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The timeless battle between advertisers and the Search Engines rages on in 2011 and everyone has an opinion. But who’s right?  In 2010 we learned that Social Media, like Twitter and Facebook, do indeed have an impact on where you land on the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page).  This, of course, has set a mad scramble into play with every business on the planet attempting to gain precious Social Media Real Estate.  So now in 2011, everyone wants to know what is the best form of advertising to put your money into; SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Google Adwords Pay-Per-Click) or Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?

 I think, at this point, we have all established the extreme importance of gaining relevance in the Social Media landscape.  To become a hot commodity on Facebook or Twitter will inevitably raise your brand awareness, solidify you as an expert in your field, and ultimately increase your traffic, sales, customer base, etc.  This is a no brainer at this point and if you are one of the few hanging back to see if Social Media is “worth it,” you’re missing out!

 Then, of course, is the perpetual question of PPC or SEO? While PPC is a substantial way to kick-start a new website or product, it is not (or should not) be a long-term solution.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, SEO is still the best long-term goal for any website.  You can’t beat its impact or cost on your bottom line. However, businesses continue to drag their feet when it comes to SEO. At the end of 2010, SEOmoz said,

 “In 2010, estimates are that between Bing and Google there’s going to be about 20 billion advertising dollars spent on paid search and that receives about, maybe around 15% of all the clicks, so 15% of traffic. SEO, which receives about 85% of all the clicks, the spend is predicted by some people to be around $2 billion, maybe a little under $2 billion this year.”

 This is a profound and incredible statement and although I haven’t yet seen the bottom line numbers for 2011, I would guess that the results will be quite similar this year.  So, where’s the disconnect?

 I believe the disconnect comes with a lack of definitive answers and a constant changing of the Search Engine algorithm. However, the art of SEO has proven time and time again that even without these definitive answers, SEO is the clear leader in web marketing.  Having said that, the biggest take away from here is this; Social Media, PPC and SEO are not enemies, but instead they work together to ensure that the consumer is satisfied and the best results are displayed on the SERP’s.