Is the web shrinking? It is according to Ben Elowitz, founder and CEO of WetPaint. He recently wrote a very interesting guest post for AllThingsD about this topic, and we decided to pick his brain a little bit more.
“People are spending more time on Facebook and less time on the rest of the web,” he tells WebProNews. “If you look at the total amount of time people spent on Facebook from March 2010 to March 2011, it grew 69%. And if you look at the total amount of time people spent on the rest of the web, it fell 9%. This was staggering to me and it highlighted the critical importance of understanding and using the social web in an intelligent way. ”
So, what does it all mean for SEO? Will social media visibility become more critical than search visibility? Is this already the case?
“Over the last decade, there has been only one great distributor of traffic; and the vast majority of digital media companies have done everything they can to please that deity in the hopes of earning more traffic,” says Elowitz. “But that was then; things have changed dramatically.”
“Investing in SEO will not help build the most important long-term value, which is a strong and loyal relationship with your audience. Given the rise of the social web, there is a huge opportunity for publishers to develop relationships directly with users and this will help the company massively long-term. This is why SMO (social media optimization) is more critical than SEO and why at Wetpaint we do not invest significantly in SEO. We know that if you focus all of your energies on winning in social, you will receive a halo effect from search.”
He claims the Wetpaint Entertainment media property still generates over 50% of its traffic from search with no SEO team, employee or consultant on staff.
Social Media, Search & A Shrinking Web | WebProNews

Here is the original article The Shrinking of the Non-Social Web - Ben Elowitz - Voices - AllThingsD

It seems like it is going to be the end of SEO.