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Social media tops other priorities when it comes to SEO services in 2018, reports Clutch in a survey conducted among 303 marketing decision-makers and commissioned by Ignite Visibility. One-fifth of respondents named social media marketing their top SEO service-related priority, ahead of on-site optimization (16%) and creating content to earn links (15%).

A survey released last year by Ascend2 found on-page content considered to be the most effective SEO tactic, followed by keyword research and link building.

Link-building and monitoring is a lesser priority for respondents to Clutch’s survey, who are more interested in mobile (14%) and local (12%) search optimization.

Separate results from the research indicate that the largest share (39%) of respondents focus equally on paid search and organic SEO. However, there seems to be more of a tilt towards mostly or only organic SEO (43%) than to mostly paid search (19%).

Those few who mostly engage in paid search with some organic SEO tend to look to expert firms for help, whereas those who are only involved in organic SEO are more likely to rely on in-house staff.

Companies who lean on in-house SEO services invest heavily in social media marketing and in creating content to earn links, per the report, with fewer tasked with on-site optimization, despite this being a top services priority.

Which Companies Are Winning in Search Visibility?

While social media marketing and SEO might go hand in hand, social media platforms themselves are losing visibility in search results, according to new research from Searchmetrics.

As part of its study, Searchmetrics examined SEO visibility for the domains listed in its US index over the course of 2017, comparing levels at the end of 2017 with those on January 1st.

Filtering out adult and illegitimate streaming sites, the analysis found that the domains losing the most visibility over the course of the year in absolute terms were reddit.com, tumblr.com and pinterest.com.

By contrast, the biggest winner in terms of absolute gain was youtube.com, defined here as a Media & Events domain rather than a social one.

Interestingly, 6 of the top 8 winners in absolute terms were Encyclopedia sites, led by merriam-webster.com, wikia.com, dictionary.com and wiktionary.com.

Searchmetrics notes that, generally, both publishers and encyclopedias were success stories in 2017, as “more than half of the top 100 winners on Google.com regularly publish articles on general interest topics, tech or video content as their core business.”

The full list of winners and losers, along with more analysis, can be found here.

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