Google finally caught on. Simply buying thousands of social bookmarks and twitter followers isn’t working to help increase site ranking like before. However, spreading your site across a variety of social mediums can help your site authority as well as gain natural traffic. Since social media has become an vital part of today’s information sharing, creating pages across multiple platforms can boost outreach to all corners of the web.
The term “social bookmarking” refers to the method of organization and storage of resources by internet users. Through these social bookmarking platforms, files themselves are not shared, just the bookmarks that reference them. A common form of social bookmarking would be some program that allows users to save specific links to web pages that they want to go back to, or share with others. Popular social bookmarking sites of today include StumbleUpon, Digg, Chime.in, and Delicious.
As one of the most popular social bookmarking sites, StumbleUpon is a rather simple idea that has exploded in usage over the past two years. As long as you have the toolbar installed on your computer, you can submit any site to the StumbleUpon database. There is no way to submit directly from the website without the toolbar, though. Pages submitted on to StumbleUpon get classified to certain categories and potentially can reach thousands of people. If your site does particularly well amongst the interest group it enters, and if it receives many likes, it will spread across other interests and be seen even more. Submitting your sites to StumbleUpon will give them the opportunity to be seen, liked, and shared at no cost to you.
Although Digg’s influence has slightly fallen off recently, the links received are still powerful. By consistently submitting your content to Digg, you might strike the gold mine and get on the homepage. This chance is extremely slim, though. Still, by making several accounts and giving your site some “Diggs,” its authority will slowly aggregate and you have an opportunity to get your page off the ground and in to the eyes and computer screens of many other internet users.
Not a very well known site, Chime.in integrates all different parts of the social networking experience in to one single site. Everything on the site is made public, and media can be inserted into every post. Community pages are huge on Chime.in and can help the founders with site promotion or even monetize the page with ads. With a Google PageRank of 8, this site is great for getting pages indexed in to Google. Although the usage of the site pales monstrously in comparison to sites like StumbleUpon and Digg, Chime.in offers a lot of potential if you are willing to look in to it.
Not nearly as large as it once was, Delicious still claims several million users globally, and is one of the early social bookmarking sites. Operating off of a categorical submission system, Delicious is extremely easy to submit to, and will help boost the crawl rate of your site. Similarly with Digg, your site (if popular enough) has the opportunity to make the “hotlist” on the site’s homepage, which can help drive natural traffic back to your site. Although its popularity has not seen much increase in recent years, Delicious is still one of the bigger social bookmarking sites currently in use on the web. Since all bookmarks posted to Delicious are publicly viewable, posting pages of your site to it can sort of force Google to crawl it faster and more often.
Social Networking sites have become the most widely used form of website on the internet (besides Google, of course) and have become an integral part in how people of today manage their social lives. It is a weird topic to discuss, but social networks like Facebook infiltrate all age groups, and have slowly become a preferred form of communication amongst most people. The scope and reach of social networking sites is so monstrous, as it allows certain things to spread virally through millions of people in a matter of minutes. News of a catastrophic incident like the shooting massacre in Colorado this past week can spread out from the source and into the eyes of millions within the first 30 minutes. Capitalizing on this extreme connectivity will help your site rank higher in Google, as well as drive real, interested people to your site. The most popular social networking sites today include Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.
Ah, Facebook. The crown jewel of modern social networking, Facebook dominates the networking world with an active user estimate of nearly 850 million individuals. This number is staggering when you think that nearly one-seventh of the people alive on the earth use this single website to manage their social lives. The creation of “social shares” on Facebook allow websites or any other information, picture, media, etc., to be spread easily on a large scale around the web. Google claims they do not include social shares directly in their algorithm, but there is no doubt that having some social shares is an SEO goldmine. By posting the Share Button API on your site, visitors can share your pages around the web, giving you natural backlinks at no cost to you. Even beyond the links you gain from this, the shares you get from visitors will help direct traffic to your site, you otherwise would go without.
Quite a bit different from Facebook and Google Plus, Twitter’s style of social networking focuses more on the quick relaying of information between people. Google admits to using data collected from tweets; however, there is sort of a twist in how to manipulate Twitter for your SEO needs. Simply creating ten thousand accounts and tweeting a link to your site will get you nowhere. Google only counts re-tweets from powerful followers in their ranking process. This means that in order to make use of Twitter for SEO purposes, you must have genuinely interesting things to say, or a loyal group of powerful followers in order to make a difference. The potential for increasing site rank is definitely there, though. By gaining even a small amount of social recognition through re-tweets about your site, you will always have a flow of new visitors just based on the amount of people each individual re-tweet reaches.
