David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

BlogEngage and Blokube added to TheBookmarketer

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Once again, we’ve improved The Bookmarketer by adding two new sites that I have been using quite a bit lately (high time they were added).

TheBookmarketer is a blogger’s best friend, making it easy for readers to spread the word about blog posts they like. Two lines of code posted into the template for single posts, and they have instant access to post a link and recommendation to your blog on 75 websites. In addition to popular social bookmarking websites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, OldDogg and Delicious, your blog posts can now be easily added to these more recent social bookmarking gems.

blogengage-header

BlogEngage is a vibrant new community of bloggers that is more of a community than most social bookmarking sites, perhaps because its user base are strictly bloggers, who tend to be very networking-friendly folks. What impresses me most about this is the attention that Brian, who runs the site, gives to the members. I really must tell this story….

About a week ago, I got an email from Brian. He was concerned about some irregular voting patterns and wanted to know if I had created shadow accounts to vote up my submissions. Of course, I had not; I run multiple Twitter accounts, but I do not have multiple accounts at any voting sites. Brian had highlighted several accounts that had voted mostly for my stuff. Those who know me, know that I am not shy about letting friends know where I submit things, so it is not surprising that a few friends followed me over. It turns out that some of the accounts concerned had submitted several of their own items, some before I had even signed up at BlogEngage. But there were two that really did look suspicious. One of them had signed up just because I had submitted his blog post. That one made sense to me. The other, I have no idea who he was, but he signed up the same day, voted for nothing but my stuff and really did look like a shadow account. But it wasn’t. It was like being stalked. Hopefully his/her IP address has been tracked down.

But the moral of the story is that Brian took the time to ask questions rather than just chop off someone’s head.

How does this compare to the big boys of social bookmarking?

  • DIGG: I have had lost an account at Digg. I was able to reach them and have my account reinstated (with no explanation), only to have it removed two weeks later (still with no explanation).
  • PROPELLER: I have lost an account at Propeller (remember Propeller?) with no explanation and my inquiry emails several times ignored. I have known many other to suffer the same fate at propeller, and it might even have been accidental (they were notoriously understaffed and technically challenged).
  • NEWSVINE: My account at NewsVine was deleted, and again several emails of mine were ignore (I assume it was because my mostly dormant account suddenly signed up to join several groups, but I am still scratching my head as to why deciding to become active would be a bad thing and why they would refuse to even answer an email).
  • MIXX: And I have known many people to lose their accounts at Mixx, some to be reinstated; at least that is a sign that Mixx (soon to be “the former Mixx”; I will very much miss them) responds to emails.
  • REDDIT: As to Reddit, they have discovered how to be truly evil to accounts they don’t like.  They just disable your account but let you think your account is still functioning. Anybody who submits their own blog posts – no matter how great the content is – will sooner or later have their account disabled. Unless they visit the account while logged off, they will never even know.

So with all this rudeness going around, BlogEngage gets a 10 out of 10 for being classy.

blokube2

BloKube is another young community of strictly bloggers interested in sharing tips and stories related to blogs and blog promotion. This is not the place to submit your blog posts on equestrian fashion or on Japanese cuisine. But it is a great place to learn how to improve your blog’s content, style, functionality and promotion – no matter what you blog’s topic is.

And I should not miss this opportunity to remind you that if your blog is Canadian, you really should be submitting posts also to http://www.Zoomit.ca (and voting for other good submissions while you are there).

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

How Two Webmasters Discovered 25,000 Surprise Backlinks

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Two Canadian webmasters were reviewing their website stats, and discovered 25,000 new backlinks from one domain. This is how they did it – and how you can, too.

