As more companies embrace the Web 2.0 world, many are hoping that their presence on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter will help their search engine optimization (SEO).

However, one expert says this will also make SEO more difficult.

Writing for Search Engine Land, Eric Enge, the president of SEO consulting company Stone Temple Consulting says that using social media is a good way for companies to increase their online presence. But he also believes that social media will change SEO in the future.

Although Enge doesn’t think that social media signals will replace links as a factor in ranking, he does think they will play a role in the total package.

"Think of it this way: a link from a highly trusted web site will still be a highly valuable thing," he writes. "Similarly, a host of mentions across a range of social media sites, particularly if they are primarily positive or negative, will also be a strong signal."

One way in which companies are already seeing search engine optimization and social media converge is in reputation management.

Michael Gray, a reputation management expert writing for Marketing Pilgrim says that companies can use social networking sites like LinkedIn and business directories to increase reputation.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.