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Goodbye SEO, Hello SMO (Social Media Optimization)

Goodbye SEO, Hello SMO (Social Media Optimization)

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I’ve never written for SEO but chose to write about what I was passionate about and for people. I always have a reader in mind for my articles. They could be based on a conversation with a friend or question that someone asked me on social media. Sometimes these questions lead to a longer form answer which I put on my blog so more people can find the answer. The human interaction is what I love most about social media.

I recently had a Google+ Hangout with Joshua Berg who is an SEO/SMO thought leader. I’ve read his blog but we hadn’t “met” each other before so this was really fun. I did a little research to see what Joshua’s background was and was excited to ask some questions about social media, blogging, SEO, and most importantly SMO or social media optimization which is Joshua’s specialty. The hangout led to more thinking (imagine that!) and I had a few more questions which Joshua was kind enough to answer for me.  Google’s Hummingbird update has made a few changes but not to worry.

Goodbye SEO, Hello SMO
A few quick tips from the Hangout:
#1 tip Be yourself and act natural.
#2 tip Great content spreads and builds with conversation around the web circling back to your original post.
#3 tip Diversity is good.
My questions for Joshua:
Q:  I haven’t discussed SMO on my blog before. Can you give us an explanation of what that is and why it’s important?
A: I couldn’t give you a better answer to this question than the article I wrote a few months ago, Social Media Optimization for SEO. The Future of Search. Which Mark Traphagen referred to as, “a Master Class in how you can fine tune your use of social media to vastly build your audience and influence.” In this article I laid out my all new principles for Social Media Optimization (as the earlier references to it were long outdated).
Very briefly they’re condensed as follows, but it is necessary to read the article to get the full picture:

The all new principles of SMO, Focus on the user and all SEO will follow. 

ⓐ Create – Maximize your creativity with original quality content.
ⓑ Relate – Create relatable content, or make your content relatable.
ⓒ Captivate – Fun and interesting content, stand out from the noise.
ⓓ Arouse – Arouse an emotion, it is the constant of all viral success.
ⓔ Enjoy – Have Fun! All the most popular media personalities enjoy it.
ⓕ Share – Seek shareable content, Reciprocate sharing with movers.
ⓖ Acknowledge – Acknowledging others encourages engagement.
ⓗ Contribute – Find ways to contribute desired value to audience.
ⓘ Influencers – Identify key influencers to foster connections with.
ⓙ Communities – Existing communities can expand your reach .
ⓚ Reputation – Build personal reputation & brand, as a reliable source.
ⓛ Engagement – Tag – Cite – Reply – Comment – Proactively engage.
ⓜ Authority – Become a notable authority in a field of expertise.
ⓝ Leadership – Lead in social with original ideas, be a Thought Leader.
ⓞ Social – Be sociable, try to visualize & reach the individual person.
ⓟ Media – Learn to master the media platforms you need to reach.
ⓠ Optimization – Target, optimize content/keywords integral to SMO

Q: You mentioned diversity several times. Do you mean diversity in blog content or social media platforms? Why is diversity important?
A: My reference to diversity in our hangout, was regarding building authority from backlinks to your blog. There has been considerable evidence to suggest that Google values a good diversity of backlinks to a blog, over a lot of backlinks from a handful of websites, or particular social platform. To expound on this idea, I’m referring mostly to the source of these backlinks coming from many different sites throughout the web & not just from what we’d call a particular neighborhood. As well as the source diversity, hyperlinked word diversity and surrounding content is also important. In the old SEO too many sites used exact match keywords in all of their backlinks, or used tools to post identical links on thousands of forums & these became spam flags

Q:  We talked about acting naturally and you teased be about making it look easy. Can you share what things create good SMO for bloggers?
A: It would have to be my article above. If a blogger, or social media marketer follows the above ideas and principles, you really can’t go wrong.

The bottom line is: be yourself. Share content that you feel is interesting and have fun. That’s the best recipe for your blog and social media. Write about your passions, share your interests. People will love it!

If you are having a hard time finding your voice in social media or with your writing, I recommend reading If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit by Barbara Ueland. Guy Kawasaki recommended this book in APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book and it really helped me reach another level in my writing and how I felt about writing.



Here’s the full video conversation that Joshua and I had with Chef Dennis Littley and Nikol Murphy.

What do you think about SEO vs. SMO? Will this change your social media at all? Love to hear your thoughts or answer questions in the comments below.

