Lee Odden


Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Social Media

I was recently reading a post on Marc Pentermann’s blog that suggests social media optimization is pretty much SPAM for social media. My comments about that are as follows:

I think the issue of SPAM and any kind of marketing will always exist regardless of the medium. Email, web pages, blogs and social media are all susceptible.

Just because it is possible to SPAM a medium does not invalidate that medium. Should we not send email because others use it for SPAM? That would not make sense.

It is also important to note that SPAM-focused efforts are not long term marketing solutions. Leveraging the opportunities with social media makes it easier for marketers to reach their intended audience and for users to find and share the content they’re interested in.

Marc makes a good point that with the increase in popularity of social search and social media, companies will flock to SMO tactics. Doing that en masse is expensive and may lead to the creation of bots to create social bookmarks, which is not much different than bots that leave comment spam on blogs.

Not to rain on anyone’s SMO parade, but there is always a dark side to things as Graywolf expertly points out in his post, “The Dark Side of Social Media Optimization

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar SEO BUZZ BOX says

    It is littering.

  2. Tony does make a good point – SMO can be a tricky thing and marketers need to be up front and relevant in what they are doing to market via social media.

    Aaron, I think it’s littering only if the result of the tactic doesn’t help users’ meet their needs. ie, find information, (text, audio, video) that they’re looking for.

  3. Avatar Tom Crandall says


    As usual, great post. I wanted to make a general comment–keep your photo on the home page of this blog, it adds value to the site by personalizing your communications.


  4. Hi Tom, thanks for the comments.

    The first iteration of this new design actually included a photo, but I thought I would try it without for a while and see if it would make a difference.

    Soon we’ll be using the customized HTML version of FeedBlitz for the RSS to Email subscribers of this blog and that will include a photo.

    Who knows, maybe I’ll add it back to the blog one of these days. 🙂

  5. Avatar SEO BUZZ BOX says

    Lee – Yes, I agree but let’s not make it all Web 2.0 , you used SMO (tagging, press, others) to get your keywords high in the search engines, it is a very effective strategy.

    Oh by the way, you are already #1 in Google for “Social Media Optimization” so if any newbie wants to learn what we are really talking about they can just do a search.

    Pretty amazing really because you were not the founder of the phrase yes?

  6. Hey Aaron, you are correct in that I/we do consider keywords when tagging, linking, etc. No doubt about that.

    I am biased, but I believe we have great content for users looking for info on these topics and the search engines are just rewarding our blog for those efforts.

    Rohit coined the phrase but I don’t think he spends as much time “doing” SMO and SEO as writing about it. I could be wrong too. He has an excellent blog and it has recently made my daily read along with Todd Defren’s PR 2.0.

  7. I think SMO will eventually lead to the death of social media (if it hasn’t already).

  8. Ooh, such a pessimistic perspective Jill! I doubt SMO will kill social media any more than SEO has killed search engines.

    If there’s money to be made, social media outlets will find ways to improve quality and combat SMO spam as the search engines have with search spam. There are no winners in that battle yet, but the channel hasn’t died for users or advertisers either.

  9. Well, we’ll check back in 2 years or so and see if anyone is still interested in social media. I’m betting no…but perhaps I’ve just never gotten it.

  10. Two years in internet time is a long ways out.

    I’m betting social media is far more empowering for users than web sites, blogs or any other media online. For those companies that can figure it out, it is also a huge marketing opportunity.

  11. Avatar SEO BUZZ BOX says

    You know I love ya’ Lee and agree with you often BUT this one is just a bit too Web 2.0ish for me. 😉

  12. Lee, SMO can certainly be spammed. Just as SEO can be spam. Sometimes we forget what the SERPS were like pre-Florida and the spam that dominated those results. But as the search business has grown and matured the amount of blatant spam has been reduced. I am sure we will go through some growing pains with SMO and we did with search, but like you I am confident that those companies that can figure it out, SMO will be a huge marketing opportunity.

  13. Hey Aaron, yeah I guess I’m getting more and more of that web 2.0 flavah as we explore and become proficient with marketing channels outside of straight search marketing.

    Internet marketing continues to become multi facted and I don’t think any one thing will ever be a silver bullet like SEO was in the nineties, but as new trends occur, it’s worth exploring them for all they’re worth.

  14. Avatar Singapore SEO says

    Ok, prove that you support SMO but allowing me to “spam” here:

    Get honest Search Engine Optimization and Google Adwords consultancy services – transparent pricing, no hidden charges.


  15. Not going to happen Singapore SEO!


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