paidContent | SEO Is Dead, And The New King Is ‘SMO’ ::Elowitz’s seminal insight on social-media optimization::

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Over the past five years, Web publishing has been so heavily dominated by search engine optimization (SEO) that, to many publishing executives, the right keywords have become far more important than their sites’ actual content or audience…

But the recent announcement of the Facebook/Bing partnership to integrate social and search results clearly marks the beginning of the end of SEO… It’s time to christen a new era of social-media optimization, or “SMO.” …

As Facebook takes its immense database of “Likes” and pivots it to inform search results, there’s no question that it will have a huge advantage in delivering a better result set for almost every user. It simply knows more.

SMO strategy means appealing to the audience, not an intermediary; knowing what drives interest; and activating people’s desire to consume and share… It’s about creating a positive feedback loop, where users are rewarded for both consuming and distributing content. The key is to develop virality in media like that of Zynga games and Groupon offers. Beyond, of course, creating great content and experiences that are worth sharing, publishers need to then reward their audiences with the full range of possibilities, including prestige, access, exclusive content and enhanced experiences.

Read the full piece at paidcontent.org

I don’t often forward on complete pieces for other people to read, preferring to just highlight the nutgraph, because most articles don’t have more than one or two really interesting, unique and innovative points to make. I made an exception in this case because Ben Elowitz’ perspective is exceptional. My only criticism might be that he takes too long to get to the definition of SMO for those who have not heard of it. If you haven’t, Elowitz explains why you should be listening.

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