Is SMO The New SEO?

Well, the short answer is “no”.

What is SMO? Social Media Optimization. In other words, infiltrating social media sites like FaceBook, YouTube etc to get your marketing messages across.

An article on ProNet wonders if SMO is like SEO:

I am not even sure that corporations fully understand and appreciate SEO yet and it’s been around for a good 10 years now. I think SMO will be different though, ‘social’ everything seems to be taking off right now at warp speed and the companies that don’t start participating will be left behind.

The environment is a bit different with social networks. The minute they become obviously compromised by marketing messages, their value quickly disappears. The same thing nearly killed search engines. Google got around this problem by introducing trust markers that are increasingly hard to game. The same thing will happen with social networks, but those trust markers will take a lot longer to build, driving up costs, and reducing the value proposition for short-medium term advertisers. It will also be difficult to measure return quickly and transparently, which is a key value proposition of SEO/SEM.

Still, it will be interesting to see how (if?) social media is monetarised in the coming years. I think it will almost certainly be via fairly traditional advertising methods i.e. page & media views.

Meanwhile, ValleyWag has a piece on MySpace claiming it “‘aint all that”. A great read. Thx Threadwatch.

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