International Social Bookmarking Can do the Job

June 17, 2008

No doubt that social bookmarking is just a tiny part of SMM (social media marketing) and that SMM is just a small part of SEO or SEM, but you know what people say – All (big) things are amde of small pieces.
As far as I see it, if you work alone (with no SEO expert by your side) or have limited budget for your international marketing efforts (assuming, off course, your project suits the global market) – some international social bookmarking can give you the global exposure you are looking for, both in terms of relevant traffic and in terms of search engine positions.

First step is to know your other languages strong keywords
For this you need to have a healthy logic, more than a couple of hours and if you are lucky enough – some friends who speak the languages of the international markets you wish to target.
Sure, you can use some automatic translating tools like Yahoo babel Fish or Free Translations, but most chances are that you’d miss some important terms as well as distort others. If you got the money – get some expert translator or even better – an expert SEO who speak the language of the foreign market you are trying to reach.

Second step is to build your international bookmarking database
In order to find relevant bookmarking sites in your targeted languages, you need to know the translation of at least two important terms: “bookmarks” and “favorites”. Type these keywords in the search box of relevant search engines ( if you look for bookmarking sites in German or if you look for bookmarking sites in French and so on) and check the results. Most bookmarking sites look and behave the same, so you shouldn’t have any difficulties in understanding how to register as well as how to submit a site.

In addition, you can search for some blogs in your targeted markets (using google blog search or technorati) and check the bookmarking buttons at the buttom of their posts.
In any case, for your cnvenience, you can find some bookmarking sites in French and German at the end of this post.
Third step is bookmarking and socializing on a regular basis
Don’t just submit all your website’s pages under relevant kewords and then disappear. Submit other URLs (that aren’t yours but from the same niche and language), vote for others’ submissions and so on.  Remember – you can’t talk social bookmarking and do only one of the two. They go together so you must do them both if you want to succeed.

A list of Social Bookmarking Sites in French and German: (FR bookmarks)
Mesfavoris (FR bookmarks)
Excite (FR bookmarks)
Bookmarks Sites (FR bookmarks)
Plpage (FR bookmarks)
Bookeet (FR bookmarks)
Scoopeo (FR bookmarks)
Bluegger (FR bookmarks)
Yigg (DE bookamrks)
Webnews (DE bookamrks) (DE bookamrks)
Bonitrust (DE bookamrks) (DE bookamrks)
Linksilo (DE bookamrks)
Lufee (DE bookamrks)
Minota (DE bookamrks)
Weblinkr (DE bookamrks)

Anything to add?
Feel free to comment or even bookmark… 🙂

Check this fine video by common craft if you’d like more basic info on social bookmarking:

SMO Panel on Sphinncon Israel 2008

February 6, 2008

To make things short, you can find the main SMO presentation by Eli Feldblum (CEO of Rank Above) on the following link:
It is called “Should You Social?” and as far as I see it, the answer, in most cases, is YES.

The SMO panel was the last one on the sphinncon event and I’m getting older and older so I droped my pen and just listened. Sorry.
In any case, if you read my first post on the shpinncon event, you must remember that most of the speakers made me a little bit sick. Apparently, I’m alergic to over-righteousness. 🙂

Just for your knowledge, the SMO panel participants were Eli Feldblum (Rank Above), Tzvika Avnery (Tagadam), Roi Carthy (TechCrunch) and Lior Hener (Yedda).

Most of what was said on the panel can be summarized by the following:

– SMO is not about getting more quality links but about approaching people (Lior).
– SMO and SMM both can be used effectively for branding purposes.
– At the end of the day, positions on SE are nothing comparing to an interesting product.
– One shouldn’t do SMO, as well as SEO, for a new “just launched” product. You should wait at least 6 monthsso you can learn your product, its audience, etc, and only after that you can start with the SSS (SEM, SEO, SMO) stuff (Roi).

Sphinncon Israel 2008

February 5, 2008

This post about the “first sphinncon evar” was supposed to be a live one but, unfortunately, there was no wireless connection at the conference in Jerusalem, so I’ll just write down my impressions and a detailed review of only the first panel for now. (The others will be covered on the next couple of days).
In any case – Lot’s of thanks to Barry Schwartz and the rest of the organizers as well as the generous sponsors, for giving birth to this first “sphinnconiada”.

“The Good, The Bad and the Ugly One” but with a Smile On

To put it in one sentence, I felt this first shpinncon was a small-but-very-friendly-rival between three groups: the SEO people, the PPC people and the SMO ones.

