David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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Archive for the ‘bookmarking’ Category

Contest: The Mixx baby is napping

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

This being April Fool’s Day, you might be expecting me to post some kind of prank or hoax.  I don’t have a prank for you, but it might be time for a “fun” post, which hasn’t happened on this blog since Bugs Bunny came to visit a year ago.

I was recently trying to submit something to Mixx, but I kept getting that napping baby screen. 

mixxnapping

After a while, I thought to myself, “Hey, this Mixx baby has been napping for quite a while.”  And sure enough, when I looked at the photo, I discovered that it had been napping for quite a while.  Have you ever seen a fuller diaper?

So today, I am running a photo caption contest.  Who can come up with the best caption for this photo.  I suggest you post your entry here and also at Mixx .

The rules:

  1. There are no rules. 
  2. The winner will be chosen totally arbitrarily based on how I feel when I choose a winner, the alignment of the stars and the percentage of starfish in the Indian Ocean who say they prefer honey to jam on their toast.
  3. There is no deadline.  At some point, probably after the Easter recess, I’ll pick a winner.

The prize:

One Mixx submission.  I will submit something for you to Mixx, assuming you have something interesting (again, my arbitrary decision).  There are no guarantees implied with this prize.

With so much on the line, I hope you’ll come up with some creative and unique captions.

You can easily share this post by clicking on reTWEET this.

 


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Comradez for social bookmarking

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Comradez for social bookmarking

If you plan to promote your website and it’s great content through social bookmarking and other social media, you probably fall into two camps:

  1. You submit every blog post and every article to each of 5, 10, 20 or more social bookmarking websites.  Then you leave…and show up the next time to repeat the process.  If so, you typically get a single vote (your own), driving no traffic and creating negligible ripples in the search engine rankings.
  2. You submit your own content, you make friends and submit their content, you vote for and comment on others’ submissions and become an active member of the community.  If your content is good and you are a consistent friend to others, you are probably building a following and incrementally increasing your traffic.  You are also probably gaining a lot of reasonably valuable links for the search engines to include in their ranking of your website.

comradezIf you fit into the latter category, there is a fairly new service available that will help you reach a wider audience: Comradez.net.

 

Comradez is a social community of people who want to boost exposure to their submissions at various social bookmarking websites.  It works on what I call a non-binding reciprocity basis, which I like.

  • Reciprocity, because if you ask people to vote up your submissions, you are expected to do the same for others.
  • Non-binding, because nobody is checking who votes for whose submissions, so you are free to vote for the ones you like and not to vote for those you don’t. (Sorry, if I think the submission is crap, I don’t vote for it).

People are organized into groups.  For instance, if you join the StumbleUpon group, you can ask folks to ThumbsUp your blog post or article.  In the Digg group, you can ask people to digg your submission.  This is just one more way to reach other serious users of the same social bookmarking service, and expand the number of votes your submission is likely to get.  Remember that success in most things is a matter of having good substance and letting people know about it.

A few tips on how to use Comradez.

  1. Fill in your complete profile.  This is the kind of place where people check you out to see what other opportunities there might be for collaborations.  Those opportunities might be guest blog post, submitting your content for you, link exchange, joint venture, etc.
  2. Give first.  Like every social website, the number 1 rule is give first, then ask.  If you are about to ask for a Mixx or a Reddit, check out other people’s Mixx or Reddit requests.  Remember that you don’t have to vote for something you truly don’t like.  And you shouldn’t.  Trading votes is in fact against the terms of service of most of these websites.
  3. When you post a request for support, tell us what the title and/or topic is.  Why?  Because if I see a few dozen requests in several groups I belong to, and four of them give me an idea what they are before I click, I am more likely to click on them and ignore the other 20 requests.  It’s a pretty well-proven principle that “click here” (or in this case “please Digg”) is much less effective than giving people a reason to click.  See samples below.
  4. Make sure to thank the people who mentioned that they supported you.  This is networking, and in all such situations people like to be appreciated.
  5. If you are worried about getting banned on Digg or any other service, you will be comforted to know that all links posted links Comradez automatically convert to bit.ly links. This includes diggbar and su.pr links.  So all the social bookmarking site sees as a referrer is a bit.ly link. You can also delete your post after members finished voting it, if you wish
comradezgood

comradezbad

 

Comradez should not be your only tool to expand your exposure.  Most social bookmarking websites have internal share tools, so you can share with the network you build up.  You should also use Twitter and/or FaceBook.  You should also make it easy for people to vote for your content right from your blog or article pages (We offer a free tool to make this easy: TheBookmarketer).  Comradez is a handy service that should also be part of the mix.

 


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El Marcadorado updated

Friday, May 15th, 2009

  

We have just made a major update to El Marcadorado for those of you  who have Spanish-language blogs and websites you want publicized.  El Marcadorado is the Spanish-language version of TheBookmarketer …a simple script that you add to your pages to encourage your visitors to social bookmark them.  In fact, we are pretty sure this is the only service of its kind for the Hispanic world.

