At Margin Hound today, the author tears apart the blog commenting efforts that have been used be SEO people, especially in house departments, where we find wordpress blogs, add comments, try to mention our site, embed a link, trade links and join directories. Matt Cutts even says that links are not going away. But at the same time, read this from Margin Hound;
it’s pretty clear that there are storm clouds already gathering around how the Google webspam team looks at this type of linkbuilding
In other words, blogs for the sake of blogging and link pages for the sake of link pages will count for something, but not as much as solid purpose. But what makes a website more than just a link farm, besides solid educational content? To answer the question, Hound uses 4chan as an example. If you have never heard of 4chan, then perhaps you have heard of wikipedia, yelp, 4square, facebook or Angie’s List™. What makes these sites different from yours is engagement. These sites engage the user longer than your site. These sites are so engaging, people (other than yourself) talk about them, and mention them on the web.
Instead of spending time on 4chan, I will instead point you to pinterest. Pinterest asks the user to post some of their favorite pictures. The site has very usable tools to get pictures off your website, point to the original source of the material, place these graphical elements in volumes and share these elements, complete with the links to the original source, with your chosen community.
Likewise, I can insert a picture from 4chan, above, in my blog, and if your follow the link you will learn more about a circuit board a guy is promoting. The picture is hosted back at 4chan, and near the picture is someones comment that leads to an online store, which in turn allows the consumer to purchase a circuit board that allows consumers looking for a low-cost evaluation platform for ARM® Cortex™-M4F based Texas Instruments microcontrollers. We don’t know if TI dropped this linkage into 4chan as a matter of in house SEO marketing, but for the sake of argument, we want consumers to drop these clues on the internet, and TI would want consumers to drop this device and lnk to the store on the internet. And it’s worked, because I don’t work for TI, and I have linked to 4chan, and 4chan has a reference to Texas Instruments.
So ask yourself, what is so engaging about your web-site that cosumers will help you promote it. Hound is a numbers guy, a statistician, and he breaks web pages that may engage a visitor into three categories;
• Finders: Searchable / Shareable content which brings people onto your site • Minders: Anything that engages the user and (hopefully) incentives them to return. • Grinders: Big “thump the table” stuff (studies, widgets, etc) to establish authority.
If you want a higher ranked web-site, and google is simply attempting to accentuate more engaging websites, then decide how to make your website more engaging. Facebook engages users with the sense of community. Myspace died while Facebook grew, because Myspace didn’t tie us to our friends as Facebook does. Wikipedia is loaded with information. We may spend less than 15 seconds checking the weather or checking out a headline about a kitten that rode on the bumper of a car for a hundred miles, but we may spend two, three or five minutes learning about the history of the old Fulton County Stadium. Yelp helps us find a business, like the yellow pages we spend time deciding which company we would trust doing business with. But these niches are taken, and you will never catch up with them when it comes to their niche.
Using Wikipedia as the model, wen already attempt to create a website that is a catalog of our business. We want our customers to know of our business, its products and services, and how to find us with our website. The trick is to add something that will engage the prospect and keep them coming back. And then there is the expense of programming the website with the pages and functions with which visitors get engaged. Calculating the budget and analyzing the statistics of this process is the mission at Margin Hound, and more information on statistical methods of valuing web site visits and engagement are detailed, for more information visit www.marginhound.com to learn more.