Social media optimization is becoming an increasingly important factor in search engine optimization, as search engines are increasingly utilizing the recommendations of users of social networks such as Reddit, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, andGoogle+ to rank pages in the search engine result pages. The implication is that when a webpage is shared or liked by a user on a social network, it counts as a \"vote\" for that webpage\'s quality. Thus, search engines can use such votes accordingly to properly rank websites in search engine results pages. Furthermore, since it is more difficult to tip the scales or influence the search engines in this way, search engines are putting more stock into social search.
This, coupled with increasingly personalized search based on interests and location, has significantly increased the importance of a social media presence in search engine optimization. Due to personalized search results, location-based social media presences on websites such as Yelp,Google Places, Foursquare, and Yahoo! Local have grown increasingly important. Rob Reed, founder of location-based marketing platform MomentFeed, has stated that, moving into 2013, local optimization on social platforms is now a strategic imperative rather than a luxury.
While social media optimization is related to search engine marketing, it differs in several ways. Primarily, SMO focuses on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, though improved search ranking is also a benefit of successful social media optimization. Further, SMO is helpful to target particular geography in order to target and reach the potential customers. This helps in lead generation and contributes to high conversion rates.