We are having a follow up hangout to discuss blogging, SMO and Google authorship. Make sure you sign up to receive updates below so you don’t miss it!

Photo credit: Big Stock Photos

Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

Summary
Article Name
Goodbye SEO, Hello SMO (Social Media Optimization)
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Why SMO or Social Media Optimization is the new SEO based on Google's Hummingbird update.

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23 comments
SMO Service
SMO Service

This was a great read. Honestly, I'm a big fan of SEO and I help people with it all the time. But the message in this article is super important. It helps put a finger on something I've been thinking about lately...

Williams Brown
Williams Brown

This is a nice post in an interesting line of content.Thanks for sharing this article, great way of bring such topic to discussion.

JasonLuttrell
JasonLuttrell

It seems like there is some confusion. SEO is not dead and being replaced by SMO. And having great SMO does not lead to better SEO. The only similarity is that they sound alike and they both have to do with "optimization" to increase traffic. That's where the similarities end. One targets search engines through technical techniques. The other encourages "viral" shares on social media through engaging the reader. In fact, I think it's better if you just don't put them together like you do with SEO/SMO. They are different domains of knowledge. SEO/SEM makes sense because they're both about search engines.

vips_ydl
vips_ydl

Thank you for valuable words… In this article you really mention very good point that “Be Yourself”. By this way we get new knowledge on daily basis.

crestodina
crestodina

This was a great read. Honestly, I'm a big fan of SEO and I help people with it all the time. But the message in this article is super important. It helps put a finger on something I've been thinking about lately...

Anything that you do purely for rank's sake is probably risky and it's definitely not sustainable. There's an army of math PhD's at Google and they're smart. So if it doesn't help visitors, it doesn't pass the SEO smell test. It's got to be about people and connections. 

(that said, 10 minutes of keyphrase research can lead to thousands more visitors to a post!)

In the end, maybe "SEO" isn't an activity at all. Maybe it's not a separate service or company. Maybe SEO is an outcome, not an action. And to achieve that outcome, we've got to find our people, hang out and keep it real!

ablake48
ablake48

Thank you!  BTW you have a beautiful blog layout!

Chinmayaon
Chinmayaon

"The bottom line is: be yourself. Share content that you feel is interesting and have fun." ... and I am just going to do that. I am going to share this wonderful article so more people can join the conversation. Great Article!

DebiStangeland
DebiStangeland

You know, I actually prefer SMO to SEO.  SMO seems more organic and less contrived.  SMO allows for the movement of info based on what you like which is the best way to gain new knowledge.  Thanks for this article.  I would also like to say that SMO works best when you have found your voice or niche or passion.  It creates a more steady flow.  Would you agree?

laurent lenclud
laurent lenclud

That's wonderful how marketing ideas travel continents in minutes! Here we speak more and more about Conversational web, SMO, ... :)

MaishaGuy
MaishaGuy

This is very  thought provoking.  I never considered looking at it like that, but it makes so much sense.  Thank you for sharing.  

JasonLuttrell
JasonLuttrell

@crestodina I disagree. You're confusing SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). To market your online content, you cannot simply rely on tactics purely for rank's sake, as you say. "People and connections" is what SEM is about. That's where link building and engaging the reader comes into play. However, SEO is an activity. It refers specifically to technical tactics (e.g., keyword phrases and inbound link authority) that are intended to help increasing your search engine ranking. The algorithms change to keep people from abusing them. SEO is not about "tricking" search engines, it's about making sure you're site is considered a relevant resource. It does pay to know what the search engines look for. Search engines are not going away, they just get smarter. So SEO has to get smarter too.

PegFitzpatrick
PegFitzpatrick

@crestodina So much to think about, right? I have to admit, I've never done keyphase research so I can't compare my blog with and without using it. I think being smart and adding a few relevant keywords is a good idea but anything you do purely for rank and not for content is off my radar.

There are certainly a lot of ways to do things, no one way may be right or wrong.

crestodina
crestodina

@PegFitzpatrick Agreed. Anyone who is all keywords and no content will fail every time. But lots of the greats pay no attention to keywords at all! I love that.


If you'd ever like for me to make "the case for keywords" just let me know. You might find it interesting. :)

JasonLuttrell
JasonLuttrell

@PegFitzpatrick @MaishaGuy That general lack of knowledge explains why people on here commenting don't know the difference between Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization. They are unrelated. If you are in the Web business, you still need to know about SEO because there will always be search engines.

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