SMO dies for social media optimization

SEO remains the gold in the online marketing mix

Yesterday an article appeared on with the provocative title “The SEO gold rush is over”. The article leads to the conclusion that social media optimization is the new SEO.

I don't want to say a lot about that. Let's just take a look at the bare facts. The following graphic shows the current data from the ARD / ZDF online study 2010 on the use of Internet offers. It shows how often different offers are used at least once a week.

As you can see, the use of search engines is still far ahead of the use of social media offers. Only “send and receive e-mails”, with 84 percent weekly usage, is on the same level as the usage of search engines.

Advantages of SEO over SMO (Social Media Optimization)

If we take a closer look at online usage, we can see 3 advantages of search engine optimization (SEO) compared to social media optimization (SMO).

1. You can only reach the masses with SEO

Search engines are used by 83 percent of Internet users in Germany at least once a week. Around 4.7 billion searches are carried out per month in Germany alone. Private networks and communities, for example, only have a usage range of 34 percent per week. With other social media offers, the range is even lower. In direct comparison, the broad masses can only be reached with SEO.

2. With SEO you can concentrate on one provider (Google)

Google's market share in Germany is around 90 percent. If you add the search engines that have integrated the Google search (e.g. T-Online, AOL,, etc.), the proportion is well over 90 percent. In the area of ​​social media, however, the market shares are distributed among many providers such as Facebook, the VZ networks, who-knows-whom, Myspace. Twitter, Foursquare, etc. If the reach is limited anyway, you have to distribute your resources to many different services for social media optimization.

3. SEO works for any website

Search engines are used for all topics and areas of life. Hence, SEO works for any website as well. Of course, the search volume is lower in some areas and the competition is very high in some areas. But nobody ever said that SEO was easy. Social media, on the other hand, only works really well in certain areas. The topics have to be discussed and accepted to some extent in the social environment.

You entrust the most personal questions to a search engine and look for information about hemorrhoids or addiction advice, for example. But who would write about it on their Facebook page and trumpet on Twitter and Foursquare that they are currently at the proctologist and then go to addiction counseling?

My Twitter analysis in the last post also showed that social media only works really well in a few areas.

SEO remains the most effective online marketing

So the bottom line is that it can be said quite clearly that SEO remains the most effective tool in the online marketing mix. There is still a lot of gold to be mined on the search engines day in and day out. The number of searches carried out even increased significantly in the double-digit percentage range last year.

I think the forecast “Onpage Optimization = Web Design” from the post at is fundamentally wrong. Precisely because the SEO competition is increasing, you have to step up SEO measures and not end with web design. On-page optimization is also an ongoing process that goes far beyond web design. The optimization of the information architecture (IA) alone never ends with a living website and under no circumstances can it be carried out by a web designer.

I also consider the statement “Offpage Optimization = Social Media Optimization” to be fundamentally wrong. SMO can support off-page optimization. In some cases, however, social media also cannibalizes link building. Often links are simply published on Twitter or Facebook and have the NoFollow attribute. It is all the more necessary to practice active link building outside of social media offers.

Most websites are still not optimized for search engines. Good SEO experts are still desperately looking for and there are still too few SEOs trained (see also “In-house SEO: Interview with Maren Freyberg, Dwight Cribb Personalberatung GmbH, about SEO experts in companies”)

You can find more opinions on the topic of "Once the SEO gold rush is over" in the following blogs (list will be added):

The SEO gold rush is over: Waaaaaas please? -
Are the fat years in SEO over? -
The SEO dream of the gold rush has burst. Or not? -
SEO is not dead! Now it's getting really fun! -

Author HannsPosted on Categories Google, SEO, SMO