Acabamos de hacer una actualización mayor a El Marcadorado para los que tienen blogs y sitios web en español. El Marcadorado es una herramienta sencilla que usted añade a sus páginas para favorecer a sus visitantes a marcar sus páginas en sitios “marcadores sociales”. De verdad, estamos bastante seguros que esto es el único servicio de su clase para el mundo latino.

This time we have added / Acabamos de añadir :

We have also removed a number of old social bookmarking websites which have gone the way of Furl and Magnolia in English.

 


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SEO Strategies for Financial Websites

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Here are a few SEO tips specific to financial websites. 

First, understand that people are very sensitive and possessive about their money.  Your website has to ooze credibility if you want to convert traffic to customers.  You probably know this already, but keep it in mind when you hire an SEO consultant.  He or she needs to make sure that SEO changes do not reduce the credibility of the website.

Are you selling services locally or nationally/globally?  If you are selling locally, there is no point fighting for national rankings.  People will search for “bookkeeping southern California” if they need somebody local, and you have a fighting chance to rank for that search term.  But the investment required to compete with all the other sites and outrank them for “bookkeeping” just isn’t worth it.

Design your website around the services you offer.  Don’t place a link in the main navigation menu that says just “services”.  Have a page for accounting, a page for bookkeeping, a page for tax filing, a page for each individual service you offer.  Why?  Two reasons:

  1. A page centered around bookkeeping has a better chance ranking well for “bookkeeping southern California” than a page centered around services.  The focus on one topic makes it clearer to the search engines what the page is about.
  2. People searching for a specific service, such as bookkeeping, should land on a page specifically about what they search for.  You will convert more visitors that way.  And nobody searches for financial services; they search for the specific service they need, whether it be insurance, or accounting, or investment advice, etc.

Make sure you are participating on Tipd.com and PFbuzz.com.  These are great places to get ideas for link-bait viral content.  It’s a great place to submit your own content (search-engine-friendly links) and get the attention of financial bloggers who might be interested in linking to your content.

Most SEO strategies and tactics can be applied across almost any sector, so don’t forget to do all the good things you would for any other website.  What I mention in this post are a few items that are specific to financial websites.

 


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Ethical SEO or SEO Spam

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

You cannot always believe what you read, and in SEO you have to be very careful.  Take for instance the good folks at OutsourcingforSEO.com .  They repeatedly spam Zoomit Canada with non-Canadian submissions.  I have deleted several dozen accounts, but they keep creating new ones.  They don’t seem to get the message or they are gluttons for fruitless work.  They also seem to have figured out a hack to add many more tags per submission than the form allows.  One day last month they even created accounts with names like danysulivan8 and leeoden4 and johnbatele4, mimicking the names of high-profile SEO consultants (I know these colleagues to be reputable, but imagine what can happen to their reputations if such accounts are being created elsewhere!).  I suppose they thought I might let their submissions pass if I thought somebody respectable was doing the submitting.

seo-spammer

Of course, this all must be part of their “Ethical SEO Website Traffic Services”, as seen in the screen capture below that I took just before deleting another of their spam posts.

SEO spam to the extreme

I think this is the first time I have ever called out another SEO company. It’s not that I haven’t seen plenty of pure spam and plenty of questionable stuff, too. But it’s a slippery slope and I’m not big on rating other SEO consultants. But these guys are so determined to keep spamming Zoomit Canada, over and over and over and over, that I’ll make an exception. If anybody knows of a spammer award, I would love to have this company submitted.  After that, committed.

The moral of the story is to be very careful who you hire for SEO services.  This company is submitting its client websites, too, exposing them to potential sanctions from the search engines and being banned by other social bookmarking websites, too.  You don’t want a purposeful spammer representing your website.

 


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Furl Removed From TheBookmarketer

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

The BookMarketer<br /> Free bookmarketing power tool

The popular social bookmarking website Furl, one of the originals, has been removed from TheBookmarketer.

Why have we taken such a harsh step? Because Furl has folded; it no longer exists.

Why have you not heard about it from other social bookmarking services? Because TheBookmarketer keeps its database updated better than most other social bookmarking aggregators.

Last month we removed Magnolia, when it also folded.  Not all social bookmarking aggregators are keeping up on the comings and goings of social bookmarking services.  In fact, some still feature Spurl, a service that discontinued a year ago.  And very few have added Tipd or Zoomit or Plime, three up-and-coming social bookmarking websites.

