So much discussion in the SEO community today centers around social media because of its potential to drive traffic, increase awareness, and build links. The challenge of this new medium, though, is to marry social media tactics with real business goals.
Today's infographic over at Search Engine Land explores some ways that a business can leverage specific social sites to achieve departmental goals:
Graphic by Elliance, an eMarketing firm specializing in results-driven search engine marketing, web site design, and outbound eMarketing campaigns.
In this algorithmic age every search marketer charged with boosting rankings on the organic SERPs knows, with fearful certainty, that building inbound links is essential. Utilizing social media communities to do so is a front-and-center tactic for many.
However, there are hundreds of social communities other than the biggies. These niche' player-communities can be terrific venues to engage readers of similar likes, make friends, drive focused micro-busts of traffic, and build links. Some communities are junk. This post offers niche' social site examples and provides links to lists which index and profile dozens of useful ones. First, lets tackle the primary topic of discussion when 'social networking' arises.
Dofollow and Nofollow
We have all heard the arguments both for and against. Most blogs (and many communities) these days attempt to discourage spam by removing "link-juice" passed on links dropped in discussion threads. That's called "Nofollow." (Wikipedia is a classic example of Nofollow.) Nofollow links deliver traffic but there's no SEO benefit (from Google anyway). If you view the source code of this page, you'll see that some of the social site links are Nofollow and therefore do not pass energy.
Every search marketing professional knows that garnering good quality, relevant, and "natural" inbound links to your site or blog is critical to drive your SEO ranking efforts. Honest participation in niche' social communities, relevant to your product & services, is the tactic that many savvy SEMs reach for to build their site's inbound link-profile. In addition to the community site links themselves, posts that turn hot can result in feed subscriptions, increased readership, and links from other relevant and valuable sites.
Fark is a social news site in which moderators approve user link-submissions and post them to the homepage. The links are Nofollow but can drive noticeable traffic.
Slashdot is a community where techno-heads hang out and geek-jam. However, users submit stories about entertainment, politics, and other fun stuff. If editors approve a submission and it's promoted the homepage, measurable traffic can result. Also, links in the body of each post are Dofollow and pass juice.
Metafilter is a moderated community, both by site administers and users, in which participants share interesting web content. Links are Dofollow.
Mixx is widely regarded as an up-and-comer in the social news world. A potentially mainstream Digg replacement site, many SEM folks had early-adopter Mixx profiles for fun and future marketing bang. Oh yes, they forget to turn off Dofollow so the links pass juice.
Hugg is a smaller community engaged in dialog surrounding environmental issues. There's social exchanges about technology, politics, and science as well. Links are Dofollow.
Sk*rt is a Dofollow PR 5 fashion, food, and technology community, primarily comprised of females.
Stirr'dup is a smaller NoFollow social news site which categorizes news as technology, entertainment, news and politics.
Linkinn is a PR5 site specializing in offbeat video and pictures. Links are DoFollow and pass juice.
Below are a couple of additional social news and bookmarking resources that will hopefully aid you in your social campaigns.
Previous Social Bookmarking Posts:
Lists of Useful Social Media Sites:
- 48 Social News Websites: A List of General and Niche Social Media Communities
- Tropical SEO: Top 38 Niche Social Media Sites (That Actually Send Traffic)