Search Person Optimization (SPO) Definition

SPO vs SEO - Kait Neese - Self-Publishing ExpertThe term Search Person Optimization (SPO) was created by Kait Neese on January 30th, 2014.

This initial overview provides the basic concept definition as well as as the conclusion process that led to the evolution of SPO as a  marketing principle.


Definition: Search Person Optimization (SPO)

Search Person Optimization (SPO) is a budding phenomenon that has just begun to pop up on the radars of online marketers everywhere. SPO centers on the notion that it is easier to find what you are looking for online when you know someone, who already knows something about what you are looking for. It is the virtual extension of “Word of Mouth” marketing and influences consumer buying behavior online. This online marketing concept was created by Kait Neese on January 31st, 2014.

Why is it the future?

The world is suffering from information overload. It has been reported that users of sites like Pinterest or Google can easily spend up to four hours searching for the solution to one problem without ever actually finding that solution. The reason, as it is reported, is not that the searcher didn’t find the solution within the first 30 minutes of their search, but that they didn’t find the “best” answer.

This growing phenomenon is happening in every country and in every language. This is important because it means the majority of people on this planet are now no longer exposed to the economic or psychodemographic influencers solely from their local or regional communities.  They are now exposed to the beliefs, cultural customs, job market fluctuations and financial market factors of a cyber-world consisting of global influencers.

An example is illustrated by examining the current affairs happening within the book publishing industry.  Students in Tokyo started the popular trend known as Manga, the cooler version of the graphic novel.  While the characters and localization of the content was not designed with the American reader in mind it has become one of fastest growing niche genres the US market has experienced.  The major e-commerce platforms in the US who provide most print and digital books direct to readers now list Manga as a semi-front genre category.

The second trend one must consider is the growth of online marketing since 2010 and the effect this will have on the information we are exposed to.  According to The Affiliate Marketing Community the e-commerce industry alone will be worth 1.5 trillion dollars by 2015 (Source).  The infographic went on to provide a statistical analysis of mobile phone subscriptions for a ten year period. The mobile subscriptions were evaluated by a comparison of total subscriptions + global penetration for years 2012 and 2002.  Year 1 of the study began with 662 million mobile subscriptions reported in 2002. By 2012 there were 6.4 billion mobile phone subscribers with a 91% global market penetration.  The infographic also states that forty percent of its sales are derived from affiliate marketing.

New era technology companies such as Google and Amazon commercialized the now mainstream marketing principal of “Search Engine Optimization” starting in 1998 according to Wikipedia.  By using onsite ecommerce optimization Amazon took majority share of the US book market, for both print and digital in less than 12 years. Amazon now has 70% market share for the US book market according to Publisher’s Weekly.

The evolution of the internet coined with the technological revolution has provided a global market that connects buyers directly with sellers via a digital middleman. With the compounding expansion of the e-commerce industry there will be a corresponding growth in the online marketing sector irrespective of territory. Search Engine Optimization will initially be at the forefront of that growth post 2013.

According to Wikipedia “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results”.

The premise of SEO marketing is about identifying search engine patterns and then optimizing either the practitioner’s personal content or that of their client’s for prime placement in regards to digital viewing by consumers.

The services provided by SEO specialists (Wikipedia) center on optimizing content across multiple platforms. Each optimized piece of content is strategically formulated to positively influence search engine algorithms. Successful content optimization results in first page rankings and positioning on the e-commerce platforms utilized by the content’s consumers.

Given the growth of e-commerce worldwide consumers will continue to experience daily levels of increasing digital spam. Furthermore as the rate at which transactions between buyers and sellers increase online so too will the reported cases of digital fraud (site). The combined effect of digital spam and fraud on consumers will negatively influence e-commerce growth post 2013 Internet users will become more aware and more preferential when making purchases online.

This indicates that there will be a future need for the human voice in the global digital marketplace. The human voice will add trust and support to purchasing decisions made online.

E-commerce growth demands will cause a shift in online marketing from content based optimization to person based optimization.  Person based optimization centers on the premise that influencers who are easily found online can influence e-commerce consumer buying behavior via word of mouth marketing. These individuals can serve as brand ambassadors for the products and/or services they sell themselves or by corporations, artists, small business owners or the independent workforce.

The influencer (or expert) is easily found online, irrespective of territory, and available on all social networks and e-commerce platforms active consumers for a product or service participate on.

Word of mouth purchasing power will grow in effectiveness and optimization of digital components will be based on social networking discoverability. Social networking discoverability is defined as the level of ease to which an individual can be found online via a blog, social networking site or membership only platform.

The growth and worldwide acceptance of SEO and online marketing in 2013 serves as the origin trigger for the concept of Search Person Optimization (SPO).

Background Information: Search Person Optimization

The above is the opinion and hypothesis of, Kait Neese, only. As of the creation date of this post the term Search Person Optimization has not been used by any other cited sources online. My intention is to create a new concept definition or component of the online marketing mix accepted among marketing professionals worldwide. Search Person Optimization accounts for the social networking factor combined with the power of influencers in the years to come that is currently missing from the digital marketing mix. Kait Neese is the godmother of “Search Person Optimization” and should be considered the founding creator of this terminology.

Supporting Screenshots: (to validate claim above)

Origin Post: January 30st, 2014

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First documented online publication for “Search Person Optimization” by Kait Neese (01/30/14)


Google search results (page 1) of keyword search for “Search Person Optimization” on March 9th, 2014:


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Search Person Optimization: 1st Page Google Search Results on March 9th, 2014


As of the date of publication of this article (03/21/14) there is still no first page listing on google for the keyword search term “Search Person Optimization”:

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Search Person Optimization: First Page Google Search Results for term on March 21st, 2014