Social Presence – June 27, 2009

Social Bookmarking (SB) For Links & Traffic

I am only sending out an email about this to the lead agents who responded to my last request for a response. To me, that says they are serious about learning the techniques and methods that I am trying to teach, and why would I even bother telling the folks that do not respond?

This is designed to be an overview of social bookmarking (SB) for the purpose of getting traffic and higher ranking for your sites. There is a lot of discussion about this in the various SEO newsgroups and forums, but after studying this for a few years and trying a lot of different things, I want to let you know what I have found to be successful, as well as having aspects that are “generally agreed upon” within the various places that discuss this. These are all entirely “whitehat” methods, nothing illegal, immoral, or fattening about it, as opposed to various “blackhat” methods which I will not even get into. This may be a bit “gray hat” but certainly not blackhat.

The PURPOSE of doing this is to gain visibility for your site. More visibility equals more traffic. More links equals more traffic. Using social bookmarking provides your site with both greater visibility and more links.

The key is to do this properly. Done incorrectly or with too much haste could mean that your site is de-indexed from Google and the other search engines, which is certainly something you do not want to happen. Do NOT try to take short-cuts to accomplish this in a day or even a week — it takes time, but it is time well spent — again, IF done properly.

The definition of “properly” means gradually, randomly, over time. Read that sentence again — go ahead, I’ll wait….. It needs to appear to the search engines as being natural, and if you raise too many red flags in the process, Google will catch on and you will not like it. Google is not nearly as stupid as that one date you had back in high school, but if given the appearance of being done naturally, Google won’t bat a digital eyebrow at it and will pass on the link juice that you want.

Step 1 – Create Some Email Accounts

For the purpose of using many social bookmarking sites, the first thing you need to do is fire up Excel or Notepad or whatever and create yourself about 10 email accounts at free email sites. This won’t cost you a cent, and you don’t have to search far to find free email accounts; ie, gmail, yahoo, hotmail, lycos, etc. Remember the username and password you enter at each one by entering it in your spreadsheet or notepad. This is absolutely critical because you will need to log into them to confirm and click a link to finalize your membership at many of the social bookmarking sites. The username you choose should be different at each one, and as far as the “real” name you use, make that different also — use your dog or cat, your great aunt, etc. If it asks for an “alternate” email address in case you forget the password, leave it blank. You don’t want to leave a Hansel-and-Gretel trail of breadcrumbs that all lead back to a single person – YOU.

Step 2 – Create Social Bookmark Accounts

There are literally hundreds of social bookmarking sites that can be used. You just want to use the top ones, and depending on how much time you want to put into this, you can sign up for as many as you want. This is going to be the most time-consuming process of all. There are some PAID software packages that can do it, but I am focusing on things that you can do with only sweat equity and no money. A list of the top social bookmarking sites is shown below:

social bookmarking sites graphic

Don’t be intimidated, its not as bad as it may look. The sites with a checkmark in front of them are considered to be the “best” ones to use. I would recommend using those, and as time permits, the others. The process for setting up your account there is quite simple, although it varies slightly from site to site. Basically, click the “register” link at the site, enter a unique username, a password, your email address and sometimes your “real” name. (See above). Again, use one of the throwaway email addresses you created in step 1 because for many of these sites, they will send a confirmation email where you need to click the link in that email to complete and validate your registration.

Also, remember to write down the username and password that you used for each one in your spreadsheet, as you will need that again as you make postings to this particular social bookmarking account.

Social bookmarking helps create incoming links, and multiplies the possible number of results you have in the search engines. For example; submit one of your pages or blog posts to the social bookmarking sites and that one post can now show up as 29 “unique” results in the search engines. So now instead of having that one page/blog post rank just once in the top 10, it is possible for that one page to actually rank 29 times… you could literally own the first 29 results in google for your search term when you use Social Bookmarking as part of your promotions.

The SB incoming links aren’t as “valuable” as other types of “hard coded” links.. but hey, they do add value to your traffic-getting efforts. Much of it comes down to proper keyword selection. The more targeted the keyword phrase the better your chances of ranking high. (See last week’s newsletter about keywords).

You are going to want to create about 10 accounts at each of the SB sites, using a different username/password and email address for each one. Yes this is tedious and yes slightly painful, but once this is done, you’ve got the hard part of the manual labor out of the way. Why create multiple accounts at each one? The key here is to make your SB promotions appears to be as NATURAL as possible to the search engines. Remember NATURAL from above? You do this by setting up multiple SB accounts, and by running your promotions slowly, over time, a few today, a few next week, a few next month, etc.

Do not forget to keep track of your email accounts (where/username/password) and your username/password/email combination for each account you setup. Again, your spreadsheet or notepad is good for that. If you want an automated tool for that, Roboform can work quite well.

To have all the SB links on one page so that you can easily links to each SB site to create an account (and we’ll come back to this FREE website later too), the best and easiest one I have found to use is http://socialmarker.com.

Step 3 – Your SB Promotions

Again, NATURAL is the keyword as much as possible. Do not be in a hurry to get this done since that will clearly look UNnatural to the search engines.

You are ready to make posts, and this can be most easily done by again using Social Marker at the URL above. When you go to create a new bookmark for a site or page, there are some very minimal pieces of information you need to enter; ie, the URL, a title, a description, and TAGS. This is seen in the example screenshot below for the del.icio.us SB site, one of the most popular SB sites out there today:

delicio bookmark image

Make your title count and make sure that the keyword/phrase that you want to rank for is in the title. Description (or “Notes” as this SB site calls it) is just a slightly more verbose description of the site.

