SMO stands for Social Media Optimization. The term was coined by Rohit Bhargava, for using social networking methods on the internet for promoting websites. Gone are the days of looking at website promotion just as a analytical linear method like SEO(Search engine optimization).

Just like SEO is formal term for search engine optimization, likewise, SMO is the science of effective social network engineering to build traffic to your website. SMO includes everything from effectively using RSS feeds, to using social bookmarking sites like Stumbleupon and Delicious. SMO is a philosophical, yet effective way, of looking at the world of website promotion.

Principles of SMO:

The original 5 principles of SMO given by Rohit Bhargava are:

1) Increase your linkability
2) Make tagging and bookmarking easy
3) Reward inbound links
4) Help your content travel
5) Encourage the mashup

These concepts seem pretty general and since then, people have added to the list.

SEO compared to SMO:

SMO is becoming a rather complicated science, almost to the degree of SEO. SMO and SEO are two differen’t ways of looking at the world of website promotion. I think some types of sites do much better on SMO than SEO, but the vast majority of webmasters will find SEO the more important. One problem about SMO is that it is more temporary and you have to be on top of things if you want to keep it going. SEO to me is more long term and passive. SEO optimizing your website itself, will give you a life time of benefits and you shouldn’t have to do anything significant to your site in the future.