Isulong SEOPH: Social Networks - Search Engine Marketing for Web 2.0
Networks – Search Engine Marketing for Web2.0
are getting a lot of attention these days including Wikipedia, del.icio.us and
MySpace. Along with the buzz, these sites are also generating a lot of traffïc!
How can you integrate links for these types of social network sites into your
search engine marketing program? While there are an increasing number of social
networks, this article will stick to the above as they are kings of their
domains so to speak.
I recently had
the opportuníty to attend Search Engine Strategies in New York City this past
February, 2006. While attending a session in regards to community marketing
tactics using both Wikipedia and tagging, the panel asked the audience, "Who
here knows what Wikipedia and tagging are?" - less than half the room
raised their hands.
Let me give
you an overview of these concepts.
Wikipedia is a
frëe community content driven encyclopedia. I have included an excerpt about
Wikipedia from their about section located at About Wikipedia.
"Begun in 2001, Wikipedia has rapidly grown into the
largest reference website on the Internet. The content of Wikipedia is frëe,
written collaboratively by people from all around the world. This website is a
wiki, which means that anyone with access to an Internet-connected computer can
edit, correct, or improve information throughout the encyclopedia, simply by
clicking the edit this page link (with a few minor exceptions such as protected
Your benefits of using Wikipedia as an online marketing strategy are various.
To begin with, your submitted content about your product or company may be very
short and simple to begin with. As your content ages and more members view and
contribute to your content with edit revisions, your content submission will
grow and grow. For example, your submission may start out as a forty word brief
that may turn into a multi-page article. Additionally, Wikipedia has a good
Google Page Rank of 9 which will help boost your website's PR with a quality
backlink from your submitted content. Finally, using keywords that relate to
your site in your contribution will assist you in controlling more space within
the search engine results' pages for your particular brand, product or name.
For example, doing a Google Search for the term "Microsoft" returns a
Wikipedia content entry about Microsoft in the tenth position of the Google
SERP for "Microsoft".
only submit content about a famous person, a patented product your company
invented, a trademarked brand, famous places, etc. When you write your content
you will want to write from an extremely neutral viewpoint. Don't write all
sorts of features and benefits; write more factual based information related to
your subject. Your focus needs to be the community and not your subject. Tread
lightly, the community is helpful to assist you in producing additional
content, but be careful of keyword spamming and link spamming.
are many benefits to using Wikipedia for SEM, there are also just as many
caveats to using it. Submitting content to Wikipedia is a double-edged sword.
You will only want to contribute to Wikipedia if your product or service is of
relevance to the community. Using spammy techniques in your content or
submitting an entry that has no real value such as "another affíliate
website" could have the opposite of desired effect by producing negative
feedback about your brand or product from the community.
Tagging on the
other hand doesn't have quite the negative drawbacks as posting to Wikipedia.
is a collection of favorites - yours and everyone else's. Use
- Keep links to your favorite articles,
blogs, music, restaurant reviews, and more on del.icio.us and access them
from any computer on the web.
- Share favorites with friends, family, and
- Discover new things. Everything on
del.icio.us is someone's favorite - they've already done the work of
finding it. Explore and enjoy."
There are a
few simple techniques for commercial tagging through community type sites such
as del.icio.us: create bookmark worthy content or link bait, get your tags in
front of the right people or choose the right category, give your created tags
only one self generated bump in del.icio.us, rinse and repeat about once a
month. Below is an excerpt from del.icio.us to help you answer what various
parts of tags are:
When a user
saves an item on del.icio.us, it is posted to the front page as well as the tag
page for each chosen tag. A sample is below explaining the various information
Here is a
del.icio.us example listing under the tag "web 2.0":
What Is Web 2.0 save this
to web2.0 oreilly article
reference ... saved by 2938 other people .
You will first
notice the title with the link to the site, next is an option to save the link
to your tags. Secondly, you see a Username Scottcard. Here you can clíck the
username to see Scottcard's tags. Next you can clíck on the next links to see
other related-sites within those tags. Lastly, you will see a highlighted link
where you can view the members who have saved this site.
The good and
the bad of tagging is that you will receive good quality backlinks to your site
and increase visibility. The bad is that the majority of the time your tags
will be removed from community members because the members are technically
savvy and intolerant of any type of commercial push. Choose your keywords
wisely and make sure your tag is in the right place and contributes to the
community. Other tagging sites to consider are: Technorati and Digg.
There are many others, but these are the ones that matter.
I see tagging
or social bookmarking sites such as del.icio.us gaining in popularity within
the next three years as blogs did two years ago. Yahoo has already taken notice
by purchasing del.icio.us and flickr. Digg.com and furl.com
are also making headway. Other sources to consider are the social network sites
for developing a web2.0 SEM strategy.
MySpace is the current king of social
networks, as it is literally a social-space network with 2.5 times more daily
users than Google (psst, this is a huge untapped market). The domain dates back
to 1999 where it was originally an online hard-drive of sorts. The current rendition
took hold in 2003 making MySpace barely three years old. The main demographic
is made up of teens to 20-somethings. The music industry is currently using
MySpace as a marketing tool, not the labels themselves, but the bands. For
example, Pearl Jam is announcing their upcoming release for May with sample
songs and concert date announcements. One of their sample songs from their
upcoming albums is one of the most played songs across the entire MySpace
network. Independent film makers have also taken notice. In February 2006,
amatëur filmmaker David Lehre released a short film called MySpace: The Movie.
This short film has quickly become a hit, registering over six million views
following its release.
from MySpace traffïc is pretty straight forward. You will want to create a user
profile and post links to your company or websites such as blogs, feeds, etc.
Profile note, you can post html code in any field regarding your profile. Next,
create your social pipeline of users and keep the demographic inline with any
product or link you wish to shamelessly promote in the future. You don't want
to get spammy here either. The downside would be getting your user profile
terminated from MySpace or members posting negative comments within your
profile. Again, tread lightly by thinking neutral and keep the benefit of the
community in mind.
opportuníty costs associated with community based SEM are very high. However,
tagging in particular may be time prohibitive for most organizations as it
requires a lot of trial and error. Tagging can seem like a waste of time as
most tagging submissions will be removed by community members who find your
submission "spammy". Time spent on tagging isn't a problem for most
sole proprietors, but can be costly to your employer who is left with little
equitable return to show for your time spent.
Web2.0 sites such as Wikipedia, del.icio.us and MySpace, will prove effective
for your business if done properly. Remember to tread lightly, don't use
"spammy" techniques and stay neutral keeping the benefit of the
community at heart in your content development. Doing so will help your
business to avoid a negative backlash toward your brand from the community you
are developing content for.
Warren Pattison is the Director of Search for Elixir Systems, a full service
search engine marketing company specializing in organic search engine
optimization services, online public relations management and paid search or
PPC management. For more information visit ElixirSystems.com. This article can
also be viewed at http://www.elixirsystems.com/articles/a060322.php.