But one of the most important fields for you to use is the TAGS field. The TAGS field is additional “tags” or keywords that are relevant to this site. Be sure to format them correctly to ensure that you are going to get maximum benefit from the tags you enter. For this site, separate multiple tags (which you will almost certainly want to have) with a space. For multi-word tags, lose the spaces, so the tag for “T1 line” becomes “t1line”. Case is not important. Example shown above.

Again, not all the SB sites are the same. Some have a SPACE between keywords, some have a COMMA, so be sure to follow the rules. For multi-word keywords, some want you to squish out the spaces while others allow it.

Do NOT click the “do not share” button. YES YOU WANT TO SHARE IT and that is the whole purpose of this! At some SB sites, this is titled “public” or “private”, where the answer is always “public”.

After you have your SB sites created, you can go back to Social Marker and let that free software create your bookmark at the sites you have designated via the click boxes. Rotate the SB accounts you use for each page/post that you submit with Social Marker. For example, you have 10 accounts with propeller.com, so randomly choose 3 of them to submit each unique page/post to for this time, and the next time randomly choose 3 more. Break out that spreadsheet and keep track of what you are doing.

Do NOT submit the same page to all 10 of your propeller.com accounts (or any of the other SB sites) at the same time!

Add new SB accounts to use in your promotions on a regular basis; ie, every couple weeks, once a month, etc. Also, mix it up a bit. You want to keep the appearance of randomness and ensure that the sole purpose of your SB account is not only to get link juice to your site (even though it is), you should also throw some other bookmarks in there on occasion, both on-topic as well as off-topic. For on-topic, maybe a bookmark to the Wikipedia definition of a DS3 circuit or a tech page on calculating T1 speeds. For off-topic, that’s your call totally. As an example for me for off-topic, I would probably make a couple posts pointing to the Cessna or Piper web sites, and another one to the Garmin GPS web site. 🙂

Step 4 – Rinse and Repeat Periodically

Remember, NATURAL and RANDOM. Those two words are part and parcel of your keys to the kingdom in deploying this type of promotion and marketing. Not too often, mix it up, only 2-3 of your SB accounts for each post.

Now keep in mind that so far I have been referring to ONE post. Again, mix it up. For your next session a few days from the start, post a different product set as your primary post; ie, if you focused on T1 for your first go-around, focus on DS3 the next time, Ethernet the following time, MPLS the next time, etc.

Then rinse & repeat. And again, I cannot stress enough the important of keeping your spreadsheet up to date with WHAT you posted at WHICH SB site WHEN. The burden of showing randomness and naturalness is on your shoulders with this, and without good record keeping as far as what you have done where and when, you are just whizzing into the wind. If you are going to expend the effort at all, make sure the effort is well-spent doing it correctly so you can obtain the maximum benefits from your hard work.

Step 5 – Re-Emphasis, More Thoughts & More Advanced Stuff

To really get the most benefit from SB promotions and marketing, here are some other tips to consider:

* Social bookmark your SB pages too! Yes you can do that, as they contain a specific URL that can be bookmarked.

* Do your SB promotions for each page/post slowly over time. Do a few today, a few more next week, etc. NATURAL and RANDOM.

* Mix it up, do not do ONLY bandwidth-related posts, have some other stuff in your SB accounts as well.

* Remember that you can bookmark other of your bookmark sites too!

* Make use of the TAGS for your primary keywords for each post, especially the LTK (Long Tail Keywords) as described in last week’s newsletter that do not get as much search volume but have a lot less competition where you can rank very well for them.

* Can you make a video that somehow shows telecom? I’ve been struggling with this for a long time and have not yet come up with anything, but if you have a brainstorm, videos tend to stay in the rankings longer than Social Bookmarks themselves, so if you do create one and upload it to Youtube, don’t forget to bookmark your Youtube site.

* Do not allow social bookmarking to consume all of your spare time. Again, it is a method, a technique, but it is only ONE method or technique. Keep up with your blog posts as well, as outlined in last week’s newsletter.

* Do not create an SB post for each and every little keyword that you could possibly come up with. SB can be a very effective tool, but like with any tool, use it wisely because the SB sites are also aware of the high possibility of SPAM, and you do not want to go there.

* If you have a GQ+ site, you have a whole bunch more potential posts to make. Say you want to target “Michigan T1 Lines”. Find the URL of the page on your GQ+ site that is specific to Michigan, then use THAT URL for an SB promotion. Cool, eh? Again, use wisely and carefully but there are some benefits to this as well.

* After you make your posts, many of the SB sites have an RSS feed associated with it. Get the URL for your specific RSS feed at that site, and then submit it to the RSS aggregators. I think there are some free tools to do this but I personally use “RSS Submit” software which distributes the XML file to the RSS aggregators for distribution.

Summary

I hope this has been helpful and you can put it to use. Again, do not abuse social bookmarking, but if used wisely and cautiously, it can provide a lot of good quality links and traffic.

I appreciate you and your efforts and look forward to continuing to work with those of you who are as serious about this as I am, so that we can both reach our goals. I appreciate your leads and your efforts with Telarus, and you need to know that I do take leads very seriously, since without QUALITY leads, neither of us make money.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, comments, or suggestions.

God bless,

Jon Arnold
Telarus Senior Technical Consultant & Authorized Sales Agent

President, JA Communications Group Inc.

Office: 321-779-5238
Mobile: 321-223-5238