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Search engine marketing has been going strong for a few years now. Social search is just getting off the ground. In fact, Google has made it a point to tackle social search and lead the charge. Only, there are some people who aren’t so impressed with how they’re doing it.

But let’s say that social search were a perfect animal – like organic search (I’m kidding, OK?).

At any rate, let’s just say that social search was at least as good as organic search has been when at its best. Would search engine marketing be any different? Would social search change the nature of search engine marketing? I’m betting it would.

Remember, there are two branches of SEM: Paid search and organic search. How would each of these change with social search? My guess is that each would change in a real sense, but not necessarily in a fundamental sense.

Here’s what I mean: PPC is based in large part on the principles of organic search. You do your keyword research, write a few targeted ads, and watch your rankings based on search engine ranking factors. Social search, however, isn’t anything like that. You still might do your keyword research, but you aren’t so much concerned with rankings. You are concerned with connections. So how will that change search engine marketing?

I think one very important way that search engine marketing will change when social search reaches full maturity is that brands will no longer need to feel threatened by lesser companies who are better at SEO. Brands can actually put more emphasis on their company culture and focus on the benefits of doing business. That’s as it should be.

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