Google+, not as big as Google’s social networking team had hoped for, however, for SEO purposes there is a lot of valuable stuff to gain from using this site. There slightly new approach to social networking puts your friends, family, work buddies, etc., in different “circles” to which you can share things. Its like having a file cabinet with everyone you know perfectly organized neatly in to little manila folders. Like with all other social sites, gaining some recognition and following through Google+ would obviously be helpful, however, the real SEO gold comes from somewhere else. This site is Google’s own house! Obviously the data contracted from this site will be skewed in importance compared to competitors sites. When using Google+, Google will auto-ping your domain, helping you get indexed faster and rise in the rankings quicker. Google values this data very highly, so creating Google+ pages will definitely help you out in your quest for a higher rank.
Imagine taking social bookmarking sites and social networking sites and throwing them in a martini mixer with a bunch of ice cubes and a tooth-pick speared olive, shake the living hell out of it and viola, you get Social Sharing sites. These sites are sort of a new breed in the overall social networking world, but have more potential for site rank than most people and SEO’s simply pass over. Social sharing sites take the link sharing of social bookmarking and the social outreach of social networks, and join them together in the search engine optimization treasure chest everyone in the SEO industry searches for. The most popular social sharing sites surging in use as of now include Visual.ly, Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Youtube.
Although most people have not heard of this site, Visual.ly’s creators designed this social platform as a way to spread the billions of pieces of unique content we make daily. This site is perfect for data graphs and even more importantly, infographics. Making a short graphic for your site and posting it on Visual.ly will earn you a very powerful backlink and the possibility for social recognition.
One of the pickiest and most selective social sharing websites on the web, Reddit has around 35 million users and receives around 1.8 billion monthly page views. The large scale of this site is perfect for releasing links to your site’s pages. However, the community of “Redditors” are notoriously picky in what they want to see or read about, so sharing a couple real posts before you seed your own content would be recommended. The moderators of the site, as well as the whole community is very keen on picking out spam, so try to keep all of your content natural.
Launched officially towards the end of 2010, Instagram is a free photosharing program that allows for users to take photos, apply digital filters, and share the image on an array of social networking sites. The app really started to gain popularity in the beginning of the year 2011, and has only grown out to a larger audience since then. With a count of approximately 50 million users worldwide, Instagram’s most significant potential lies in the massive outreach it has among all different social platforms. As of today, there is not much true SEO value to the program; however, it is soon to be bought out by Facebook in the coming months, so there is no harm in starting some sort of following with your site.
The teenage girl’s favorite media style blog, this social sharing site can be very powerful in ranking a site. Tumblr’s format and target audience might not be the best one to delve in for a 50 year old man; however, the availability of natural backlinks and social recognition is definitely there. By posting soe uniquely natural content first, before posting your own site’s things will give your links added value. Tumblr is different from other social sharing sites like Reddit because it deals primarily with media posts, such as pictures, videos, and gifs.
This social sharing site has enormous potential for search engine optimization of a site. All good SEO’s know this and use Pinterest to virally seed content and gain strong backlinks as well as traffic to their site. Pinterest’s format acts as a virtual bulletin board, as users can “pin” interesting content to their own pages, whether it’s pictures, texts, graphics, etc., and be seen by fellow users all around the world. The viral potential of Pinterest makes it a necessary site to use for optimizing your site. Google has figured out how to detect spam re-pins of content, so in order to make use of the power of Pinterest, try to gain good, natural re-pins. The easiest way to do this is to create infographics about things either related to your site, or stuff you can host on your site.
Just to reiterate, THEY HAVE TO BE GOOD. Pinterest is a game changer in the SEO world if you know how to properly utilize its sharing potential. Content posted for the purpose of gaining re-pins won’t get them if its boring, spammy, or unoriginal. The key to breaking open this chest of gold is to create original content that has the versatility to be shared amongst all users. Given, that is much easier said than done, and only the best can make viral content on a regular basis. Either way, Pinterest is great even if you only get a few re-pins, as the authority you gain will be worth it in the long run.
Perhaps one of the most widely used sites on the web, Youtube houses billions of unique videos, many of which reach large audiences quickly. Like Google+, Youtube is Google’s own house, and they surely use the data gained from Youtube when ranking sites. Youtube has potential to spread your specific product or website if the videos are original and interesting. Although it might be hard to create videos for a site, any webmaster should look in to the benefits of using Youtube to gain traffic and links.
Social media dominates the global communication and information share of today’s society. The world we all live in now is so intertwined with the internet and social networks, that in order for your site, business, or company to thrive, you need to be well represented on all platforms of the social sphere. By joining the social spheres of the above sites, you can boost your site’s crawl rate and index time, allowing your site to be indexed faster by Google and begin the ranking climb you are looking for. They also provide organic traffic whether you believe it or not. Regardless of the site you own, your site will gain some natural traffic by internet users. Whether it is about mousepads or fire extinguishers, there are people on the web who will go to your site. These people will help share your content and gain you natural links back to your site. There is no doubt about it—social media sites will give you an edge in search engine optimizing.