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Tag: DoFollow

 

The second day of Affiliate Summit East 2010 started with a great keynote speech by Frank Luntz, a well known political consultant (according to Wikipedia it’s actually Dr. Frank Luntz). Frank’s specialty is “testing language and finding words that help his clients sell their product or turn public opinion on an issue or a candidate”

 
Frank wrote a book called Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear (yes, this is an affiliate link :) ) and his talk was very much about the same topic. Specifically, how people say one thing, but the words they use harm, even completely sabotage their goal. He suggested using certain words that in this day and age evoke responses. Put simply, by merely rephrasing what you say you can make a world of difference! Frank showed many videos that demonstrated how people become more attentive or tune off when certain words are used.

 

 

I thought Frank’s talk was very insightful and some of the tips he gave can be immediately applied (or perhaps I should say “fiercely insightful” – he said that “very” no longer means anything because it’s been so overused, and gave ‘fiercely’ as an example used by one political candidate to replace ‘very’).

 
Using Social Media For SEO
After the keynote speech I went to this talk. I was particularly interested in this considering much of what I do is social media. The focus of this talk was on leveraging social media platforms and users to get backlinks (the building blocks of SEO).

 

Several useful tips:

  1. Build links to your site using Twitter, Facebook, etc (I share a list of the platforms he gave below).
  2. Incentivize people to tweet your link (for example, give them a special discount)
  3. When using forums, people an opportunity to tweet about the post with a link to your website.

The speaker said that there is evidence that in the near future Google will determine how important/authoritative a profile is (for example, using follower/following ratio) and assign a greater weight to links tweeted from that account. Note that as far as I know, to a very limited degree this is already happening.

 
Surprisingly, a few things which I experienced firsthand and expected to be in this talk were not mentioned. Huh. Maybe I should suggest a talk about these for Affiliate Summit West?

 
Social Media link building opportunities

  1. Youtube: one way DoFollow
  2. Google profile: one way DoFollow
  3. Yahoo answers: NoFollow links. (though these could still bring traffic).
  4. Facebook profile: one way DoFollow as long as the profile is public (this was the only thing that surprised me – need to check).
  5. Urbanspoon, Yelp, etc – most are followed

 
Afterwards I went to a talk titled “Android Affiliate Mobile Marketing” which was so good I intend to dedicate a separate post to it. This session focused on using Google Android phones for advertising/promoting CPA offers, etc. More soon.

 
Similarly, the next talk I went to “Crowdsource Your Success” is worthy of a separate post. I didn’t expect to learn anything new (isn’t Crowdsourcing only 99designs?) but was very fiercely surprised.

 

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Rewarding people who visit your blog

A quick recap of the previous post, Enticing People to Visit Your Blog: Part 1 of 2: new blogs and websites often suffer from a malady – no matter how hard the creator may work, and how talented he may be, no one visits his site. In the previous post I suggested ways of overcoming this using common sense and attitude. In this post I will cover technical methods of drawing people to your blog.

 
In general, these methods can be loosely categorized in two ways: one by allowing your blog to be more noticeable, the other is by giving your visitors a reward.

 
Although allowing your blog to be better noticed is clearly a way to attract visitors, what are the things your blog can potentially give its visitors? I can think of two major things: Link Juice (or more formally phrased: “Inbound Links”) and Publicity. So how does one enable his or her blog to do that?

 
Ok, let’s begin:

  1. DoFollow links: as I mentioned in an earlier post about DoFollow links, many users feel that commenting in a blog is an action worthy of a reward. Now, I don’t mean for this to sound like a criticism, it just that we, the users, don’t have to leave comments, so if we do make the effort and leave a comment, should we not get at least a reward (in the form of an inbound link)? I’m deliberately speaking from the users’ perspective since I am one as well (I visit other blogs). Unfortunately, Wordpress settings automatically define all comments as NoFollow links and this discourages many people from commenting at all.

     
    My recommendation: install the NoFollow Free plugin: it’ll allow you to set your commentators’ links to be DoFollow and have a lot of control in the process of doing so. This way, users are more likely to visit your blog. Yes, some will only come for the link, but it will get them to look at the blog as well, and they may like what they see. Besides, if they leave a good comment, it’s not a problem – and if they don’t, well, then just remove it – it is your blog after all.

     
    Note that in my previous post, Stephan (@ThatSwissIMGuy), raised a good question: what do we gain by getting comments? After all, they helps ‘bleed’ link juice from the site (so effectively weaken its Page Rank). Although that is true, Google really favors blogs with plenty of comments, and if you write a post that becomes popular, you’ll notice that it really helps that post’s rankings. Of course, Google hates fake comments, and I would not be surprised if it knows how to detect those (and I’m sure it knows how to detect spam comments). Interestingly, I recently read an article about a guy whose site was banned (deindexed) for using a fake comment generator. So I would strongly advise not even attempting to go down that route!

     

  2. Controlling anchor text: one problem with leaving comments on blogs is that they are associated with the name of the person who left them. Go to a typical blog, and see that every name that has a hyperlink points to a website. Although the link is useful, it would be far more effective in terms of search engine optimization if it used a good anchor text, since anchor text is hugely important when doing SEO. For example: in most blogs, if I leave a comment, the link to my site will be associated with my name, Udi Schlessinger. Although this will help me better rank for “Udi Schlessinger” when doing a Bing or a Google search, it would be so much better if I could control this anchor text, let’s say, have it be “Best Computer Games” for my computer game website (which is a site I have).

