With the birth of the social media many webmasters found themselves in front of a new world, with new marketing possibilities. They were suddenly able to reach broader targeted audiences in a matter of minutes and they could see almost immediate results and responses to their marketing campaigns. The social media networks functioned with the power of the “word of mouth”. Why do I use the past tense? Stick with me, my story gets better!

The social media networks still functions quite well if no particular interests are at stake. But a few months ago a strange phenomenon shacked the SEO world: several important SEO blogs and sites were banned out of digg (digg being representative for the social media movement), mainly because people are pretty ignorant when it comes to the meaning of search engine optimization (SEO) versus social media optimization (SMO). SMO companies were the ones spamming the social bookmarking sites with irrelevant articles, shaggy websites and splogs. The users mistakenly identified these companies as SEO companies and decided to start punishing the SEOs by burying SEO stories and banning out of digg URLs that carried content somehow related to SEO.

While SMO and SEO don’t mean the same thing, it’s still true that both industries have the same purpose: satisfied customers and increased revenues. Both industries need to reach high rankings in the search engines to achieve their goals. While SMO might get you some links and a visible traffic boost, SEO is focusing more on the long-term results. Joe Lewis posted a relevant article today on WebProNews analyzing this very issue.

The conclusion? SEOs don’t need to spam the social media sites. And SEO is not SMO!


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