As a human-being who holds S’ for SEO and takes it as a compliment, I really enjoyed the SEO panel, noded off at the PPC one and quite resented most of the SMO one, only because its speakers (excluding sweet Eli Feldblum) couldn’t stop the righteous slogan of “Just have a good product”. But maybe I was just a little bit too tierd, since it was the last panel? Who knows…

So, what did we have there, on the first sphinncon event?

SEO Panel – Paid Links & Penalties
The SEO panel began with an inspiring presentation plus a lecture by Branko Rihtman, an SEO specialist from Tens Technology. He talked about the importance of links in Google algorithm and the penalties by Google for buying advertisements (which are not adwords) – an old strategy known as FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt).

The Q&A part of the SEO panel
Just to make it clear, none of the following is a direct quote. I wrote some comments while the speakers spoke and that’s it. Don’t hold no one for nothing, including myself and forgive me for the questions (or answers) I missed.

* What about linking strategies (such as “link farms”) that work good in Israel but not in other markets? (by Ben Pines  from SEOIsrael):
– Branko: Everything comes to Israel in a delay of 3 years (comparing to the US market).  I’m in favor of doing the stuff that works good in the US in the present, meaning – don’t use linking strategies (such as link farms) that work good on your market but not in the US even if they do good today since experience tells us it won’t last for long…
– Sam Michelson (Five Blocks): In other wrds – Don’t Spam…
– Ophir Cohen (Compucall): As far as I see it, the user experience is the most important thing, meaning your site should be popular based on what it offers to the user and not the link bating acts you did.

* Is user behaviour on search engines and outside them a part of the SE ranking considerations?
– Branko: Sure it is, at least as far as the tool bar most of us use. That’s why I turn mine off when I do some stuff I don’t want to be tracked by Google or any other search engine.
– Gilad Sasson (Nekuda + Algoholic): Even if search engines won’t admit it, everything is being measured and saved and it obviously influences both the user and the sites he visits.
– Sam: It’s not just the tool bar. There are other tools who gather data about you, Google analytics for example…
– Barry: Don’t forget web history and the personalization Google runs…

* What about getting links manually vs. automatically? Is there a better option?
– Sam: In order to be popular you should act like one in any measure, meaning you need to dress up accordingly, have a nice car etc. In search terminology that means you should have lots of links, almost everywhere – just keep them far from spam.
– Gilad: If it is a new site we’re talking about, it is all a matter of risk. If your site is old and has enough quality links from authority sites, a couple, even tens, of louzy links won’t hurt you.
– Branko: This is why I said earlier that links have two values – the fresh value and the real value. A link from a not competitive area can boost the ranking of the site but in time we’ll see a drop down, while good quality links bring on a stable increase in ranking (take a post on sphinn for example).

* How do you handle the universal search results?
– Ophir: SEO is not what it was a couple of years ago, today there’s more SMO into it…
– Sam: I don’t mind not being in the first positions as long as my title and description are catchy and creative enough to attract the searcher (using numbers and symbols on title, for example).
– Barry: It is easy to get to the first position as long as you keep researching (see “iPhone Popcorn Trick” video on YouTube by Barry).
– Sam: I’d like to buy an advertisement at the end of this video…. 🙂

* What can you say about multi-lingual search optimization?
– Gilad: All markets are alike in terms of algorithms, it’s just easier on some (like Israel). In any case, if you want to promote your product in different markets you should find relevant content partners on these markets.
Google Sets, by the way, is a keyword tool that can help you spam find related pages and industries to be linked from.
– Branko: Advertising on the content network can help you to get ahead with terms that google think are best for your industry. If google gives them to you, according to your keyword of course, no doubt it perceives them as legitimate and relevant.

* What should you do when important keyword you had a great SERP position for is vanished from top results?
– Branko: First thing – wait. Just wait. It could be nothing but a glitch… while waiting you can check your positions in other data centers, other keywords and so on.
If nothing changes over time – get a new domain and start all over again. From my experience it’s the best thing to do.

Hungry for some images?

Sphinncon Israel 2008 Preparations Sphinncon Preparations

Sphinncon Israel - SEO panel Barry Schwartz, Branko Rihtman, Sam Michelson, Ophir Cohen and Gilad Sasson (from left to right) on the SEO pannel.

First Sphinncon Evar T-Shirt “first Sphinncon EVAR” T-Shirt.