 


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The Bookmarketer adds Tipd, Plugim, Plime

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Financial bloggers finally have a social bookmarking tool that includes Tipd.com, the niche social bookmarking website for financial news. Now there are five excellent reasons to add The Bookmarketer to your blog:

The BookMarketer<br />Free bookmarketing power tool

1. It is the most up-to-date social bookmarking service, including emerging social bookmarking websites such as Tipd, Plime, Plugim, Shoutwire, Stumpedia, Socialogs, PostOnFire and Jamespot. (I am user “amabaie” at all of these; come be my friend.)

2. It is the least out-of-date social bookmarking service. Many others still have Spurl, which discontinued public services a year ago, and Magnolia, which folded earlier this year.

3. It displays more popular social bookmarking icons on your blog post, increasing the likelihood your readers will use it and bookmark your posts.

4. Finacial bloggers finally have a social bookmarking tool that included Tipd.

5. Canadian bloggers finally have a tool that includes Zoomit Canada.

The Bookmarketer is a free social bookmarking service to help increase the readership of your blog or website, and increase the links you attract from other websites. Just cut-and-paste the code, and off you go. Toy can see The Bookmarketer in action at the bottom of this post.

 


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The more links on a domain the better?

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Dear reader, let me be a heretic once more.

We all know, or at least assume, that having multiple links to the same URL from a domain is an exercise in diminishing returns as far as search engine rankings are concerned.  That is to say, if you score a link to your home page from one page on a domain, any additional links to your home page from other pages on that same domain are worth less.  And the more links to your home page from that domain, the less each one is worth.

This makes sense.  If a domain has 1000 pages, a sitewide link cannot be viewed as 1000 endorsements for your home page.

But the web is a changing place, and in the past few months, services have been cropping up to submit your website to 1000 and even 2000 social bookmarking websites.  These services are similar to all those directory submission services and the article submission services, and they are often offered by the same people.  On the surface of it, there is nothing wrong, but it does require a reaction from the search engines.

But first, a personal rant.  Submitting your home page to 2000 social bookmarking sites is NOT social bookmarking.  It is bookmarking, but it is NOT social.  If it was social, these services would be promoting your page on these sites, networking with other users, and you would end up with several links at any one social bookmarking site (assuming your content is actually interesting).

OK, that was more than just a personal rant.*  In fact, I’ll bet the search engines are noticing the same thing and looking at the same numbers and raising one of their search engine eyebrows right now.  If there are thousands of single-link entries at each social bookmarking website, most of which are essentially paid links, should those each be worth more than each entry that garnered, let’s say 12 Diggs or Zooms?  Those dozen votes clearly are exactly the type of recommendations the search engines look for in their algorithms.  Single links at social bookmarking websites clearly are not.  Each Digg or Zoom should be worth more than each single entry.  In fact, we might even go so far as to say that the more Diggs or Zooms, the more each one should be worth.

What should the search engines do?  Clearly, their algorithms must distinguish between sitewide links and links that appear numerous times independently on the same website.  This is true not just for social bookmarking sites, but also for forums where a resource might be cited in numerous threads over time.

Maybe Google and Yahoo and MSN already do this.  Maybe I’m not being that heretical after all.  Naw, that just would be too out-of-character.

* It qualifies as a rant because I capitalized the “NOT”.  Twice.

 


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Link bait lesson from Matt Cutts

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Matt Cutts, Google’s public face for webmasters and search engine consultants, has shown us how to do link bait.  Oops, I mean, how to do really good quality content.  Yeah, that’s what I meant to say.

Here is the link bait…I mean content:

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/9-google-mobile-iphone-tips/ 

Note that it is a numbered list, and not a “top 10″ list.  Matt chose a top 9 list, which is just a little offbeat..  Note that there are plenty of illustrations.  And the text and images combined are useful – actually demonstrating how to do something - not just silly stuff (although sometimes I like silly stuff, too).

Matt submitted it to Digg: 

http://digg.com/apple/9_Tips_for_Google_s_New_Voice_Recognition_App_for_iPhone

As of now, it has 42 Diggs. 

Study it hard, becasue even if your content doesn’t get more than one or two Diggs, this is how the Google guru prepares his content, so you can’t go wrong posting something like this on your website. 

There now, Matt just got a link from me as a result of his quality content.  You see?  It works. 

 


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Canada finally has social bookmarking

Friday, November 14th, 2008

If you are a Canadian who enjoys online social networking, you might have spent some time as an orphan.  You don’t find much Canadian coverage at the big US-based social bookmarking websites like Digg and Reddit.  During the heat of the federal election, there was nary a whisper about Harper or Dion – it was all McCain and Obama.  That’s natural, because stories are voted to prominence by the membership, most of whom don’t know whether a Harper bounces nor how one would properly inflate a Dion.

You are no longer an orphan!

We have set up a made-in-Canada social bookmarking website just for you: Zoomit Canada.  If you are Canadian, please come and join.  And please tell all your friends.

If you are not Canadian, please tell all your Canadian friends.  Canadians have plenty to talk about – help us give them somewhere to do it.

 


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