It should be noted that the link-building technique that will be described here is applicable to everyone. However, the precise mechanics of it are available to you only if your website:

1) Is Canadian.
2) Features informational content, such as a blog, a photo gallery or an articles directory (This is 2010 – if you are even considering SEO as a means of attracting traffic, I am sure that informational content is part of your plan, right?).

backlinks-street-sign

A Tale of Two (Canadian) Webmasters

Vancouverite Daniel Snyder, of Info Carnivor, was first to notice. He discovered 15,000 new backlinks from one domain, and that left him puzzled. He had only submitted two of his blog posts to the site, so how come he suddenly had 15,000 backlinks.

Next it was Hamilton-based Jim Rudnick, of Canuck SEO, who’s website saw a “sudden increase of inbound backlinks – 25,000 brand new ones” – and all from the same domain. He asked the support team at his stats tracking supplier to double-check this obvious error, but they confirmed it was right.

What Was the Site and How Could This Happen?

The site – or should I say “the domain” (I’ll explain the distinction shortly) – is Zoomit Canada, a social bookmarking website just for Canadian news, blogs, articles, etc. If you are familiar with Digg and Mixx, you will understand how Zoomit works.

So how did they do it? That is simple enough. They submitted their blog posts to Zoomit, and they did a little bit of networking (voting for/commenting on other people’s submissions). Because both Daniel and Jim submitted good quality content and supported the good quality content of others, other folks also voted for their submissions – enough to be voted to the front page.

And that’s when the magic happened.

As with most social bookmarking websites, it’s when a story gets voted to the front page that the inbound links really begin to count. This is the case with big social bookmarking websites, like Digg and Mixx, as well as with smaller ones like Old Dogg and MMO Social Network.

As I said above, what we are discussing here is applicable to everyone. However, the precise mechanics are available only to Canadian content. You see, Zoomit added an extra twist that you won’t find on those other social bookmarking websites – a top domains widget.

Look down the right side of the page and see that there is a “Top Domains” widget that lists the 20 top domains in alphabetical order. In other words, submit your post, network a bit and you’ve got yourself thousands of backlinks.

What Are All These Links Worth?

Now you might ask, what are these links worth, SEO-wise. You might have heard that a sitewide link isn’t worth all that much. This makes a great case study to separate fact from fiction. Here are four points to consider:

First, 25,000 links from one domain are nowhere near as useful as 25,000 links from 25,000 domains. Link diversity does count for both Google and Bing.

Second, 25,000 links from one domain are better than 24,000 links from one domain. And both are better than a single link from that domain. Yes, every link counts.

Third, a sitewide link in most cases (certainly in this case) includes a link on the home page, something that is generally considered quite valuable in SEO. In this case, the home page is PR4.

Fourth, look at the Zoomit Canada site structure. Each province and each news channel is hosted on a separate subdomain. Subdomains are generally treated by the search engines as separate websites. In all, this website – oops, sorry… I mean this “domain” – includes 13 province subdomains, 21 channel subdomains, plus the main domain. That adds up to 35 home page links by being a “top domain” on Zoomit Canada.

Given the effort in building quality links, and the unlikelihood that you’ll ever have links from 25,000 different domains – and possibly not even from 2,500 domains, the effort to get those 25,000 links from one strong domain is worthwhile. Lucky Canadian webmasters who benefit.

Don’t despair if you post non-Canadian content. Social bookmarking and other social sharing is a great strategy, and every great piece of content (quality stuff, not $25 articles written offshore by someone who knows about as much of your topic as my neighbour’s cat and writes in something that almost exactly fails to resemble English) you create and promote creates links back to your website.

Every sales person, every lobbyist, every entrepreneur, every preacher, every person who wants to deliver a message knows that the most important words are “Please” and “Thank You”.

So a big “Thank you” to Daniel and Jim for inspiring this post.

And (shameless plug alert) please let us know if you need writers for your content – to write good quality, meaningful posts – the type that my neighbour’s cat just can’t produce for you – and promote them in the world of social media.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

OLdDogg is added to TheBookMarketer

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

The Bookmarketer free bookmarketing power tool         olddoggjpg

We pride ourselves on offering bloggers one of the more up-to-date tools that encourages readers to social bookmark their posts. This tool is of course, TheBookMarketer.And one of the biggest changes in Social Bookmarking in the past year was the death of Propeller and the almost simultaneous arrival of OldDogg.