Sphinncon Israel Summaries on the web: – For Hebrew readers only (1st panel + 2nd panel, 3rd and summary).
Event summary by Ophir Cohen.
Jobis afourletterword says it was a Big Success

Feel Free to Sphinn Me Up 🙂

10 Faces to Facebook

October 17, 2007

Facebook Logo

Whether you heard about Facebook or not, there are some things you should know about this social site, especially if you’re into SEO but not only:

1. Facebook Definition:
“Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you”.
It means that if you’re not into SEO or some other form of online marketing (SMO and alike) – you don’t have too much to do on Facebook unless you locate some of your friends or get new ones by joining Facebook’s groups.
Facebook was launced on February 2004.

2. Bless the Marketplace:
On Facebook you can not only communicate with friends, but also communicate your interests, such as stuff you want to buy or sell, at what facebook calls “Marketplace“.

3. Photos’ LIFO (Last In First Out):
You’re a part of a group on Facebook and you want your photos to be shown on the group’s homepage? Not a problem! Just remember that the last photo to be added is the first to be shown…
Keeping your photos on your group’s homepage will by no doubt help you brand yourself. Just don’t be too obvious.

4. Tagging:
Facebook members can tag the photos and videos they add, and we all know how tagging is getting more and more important everyday.

5. Free links:
Looking for some free links? (honestly – who isn’t?)
On Facebook you can either post short items with links inside (unfortunately, with no keywords as anchor text, just URLs) or share your bookmarklet.

6. Visualize Yourself:
This can be done by using “Facebook Video” which “allows you to publish your personal videos on Facebook and send video messages to your friends.”

One thing that I find a little problematic is the fact that Facebook runs something called “per-video privacy” which means that after adding a video one can restrict who can see it.  The problem is that a new member who doesn’t know this rule (most people don’t read the small letters) might get frastrated trying to watch a video while everytime he clicks on the “View Video” link he finds himself on the “Add Video” section.

7. Share in the Old Fashioned Way:
Sending video messages is nice but you rather do stuff in the good old fashioned way? Allrighty! Just go to the “discussion board” and share your whatever you feel like sharing.
Another way to bond has never hurt no one.

8. Low Cost Advertising & Polls
For as little as 26$ you can create a small poll and get answers for it in no more than 30 minutes, plus you can set a small add, that Facebook calls it “flyer”, with link to your site and you can pay just 5$ (or more) a day for this “online flyer” . 

9. Events Sharing & Searching
The events thing is one of the remarkable social faces of Facebook. It allows you to share events as well as look for upcoming events in your community, which can be based on the area (city) you live in, the college you go to or your workplace.
Marketers can use the events platform to tell about upcoming events in the industry they try to promote while adding links to it on related post.
10. For Developers Only
Facebook allows developers to create applications that work with its basic features.
(No need to say that this one is a great online marketing tool).

Did I miss anything?
Please use the comments section to fill the missing info…

SMO by SES San Jose 2007

September 8, 2007

SES San Jose convention took place on August 20-23.
Since I’m into “social media optimization” and one of the pannels was about this particular subject I’d like to make a short summary of this pannel’s highlights:

Optimize your Content to the People’s Feelings
According to Todd Malicoat (Stuntdubl), if you want to do business in the world of social media – you must use a human voice that will appeal to others through “hooks” like humor, presenting a contrary opinion, news and so on.
More than that, one must use attractive titles and get them optimized by:
– Using keywords as anchor texts.
– Creating a focused readable content divided to paragraphs and decorated by bullet points and alike.
– Asking others (like friends and other acquaintances) to link to your scial media material.
– Linking out to other sources should be made generously. Doing this will not make you lose your PR but earn you some points as a writer who knows what he’s writing about.

SMM Recommended Sites
Rand Fishkin (SEOmoz) said that the goal of SMM is to build relationships in the sphere of blogs and other social media sites and that it is way different from the way you handle costumers.
Whether SMM is used for branding or reputation management, these are the recommended sites for it:
Yahoo Asnswers

Banned SMM Efforts
According to Neil Patel (ACS), some SMM efforts can get you banned. That’s why you Shouldn’t:
– Have too many friends (no more than a few thousand).
– Promote yourself.
– Pay for votes.
– Spam.

On the same time you Should:
– Obey community rules.
– Add tons of friends.
– Use the most appealing titles and descriptions you can think of.
– Participate in communities and make sure to become a top user.
– Use SM platforms on the right time, when plenty of users are online.
– Submit videos and podcasts since they have a better CTR than text does.
– Mix broad and specific tags when tagging.