SEO 2.0: Social Media Bag of Tricks
The advent of Web 2.0 created new opportunities for Web site operators to gain traffic and search engine placement for their sites. Using the right techniques, and avoiding common pitfalls, can help build traffic for your site and gain it higher placement in search results.
In 2004 the term "Web 2.0" was originated by O'Reilly Media. The "2.0" means that this is the second generation of Web usage.
Web 2.0 has created a variety of new and innovative ways to promote Web sites using social bookmarking, social networking, blogging, wikis, RSS Feeds and video feeds. These all allow and encourage user interaction, thus the term "social" is often involved. Search engine optimization now relies on using Web 2.0 methods to increase web traffic and exposure on the Web.
Many different methods are now available for new Web sites to easily build a Web presence without spending a fortune. This allows you to market your Web site to thousands of Web users.
Social bookmarking sites are communities where people can share and view their bookmarks from any computer. The more bookmarks a site has, the more traffic it will receive. The most popular bookmarks are shown on the Web site's homepage, giving tons of exposure to the URL. This is a form of guerilla and viral marketing.
Each bookmark can be tagged with keywords, making it easily accessible for yourself and others searching for the same keywords. People searching for the same tags that are in your bookmarks will see your bookmarks.
As more people bookmark your site on these social bookmarking Web sites, your traffic and exposure will increase accordingly. You can even share your entire collection of bookmarks to your friends and family. This is great for temporarily increasing traffic to your site.
Social networking sites typically require you to sign up and create a profile about yourself or business. Web sites should have a profile on the major social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace. Once you have created your site you will want to join groups that are related to your business and industry.
You can even start new groups about any topic. The next step is to make friends on these sites. A good approach is to view other related sites and leave them comments, with your link in there. This will draw attention to your profile and ultimately your site. Do not spam every profile with your link!
Make sure your comments are relevant and deserve a link to your page. There is the chance of secondary links, as people often blog about things they have seen or read in the social networking sites. This can be a tedious process, but well worth the end results as more people will learn about your site and your offerings.
Blogs, Wikis and RSS Feeds
In recent years it seems that Google has placed more emphasis on blogs and wikis, rather than forums. Blogs and Wikis are more interactive and have fresh, new, easily accessible content. Blogs and Wikis are a great way to promote, get back links, and add fresh content to Web sites.
It is recommended to blog as often as possible, but one to two entries a month are more than enough. Each post can be linked back to your Web site, thus adding another link to your site. Also, blogging adds fresh, new content to your site. Remember that content and links are the prominent forces on the search engine's algorithm, so the more you have, the better off you are (as long as they are relevant). There are many free blog hosting sites that are SEO friendly, the big two being Google's Blogger and Yahoo's WordPress.
Blogs are interactive as comments can be posted, sometimes with links to other sites. It is a good idea to post comments in other people's blogs. Comments should contain relevant information, and if suitable add a link back to your blog or Web site. RSS Feeds allow for Internet users to subscribe to your blog. Subscribers to your blog will receive an e-mail notification whenever you add a new post to your blog.
This means that the search engines can pick up the keywords and add the video to the search engine results. Tests have shown that adding a video to the Web with proper tags will get it into the top rankings for those keywords. This is only temporary, but a great way to promote yourself on highly competitive keywords.
The number of views affects how often the video shows up on the video sharing sites. The more views a video has the more exposure it will receive. Videos also allow for comments to be posted on them, both rating and critiquing the video.
The NoFollow Tag
As of lately, the major search engines have become keen to link building manipulation.
Web sites have been aware of this for years, using the NoFollow attribute to prevent spiders reading the link and counting it as a back link. Each search engine reads the NoFollow link differently. Both Google and Yahoo follow the NoFollow link, but do not view it as a link for search engine rankings. Ask does not adhere to NoFollow attribute.
I have compiled a list of social networking sites that do not use the NoFollow, making them great for social networking while building up links.
Brandon Leibowitz is president of SEO Optimizers, a provider of Internet marketing services, specializing in search engine optimization.