We are pleased to be one of the first social bookmarking tools to remove Propeller and to add OldDogg. (Are we the first? Can anybody tell me?)

Here is the code to install TheBookmarketer on your pages:

<center>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.seo-writer.com/tools/bookmarketer.js">
</script><br>
<a href="http://www.seo-writer.com/tools/bookmarker.php" style="font-size:70%">
Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site</a></center>

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Propeller’s Funeral is OldDogg’s Baptism

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Tomorrow we will celebrate a funeral and a baptism of sorts.  OK, perhaps “celebrating” a funeral is not the best choice of words, but today is Propeller‘s last day.  (But “celebration” is a great word for OldDogg‘s baptism!)  If you’ve been around social media for only the past couple years, you might be asking, “What is Propeller?”  and “What is the big deal”.

FIRST, the funeral…

propellerOnce upon a time, Netscape – remember Netscape, the most popular Web browser in the world until Bill Gates got it in his sights? – set up a social bookmarking service to rival Digg and Reddit.  It began to grow and looked like it might be a contender, until Netscape itself began to wither away.

Eventually, when there was not much left of Netscape, with its last dying breath (OK, it didn’t quite die, just sort of whimpered into limbo), Netscape sold its social bookmarking service to AOL.  Yay, a big, successful company to revive the still thriving but pretty-much-orphaned site.

AOL took immediate action.  It creating new branding for the site under the name of Propeller.  It gave light.  It gave hope.  It gave a spare corner of a dusty old closet in the basement.

Oops.

That was 2007, and ever since, Propeller has slowly been withering away.  Just a year ago, it would still take at least 12 votes on  bad day for a story to make the front page.  A few months ago, we started seeing  stories make the front page with a single vote.  In the past couple months, it was rare for a story to need more than one or two votes to make the front page.

Propeller was dead, but still it walked on.  Or crawled.  And tomorrow the euthenasiaists finally do their dirty work and put the zombie out of its misery.

THEN, a baptism…

olddoggjpgFor those diehard Propeller loyalists and for others seeking a place to go, a new social bookmarking website was born – OldDogg.

The “others” I am referring to are most specifically refugees form “New Digg”.  A month ago, Digg resolutely decided to ignore the lessons of Coca Cola, and launched a new version whose main intent was to pull the rug out from under the 20%-or-so of its most loyal and regular users, its very heart and soul….and give it to Big-time publishers.  

Suddenly, there was a significant group of passionate social bookmarking fans in search of a place to go.  Overnight – literally – Phil Mitchell in his UK home office (a 12 foot by 12 foot room with two monitors and a 3.5ghz 4gb ram computer) put up a brand new social bookmarking website called OldDogg.  If that was not impressive enough, for his next act he wooed the Digg refugees over.

Let’s be clear.  Old Dogg was basically a Pligg clone with some new skin.  It was – and still is – no Digg.  And many disgruntled Diggers are returning to Digg.  But Phil laboured away, coding faster than the speed of Tiger Woods at a sorority party, and the site has really come together since those early days just a month ago. 

olddogggraph
In the first 25 days the site had clocked up over 27,000 votes and 1,500 comments.

  • Diggers who are returning to Digg don’t seem to be leaving OldDogg.  At least for now, they are keeping one foot on each site.
  • Every day, OldDogg is getting new members from pretty much all over the place.
  • Over the past week I have seen a significant Propeller diaspora showing up.
  • I should note that I see a healthy dose of my Mixx friends on OldDogg, too.

Born one month ago, it’s time to hold a baptism and say that here we have both a refuge for fed up Diggers and a homeland for lost Propellerheads (sorry).

