It’s not SEO it’s SPO. Search Person Optimization.


We have all heard search engine optimization is becoming obsolete more than once or twice.

The debate on it’s future relevance is still undecided by most with some arguing its more important than ever and others saying its a bust.

As I was at dinner the other night chatting over a couple glasses of wine I had one of those “aha” moments.

It’s not SEO it’s SPO. Search person optimization.

Sometimes the Internet is almost too big. More than once I have spent hours weeding through pages and pages of articles and blogs and pins and and and… The point is life is so much easier when I know someone who knows something about what I’m looking for.

Hence Search Person Optimization.

Becoming an expert or source for quality content references and then optimizing yourself to be found by others “like” you or who you want to be considered just like.

Debate solved!

Kait Neese

  • Amah Lambert

    SPO makes sense for marketers. SEO for buyers, and researchers. They’re joined at the hip. None over-rides the other. @Kaitneese knocks off some inspiration there, though. Cheers!

  • Mary Page

    Interesting. Searching for articles or people is determined by the search engine not marketers. Different search engines do it differently. Many discussions have been going on as the Internet continues to expand and grow how best to do that and yet keep it interrelated to everything else. Google lets you do what you describe by how you tag things and by quality of sites one is one. I can pull by book up on the first page of Google by title, by may name or by some of the main characters names. It is getting sophisticated. I learned from Daniel Russell Google Research class that Google takes questions and can search by question. All of which is helpful. I like the people idea but how would you know they are trustworthy. I follow Matthew Cutts writings about the net as well. Have fun!

  • Montgomery Granger

    I think you have something there! A person is a better source, especially if you can interact with them. If you search by subject and instead of websites PEOPLE pop up you could brouse backgrounds and experience, maybe using a point system that can be understood at a glance, and the person could have an avitar, contact info, days and times available, then BINGO, you have SPO!

  • Stephany

    I agree that SPO is better.

  • Kenneth

    @kaitneese, that is a great point. My college mentor was the go to subject-matter expert for the Washington, D.C. economy. Professor Stephen Fuller has had journalists from bloggers to internationally recognized news outlets calling to get his opinion year after year. The more he published and gave interviews, the higher his SPO. He was an easy contact, gave great quotes, published quality content and is still a recognized expert.
    Your idea to become sought out as a person rather than always seeking to use catch words to be found underlines for me the point that I need to be generating quality content and branding myself as much as the keywords. The goal, I guess, is to become a keyword.

  • Gary

    Many are the times that I have fought with SEO. Each time I have come up short. However, I believe that it is still relevant. Yet, going along with what Kait said, it is nice to find others that are knowledgeable. It makes life easier :)

  • Suz deMello

    Interesting! I tweeted it.

  • Jeff Critser

    For authors in particular, SPO makes a lot of sense. Everything circles back to the author’s experience, relevance and connection with the readers, and credibility to craft the story.

  • Wendy Rawady

    The internet is such a cluttered, disorganized place. All creative efforts are initially swamped and anything that helps establish a ‘stand-out’ position is welcome. Happy SuperBowl everyone.

  • Jason Matthews

    I don’t see SEO going away anytime soon. On a typical day I search by subject matter far more often than for individuals. Anything from “Trim molding for 2004 Passat” to “average rainfall California” to “affirmation experiments.” I rarely do a personal search unless I already know something about that person and want to know more.