Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Goodbye SEO! Hello SMO?

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Recently, The Leading Voices section of Paidcontent.org featured a compelling article, "SEO is Dead, The New King is SMO" by Ben Elowitz that may be of interest to The PR Lawyer blog readers. Elowitz is co-founder and CEO of Wetpaint, a web publisher. I also noticed after reading this article that the blogosphere is buzzing with predictions of the end of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Elowitz explores the industry shift from putting utmost importance on keywords, paid links and engineering to valuing the creation of useful content for readers. He predicts that the recent partnership of Facebook and Bing will usher in a new era of Social Media Optimization or SMO.

As the most visited website across the globe, Facebook is at the pinnacle of search and content. According to Elowitz, the partnership with Bing will force publishers to re-focus on creating valuable content that will be seen and shared. Many users are already using the Facebook newsfeed as their go-to news interface for not only updates from friends, but news outlets as well. “Already sites at Wetpaint and other publishers are seeing more audience coming from Facebook than from search,” Elowitz notes.

He may be on to something here. Granted, good content and valuable information will always be king and creating something that will be shared and re-shared on various social media outlets including Facebook will inevitable drive traffic, but all of this depends on your target audience. Although Facebook may be “the most visited website across the globe,” the majority of internet users still go to Google to do things like research a company, look for a specific product, or search for specific how-to information, according to Furia Rubel’s VP of Marketing, Laura Powers.  It is important to keep in mind that Google is still a search-engine giant and coming up high on search results still is a wonderful thing.

Some supporting websites for further food for thought are BusinessInsider and TopTechReviews
(Photo credit: http://blog.socialmaximizer.com)

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