SMO or social media optimization is the approach of getting one’s search engine rank increased by becoming popular within a social network. This approach functions because it is qualitative rather than quantitative. Search engines prefer this approach over the classic scans because there is a high level of veracity ascribed to the opinions that people share on their public profiles, mostly because social networks discourage multiple accounts. In other words, people would not post links to your site if they do not truly believe that you are useful.

There is a technical term for such linkage, specifically, of the link to your website. Such a link is colloquially referred to as a social signal, because it involves a social media announcement of your presence on the internet. You can think of it as a spark for online word of mouth. Initially, people follow your social signals with hesitance, but once one or two people confirm your credibility, this starts a chain reaction of popularity increase.

Social signals are not limited to a single format, though. They come in various shapes and forms, but most popularly they appear as Facebook comments, shares and likes as well as Tweets. In fact, these are the most popular few social signals that seem to be making a difference in search engine rankings, or at least, that’s what the statistical research claims. Percentagewise, Facebook shares seem to have the largest impact on rankings and this makes perfect sense within the scope of the network, as sharing a page is a significant effort towards notifying your familiars of a particular service that you are fond of. There is literally no better marketing for your site than having your social signals shared across various social networks and that is exactly why social signals are considered to be pivotal in online business marketing.