some type of fortress to run to when the barbarian hordes come marauding.

But, as the Internet took on a life of its own, perpetuating thousands upon thousands of new fortresses each day (their masons must have been legendary), search engines (the infrastructure) needed a way for the best sites with the most pertinent information to be found – to separate the wheat from the chaff, if you will.

SEO – The First King

For the past 4-5 years, SEO righteously asserted itself and reigned supreme. Firms large and small sprung up around the land that focused solely on search engine optimization, advertising and keyword analyses and rankings.

“Get me found!” said the corporate bigwig to the SEO directors, managers and strategists. On-page SEO. Off-page SEO. PPC. Organic search. Black Hat SEO (tsk tsk!). Thus, a flood of new terms, definitions and effective strategies was born – all to get that website/fortress found that you spent so much time beautifying. SEO was king – jeweled scepter in one hand, keywords in the other.

Social’s Epic Charge

It wasn’t long, however, before Social began to make the slow, inexorable charge across the field of battle into the heart of SEO’s kingdom. At first viewed as taboo due to its inability to be controlled (“But what if they say something NEGATIVE about us?!” #collectivegasp), nowadays the average fortress is viewed as an abnormality if it doesn’t have a presence on at least one social network.

Then with the addition of G+, Google’s brilliant mimicry of Facebook to gather user information and thus remain relevant, it was slowly realized that search was becoming more social. SEO still played a big role – and still does – but social was creeping up from behind to usurp the throne…

Content Marketing’s Throne-Winning Gambit

But wait! Another foe cometh!

SEO and Social, with their fingers twined around each other’s necks, stopped struggling for a moment to gaze in fear at this new muscle-bound foe lurching across the field. Before anyone realized what was happening, Content, with when fell swoop, removed both SEO and Social from the embattered throne. But instead of simply murdering them like most ruthless kings would have done, thus eliminating any threat to their own dominance, Content showed that it was a benevolent ruler, relegating SEO and Social to the roles of Princes, as well as its closest advisers.

Thus, the balance of power has shifted, and a new balancing act begins – highlighted recently by Google’s Panda updates that punish poor, mass-generated content and reward high-quality content with top search engine rankings.

Content is King – the beating heart that both SEO and Social rely upon . . . for now. But we don’t expect this to change in 2013. Shifts in power will occur, of course, as they always do; but for now, look to your fortress. Ensure you have a content strategy in place, supplemented with an editorial calendar to which all content creators can refer.

Need help formulating or implementing a content marketing strategy? Dynamics Online can help.

Jeff-G+-ImageJeff Hirz is the Social Media and Content Marketing Manager at Dynamics Online.
You can reach him by calling (216) 292-4410.