     
    KeywordLuv is a fantastic plugin that enables users to do just that – determine their anchor text. Furthermore, by searching for the text “Enter YourName@YourKeywords in the Name field to take advantage” with a keyword, users are able to find blogs/websites that use this plugin and are associated with their chosen keyword. Again, this may get your blog visited only to get a link, but if they like what they see, they’ll keep on coming – which is the goal, no?

     

  3. Advertising your blog: another very useful plugin is CommentLuv. Blogs that have this plugin installed show the name of the last post the poster has created and a link to it next to the actual comment that he left. Therefore, if you have a catchy title and leave interesting comments on other blogs, they are very likely to draw attention and consequently, visitors.

     
    Similarly to KeywordLuv, there is a search string that users can use to locate this plugin (it is not always active, but if active, it is “CommentLuv Enabled”). See below.

     

  4. Top Commentators: this is slightly more subtle but very much powerful. Some sites have a ‘Top Commentators’ bar (look to the right, this one does). Although there are several such plugins, my favorite is the ‘Top Commentators’ plugin. I used to think this is only for show, to ‘award’ individuals who leave the most comments per week/month/year with sort of a title. My opinion immediately changed when I found out one day I’m getting about 70 inbound links from a site because I was a top commentator, and my name/link appeared in every one of the blog’s pages. At first I couldn’t understand how this could be the case, but then I realized: since the ‘Top Commentators’ widget appears on every page, I got as many links as there were pages! Although some blogs disable the linking function, many do not. And even if you don’t get any link juice, the publicity alone is worth it.

     
    It is possible to find such blogs by simply searching for “Top Commentators” and your keyword of choice.

     

  5. Social media: sharing your posts in various social media sites is a sure way of getting them noticed. Digg, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter – you can share your posts in all of them. The good thing is that there are plugins that make this a very easy task. Better yet, your visitors can do that as well if they like your post. Again, there are many plugins that do that, but my favorite is the Add to Any: Share/Bookmark/Email Button plugin.

 
The next three suggestions are also technically based, but are not plugins:

  1. Signature: many forums allow you to place a link in your profile or in a signature that appears on every post you make. Regardless of the potential for link juice this may get you, if you are an active member of the forum other users are bound to notice this and visit your website at some point. This is, obviously, true for email as well: if every email you write ends with your site’s address, then quite often you’ll notice in your site’s logs that visitors have arrived through that link.

     

  2. Videos: one sure way of getting attention is making interesting videos that advertise your site, either by actually showing its usage (through capturing the screen while you use it), by actually talking to the camera about it, or by simply including a link at the end the video. Either is a good way to advertise your blog.

     
    In addition, if you upload a video to YouTube (or other video sites) some users will look at your profile (a statistic I read said that 0.5% of the visitors do so) which can include a link to your website. Although 0.5% is not a lot, if your video becomes very popular, this becomes significant. In fact, some people offer to buy or rent popular videos for this very reason (there’s a whole online course dedicated to this method).

     

  3. Incentives: this is something I have not personally done, and most affiliate networks/individual publishers do not allow that. However, some publishers and networks are fine with it. If you give an incentive (i.e. free iPod to the 100th commentator on a specific post) and just mention it on a public forum or use Digg, you will very quickly get traffic. Of course, you’ll also need to shell out an iPod for the winner, so hopefully the post will pay for itself (using an appropriate affiliate offer that allows incentives).

 
Ok, that’s it for now. Although I can think of a few more methods, I think I’ll stop, as it is becoming a long post. Hope you find this information useful! Please let me know if you do.

 
Quick edit: I knew that installing KeywordLuv and CommentLuv would draw attention from people just looking for links. However, it seems posting this article made my site 5 times more visible. I am going to include comments as long as they contribute to the discussion, and will reject all others. I advise readers to do the same.

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Ducks tend to use DoFollow

Ducks tend to use DoFollow


 
Continuing the title of this post, I don’t think this is really a question (maybe a rhetorical one). To me, the answer is clear: DoFollow. I just picked the title because I thought it’s amusing ;)

 
Yesterday I got a call from my good friend Miki Rapoport. He said “Dude, why are you using NoFollow links in your comments? How do you expect anyone to comment?” and I said “ehhm.. but I’m not!”. And then I remembered, Wordpress’ default setting is NoFollow. This was purposely set up to discourage spammers (who won’t gain link benefits though they will get potential traffic). I’ve learned this a long, long time ago but well, haven’t really thought about it since then.

 
This was pretty annoying to find out and I’m glad Miki mentioned it to me. I’ve created dozens of websites, but this has always slipped my mind. And even though I often check the follow status of other websites, that’s not something I’ve ever done for my own sites!

 
Irritatingly, Wordpress doesn’t offer a way to turn it off. However, multiple plugins exist for this very purpose. I repeatedly kept trying 3 Plugins (they all failed) until I found out that the theme I use hard-codes the nofollow links. Once I realized that’s the case it was a trivial thing to correct.

 
That being said, I tried one of the other plugins, the one that was my favorite, in another of my sites, and it worked like a charm.

 
The one I recommend is NoFollow Free, in particular because it is very configurable: you can set it so a number of comments a person makes are nofollow and after a threshold is reached it becomes dofollow. You can also set it so that certain words immediately trigger a nofollow. Pretty useful.

 
I also tested the other two, and they probably work as well (I don’t know because of my theme).

 
Highly recommended for people who want to give some ‘link juice’ to people who leave comments on their websites. The only concern is spammers, but that’s a different story (Akismet, how do I love thee? let me count the ways)

 
Now that my blog is setup for DoFollow, go ahead, leave a comment. I dare ya! ;)

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