For years, search engines have favored sites that embrace SEO and often penalize sites that don’t—but now, SE’s seem to be turning in favor of social media optimization (SMO). People don’t need search engines as they can get quality information regarding their queries on Facebook, Twitter, even YouTube. SE’s are recognizing this shift, and are even launching initiatives to keep up—Google+ and its upcoming 100+ social platforms being one.

Here we will look at why SMO is dominating SEO, and what you can do to keep your business in sync.

SMO vs. SEO

SMO is centered around sharing quality content, while SEO functions around specific keywords and precise techniques. SEO is used to attract random people and guide them where you want them to go; i.e. your blog or website, while SMO lets people find you in closed networks—millions of people—and drives them from there. The community basis and viral influence of SMO—and the joint operation of Facebook and Bing—has positioned SMO to become the hottest trend in Internet marketing.

Social Bookmarking and News Sites

In addition to social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, make sure your business is linked to social bookmarking/news sites such as Digg, Reddit, Delicious, or StumbleUpon. These sites have tagging and built-in search functionality—making them much more useful than traditional engines—and are becoming more popular by the day. Adding social bookmarking links to your site is also a great way to encourage users to promote your pages for you.

Optimize Your Site For SMO

For SMO to work, you need to get your readers/users to share your content. This means optimizing your page layouts to reinforce social media widgets. Certain placements will improve article Likes, tweets and +1′s, while others will help you acquire social media subscribers; i.e. fans, circle members and followers. Test these pages to find out what works best for your site.

SEO is Still Alive, So Don’t Ignore it

Even though SMO has made a huge impact on how traffic is driven, SEO is not dead. Websites that contain a lot of information and provide fresh, original content will still benefit from SEO, especially with the search algorithm updates Google keeps rolling out. And since Google is now indexing Facebook comments, using both SEO and SMO techniques will enhance the success of your campaign.

What are your thoughts on the SEO vs. SMO debate? Do you tend to market in one area more than the other? Let us know in the comments below.


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