What does the future hold for OldDogg?  It is hard to say.  It all depends on whether Phil can make it scalable.  I had given him this advice: “There are always a gazillion ways 2 improve (everything Digg used to have, I guess), but right now IMHO you need more non-power-users first.”

He seems to be doing just that, and the timing of Propeller’s funeral is a stroke of luck for OldDogg, as it has added a very active group  members.  But with more members comes the need for more complex coding (I can’t follow what my friends submit , as I can on Mixx and used to be able to on Propeller and Digg, for example).  And Phil Mitchell will need to assemble a team that is bigger than just Phil Mitchell.

These are more than the ramblings of an uneducated observer.  Unlike Phil’s instant success, I have been running Zoomit.ca totally on my spare time (exactly!), and I don’t do PHP coding (so I have to empty my pockets to make upgrades).  With time and money both in short supply, I’ve been doing a slow motion version of what he has done with OldDogg (but watch in the next couple weeks for some exciting upgrades to Zoomit.ca, too!).

From what I have seen over the past month, Phil is probably up to the task.  Keep your eyes on OldDogg; I predict it’s here to stay.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

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.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

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.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

Who owns your Twitter account?

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

So here is a legal conundrum.  You’ve been active on a number of social media websites, such as Twitter, FaceBook or Digg.  You have amassed a number of friends and followers and built a certain amount of credibility.  You leave your job – take a better position elsewhere, move to another city, get laid off or fired – doesn’t matter the reason.

Who owns your Twitter account?  Your FaceBook account?  Etc.

I thought it was a very straightforward question, too.  If it’s in your name, it’s yours.  If it’s in the company’s name, it’s the company’s.  Period. Or maybe not period.  Maybe question mark.

A legal viewpoint has been sought and diligently reported on by Glenn Gabe.  The comments, which are not to be taken as legal advice, came from lawyer Mike Pisauro.  He covered five scenarios, which I’ll list here but you can go to the original post to read the details.

  1. Grandfathered Twitter Accounts
  2. Twitter Account Already Established, But Employee Has Agreed That Twitter Will Be Part Of His Job
  3. Twitter Accounts Set Up While An Employee Is Working At A Company
  4. The Employee Is The Official Social Media Marketer For The Company
  5. The Employee Is The Official Social Media Marketer And Has Set Up The Account As Part Of The Marketing Effort

For what it’s worth, I think a key point is missing.  In whose name is the account set up?  Let’s take a scenario where Mary Wilkins is hired to do communications for ACME . and she is told that she needs to tweet nice things about the company, but to set it up in her name, not in the company’s name.  There are a number of reasons ACME might want her to tweet in her own name, rather than the company’s.

  • They might be trying to avoid liability for what an employee might publicly say.
  • They might want her comments to have an air of objectivity.
  • They might not want to be held to anything she tweets.
  • Thjey might want people to connect with a real human being, not an impersonal company.

All these reasons have one common element – they all imply that the company does not want to be associated with the account.  They all are purposeful actions to refuse ownership of the account.  I have a very hard time believing, legal genius that I am not, that any court would be able to ignore that fact if the real owner — the employee — articulated that argument well.

On the other hand, if the account was set up in the company’s name by the employee, overtly being the ACME account, I cannot imagine for a moment that a court would award ownership of the account to the employee.

The only place I see as being murky is if the account is personal in the person’s name and that person is the official spokesperson for the company and promoted as such.  For isnstance if a Twitter account is @MaryWilkins and the ACME logo is used as the background.  Situations 4 and 5 above could fall into that class.

Of course, my legal opinion and a dime will buy you a drink at the public water fountain, so if you are a) hiring someone who will be running social media accounts on your behalf or b) being hired by a company wanting you to run its social media accounts, get the prenuptials down in writing ahead of time.

So now, the real burning legal issue:

Q: Who owns the Twitter account?
A: Twitter.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

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.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

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.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

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 BookMarketerFree 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.

 


Grab The Bookmarketer For Your Site

David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

Close