Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO) are two terms that are often used together and even interchangeably. However, despite both terms containing the word "optimization", there are key differences between SEO and SMO. It is possible to achieve SEO and not SMO, or vice versa, if one is not aware of how the two strategies work. Alternately, if good SEO practices are followed, one may also be rewarded with SMO.
SEO is defined as the marketing of web content via the search engine results page (SERP) in order to increase site traffic, product sales, and company/personal recognition. The process starts with the strategic placement of heavily searched words and phrases, called keywords and key phrases, into the body of the web content. Internet users inputting these keywords and key phrases into search engine such as Google, Yahoo!, and MSN are presented with a list of the best optimized web sites through the SERP. Ideally, a web site that has achieved SEO will be found in the top 10 results of the SERP.
Top placement on the SERP leads to increased web site traffic, publicity, and an improved online reputation. It may also result in a greater number of inbound links, which are one-way links created by outside sources that lead to the published content. Inbound links are valuable because they raise the web site's page rank (PR). The PR of a web site is a logarithmic credibility scale ranging from 1 to 10. As a site's PR value improves, so does its credibility. Sites with high PR are listed prominently on SERPs and can command a higher price for posted ads aucasinosonline. Such sites may also charge a set price for linking to lower PR sites, in turn raising their PRs.
Much of the SEO process is designed with search engine bots in mind. Therefore, the content that is presented to the reader is often lacking in interest and readability. Ideally, one should strive to create web content that not only attracts search bots but also engages its readers.
SMO is defined as the marketing of web content and other multimedia via social community, bookmarking, news, picture, and video sites. Examples of social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Businesswire, and YouTube. Additionally, the content might be promoted through user web blogs. The goal of such marketing is to increase site traffic, product and affiliate product sales, and gain subscribers.
Web content does not achieve SMO by employing specific keywords and key phrases, although doing so certainly helps. Rather, SMO is achieved by the creation of fresh and dynamic web content that engages its target audience. An audience that is engaged will also post comments and/or vote on, bookmark, link to, and otherwise interact with the published content. Should the content become especially popular, it will rise to the top of social media bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. It will also be ranked at the top of blog search engine sites like Technorati.
SMO frequently has the added effect of making a web site and/or blog into SEO material. Because web content that is optimized for social media distribution typically contains heavily searched words and phrases, these terms may be picked up by search engines. Likewise, there are hybrid search engine and social media search sites such as Twoogle (Twitter and Google) that seek out optimized and attention-grabbing web and/or multimedia content.
SMO is a strategy that often places user interest and publicity ahead of defined keywords and key phrases. This can lead to immense initial popularity for the web content, followed by later stagnation. Therefore, it is imperative that content submitted to social media sites still maintain SEO as a goal.
In summary, while there are notable differences between SEO and SMO, both strategies may be used to market the same web content. The use of both SEO and SMO increases the chance of the published content gaining traffic and publicity, as well top ranking on search engine and social media results pages.
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