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As sites and services like Twitter, Facebook, and real-time searches gain prominence, is search engine optimization being edged out by search media optimization?  It is important to remember, though, that there is no reason why your SEO campaign should not already be incorporating optimization specifically for social media.  The two are far from mutually exclusive; in fact, they are extensions of the same idea: to make your site more visible and to draw traffic with quality content.  While SEO seeks to drive traffic through search engines, SMO uses blogs, social networking accounts, and other techniques to attract visitors.

According to Ben Elowitz, co-founder and CEO of web publisher, Wetpaint, “SEO is dead, and the New King is SMO.”  Mr. Elowitz writes in paidContent, a web publication which handles digital media issues:

With the rise of Facebook, we’ve entered a new era of digital media: personalized discovery. The balance of power is shifting: Already sites at Wetpaint and other publishers are seeing more audience coming from Facebook than from search.

The reason for this is our queries are changing.  Google can find relevant results to virtually any query, sifting through billions of webpages.  Now we are finding that content needs to be more customized.  “[I]t’s far more valuable to find the best content for me – and increasingly, find it before I’ve even asked for it.”

There is no doubt that search is changing and will continue to do so.  With “serendipitous” search on the horizon, how we access information continues to evolve.  SMO will play an increasingly large role in any business or site’s efforts to draw visitors.  Rather than “killing” SEO, media optimisation is rapidly becoming an essential component of it.

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