To me it’s pretty obvious, but most companies just don’t get it. For SEO, they think there’s a magical “easy button” that you can push to increase their search engine rankings for every term imaginable – without even having those terms on their site.

Google is getting smarter and smarter about separating the wheat from the chaff – that is, what sites are good and relevant to a users search and which are garbage, spam sites, perhaps made by black hat SEOs. Part of this is improvements to “the algorithm” but perhaps more importantly is how Google knows who you are and serves up customized search results for YOU.

Well, of course Google isn’t tracking your every movement like some government agency is right now (just kidding … or am I?). But if you’re logged into a Google account there are things they can know about you from your past history of searches, your Google Plus account, things like that.

The point here is that it’s getting harder and harder to do black hat SEO right. Websites are going to need to do what Google says: provide great, relevant content and be an authority in your field.

What does that mean? Luckily it’s pretty simple. Also luckily a different goal will achieve those results. If you do your online marketing correctly, you will achieve positive SEO gains. That’s right – it’s all tied together.

And since Google also takes cues from social networks for your search rankings, this also comes into play.

So, simply put, Google looks at your website, backlinks to your site and your social influence.

The solution to great SEO is clear to me here: engage with people on your site and on social networks. Create great content on your blog. Spread your message and tell people about your great products and services. Be human. Tell your story.

We need to engage more and pitch less.

Yes, every site needs to have good on-page search engine optimization, but even more important is the engagement factor. Do this, create great content, be active on your site and social network(s) and the SEO rankings will come.

So your  SEO strategy isn’t really an SEO strategy: it’s a marketing strategy, one that is closely intertwined with your social marketing and blogging strategies.