Google started it. Social media, especially with tools like FriendFeed, magnified it - page one is the place to be. The top of page one is especially the place to be. Those few days when Conversation Agent was at number five on AdAge Power150 many checked out this blog from that list. From number 16? Not so much.
Go on Twitter and you probably check only the first screen. Same conversation with the updates on LinkedIn and Facebook. History is something we studied in school, we live very much in the here and now with social media. Something that did not start with social, it started with news media. Social has one thing that makes this different - relationships.
With relationships we go way back. So much so that in those tools where the ability to have conversation is built in, older thoughts, chats, links or images that you share may pop back up again to the top. They have a chance to be new once more or new to you. The conversation is alive in digital format. Any one participant can activate it by commenting, bookmarking, and sharing. This should give you some thoughts on having a team vs. a Lone Ranger approach online (and in life).
So if your Web strategy is to refresh content on a continuous basis, remember that the archives play an important role in the great scheme of things. This blog, for example, has 888 posts and when I search for my name, the list of posts that comes up with the URL represents older posts that had quite a bit of traffic coming into them.
Notice also what ranks high in search. Does this give you ideas on the importance of integrating certain tools in your marketing communications strategy? I don't usually visit my blog from my own search. Way back, when the search button in my blog was not pulling up the posts I wanted to find for reference I occasionally used Google search.
When I was more active with comment on other blogs instead of FriendFeed, there were posts from other, high ranking, blogs with my comments that came up with a search on my name - page one high. What happens beyond page one? What happens if there are no comments?
Comments depend on many things.
For you to get more than a few, timing is a factor. Context matters. If everyone is thinking and talking about something and you happen to come by at the right time and place on that topic, your post, article, Web page - properly circulated - gets attention. Chances are that properly circulated means filtered in by your friends and connections.
Back to the Web pages, because I know that today search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming such a buzzword, even as much as "social media me this", "social media me that". I'd like an SEO strategy with a side of SEM, please. Such narrow focus may get you the same results a successful Digg gets you - an injection of traffic that comes over for a one moment stand. When it's all over, nobody may even remember your name.
What makes people come back is the same set of ideas that make no difference if you're on page one or page two - valuable content and connections. Those pages then get more traffic because more people find them useful and share them. They become page one for your site. With social tags, they may become evergreen for some topics on Delicious. Also StumbleUpon and Reddit have a long tail on traffic to your site vs. Digg.
[images of my Google name page one and page 2 or side A and B]