Saturday, December 29, 2007

What's up with the repeat stories? the repeat stories?

Dear Digg,

Over the last few weeks, submitting stories to Digg has become more challenging. Sometimes, when you hit the submit button, it does nothing. You can wait and wait and wait, but nothing happens.

Human nature says to hit the button again. Voila! It works. Then you go to your submitted stories and you see that you submitted the story again.

First question: Can this be fixed?

Since we know the answer to the first question is "Yes, it's just a bug and we're working on it", it brings to mind the second question: Can we get the option to edit or delete a submission?

It would be a temporary answer to the first question. More importantly, we've all had the occasional snaffu where we notice something after we submit that we would like to change -- misspellings, poor wording, whatever -- and we're stuck, looking foolish, unable to make the change.

Case in point: a perfectly good story ruined by Digg.

We know the technology is available. It's in the comments. A time limited way to make changes. Please give it to us for submissions.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Social Media and The Godfather: A Comparison

While this has little to do with social bookmarking and even less to do with Search Engine Optimization, I'm compelled to put it on this blog, just because it's fun. Digg as Michael Corleone? Classic.Take a break from SEO for 10 minutes and read this entertaining piece. You deserve a break. You've been working very hard.

(via SocialNewsWatch)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Active Diggers Mixxing it Up

When Greg Davies (cGt2099) was banned from Digg for his 4th TOS infraction, it got a lot of play. Several top Diggers made mentions of the occurence and offered support (and criticism) for this. One thing in particular stood out in the post on his blog: he's found a new home at

Over the past couple of weeks, a subtle under-current of curiosity has brought many of the most active Digg members to check out this Digg Clone. None of them have left Digg. Many haven't even posted anything yet. Still, they were curious.

We could discuss the platform differences, community difference, pros and cons all day, but this is not a critique. I'm not bashing Digg. You won't be hearing about the "Mixx Effect" any time soon. The Wall Street Journal won't be partnering with them. Any rumors that start flying around about the sale of Mixx will not be in the $300,000,000 range.

Comparisons are for others to make. I just put together a little screenshot that I thought was interesting.

A few heavy hitters' names in that list.

I'm not sayin'. I'm just sayin'.

Social Media
Social News Articles

Monday, November 12, 2007

Social Media Watch Launches

Social media, in its purest form, is not the best way to use Social Media. After months of research, I now realize that social media websites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Propeller, and Mixx are good for search engine optimization, but not ideal. A gun is good for hitting people over the head, but they can be used much more efficiently if used for their proper purpose.

For several months, I have used this blog to go after both facets of internet marketing that I hold dear to my heart and paycheck. I've branched out.

Social networks, social media, and social bookmarking are turning into big business. First, they were exploited for marketing, but not properly. Then, the search engine optimization benefits became clear. Now, we're back to marketing, but companies are doing it a little differently this time. So, I built Social News Watch, a blog dedicated to finding the best articles on the internet about social media, as well as writing some of my own observations about this growing trend.

Actually, "trend" probably isn't the right word. It implies temporary status, and I believe that "the social web" is here to stay in one form or another. Companies such as Ford, IBM, CNN, and others are starting to get more into the segment. There are new products such as YouTube marketing, social media news releases, and viral blogging that are starting to take form and take hold.

Heavy hitters such as Facebook, Digg, and Google are applying countless hours and dollars into finding the best ways to leverage their positions smack dab in the middle of the segment. It's worth a watch, and that's what this blog will be about.

Watching social media.

There are other blogs out there that discuss the topic. What we'll do here is sort through the hundreds of articles posted weekly on the subject and offer them to the public with a brief synopsis. Not a scraper blog, but rather a compilation of quality news broken down to their simplest form, almost like a human edited news feed reader that eliminates the bad and highlights the good.

We want to highlight the startups that just might make it as well.

We will be posting like crazy for a while to catch up, but once the dust clears, it should be a true social media resource. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Social Media News

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Social Bookmarking for Car Dealers

I got this story idea from looking on Google analytics and seeing an unusually high number of people finding this blog through that keyword phrase. It's funny -- I work in automotive marketing but I never really thought car dealers would be looking for this yet. The social bookmarking for SEO phenomenon has only been around for about a year and a half -- car dealers are usually 2-3 years behind the internet trends.

That's a joke, so if you're a car dealer reading this right now, don't be offended. It's a joke, but it is true. The automotive industry is one that, in general, has been reluctant to keep up with internet marketing trends. It isn't that they don't believe in them or think that they exist. The reluctance stems from a love/hate relationship within the automotive marketplace when it comes to the Internet.

Let's face it. The Internet has caused car dealers to completely change the way they do business. They no longer have the control over the deal that they had pre-web. People have invoice pricing, trade evaluation, and quotes from dozens of dealers before they every hit the lot. It has cost the industry a lot of money, even shut down many dealerships over the last few years.

For that reason, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they are catching up and catching on. It has become a necessity, and I should be glad that they are getting involved.

First, the shameless pitch: if you want to know more about social bookmarking for car dealers, feel free to send me an email: jrucker (at) Or, you can visit my website. There is a shell up there now, but there is some interesting information on it -- Car Dealer Marketing. Can't submit a lead as of November 10, but soon, you will be able to.

Now, for those who are interested in learning more about social bookmarking without having to pay me millions of dollars a month, here are some pointers:

1) Create single accounts on the social bookmarking sites. People new to the segment who do not understand it may feel that multiple accounts is the way to go. It isn't. You will get caught, IP banned, links deleted, etc.

2) Avoid the social news and media websites like Digg, Reddit, Propeller, and Newsvine. This is contrary to what most will recommend, as they CAN be very useful in search engine optimization, but for car dealers, they are a waste of time. You have no news. There aren't interesting stories or funny pictures or awesome videos on your website. Spamming them will get you banned. If you think "so what, it's still worth a try," be warned. I've seen some dealers face unnecessary retribution for spamming one of the sites listed. Without going into details, let's just say that there was "inappropriate content" placed on a website by someone angry at a spammer who hacked in.

3) Vary your anchor text (submission title) and use good, descriptive keywords. There's no need to make them interesting on bookmarking sites, so put in the terms that you want to move up on in the search engine results.

4) Don't use programs. They save time, but they can also waste time and you often lose the benefits of A) knowing that your submission went through, and B) varying the anchor text. You can use the Web 2.0 Toolbar (article on it somewhere on this blog), but the "Submit to 200 SB sites in minutes" programs aren't effective for car dealers.

5) Be active. Don't just submit and run. Leave comments, add friends, join groups, etc. The goal is to create a link, but the loftier goal is to get more people to bookmark your website.

6) Check for nofollow attributes. On IE, View Source, then search for "nofollow". See if it applies to the links of the bookmarks. If the site uses nofollow tags on the submission, it isn't worth the time to create a profile and start submitting. At least not for car dealers.

7) Hire a pro. This may be obligatory shameless plug #2, but I was kidding when I said that I charge millions, just in case you didn't know. Social bookmarking has so many benefits beyond the SEO benefits. It pays to pay someone who knows how to do it.

Social bookmarking is here to stay. There will be new variations, protocols, options, and strategies that will arise from now until the next big thing comes out and replaces the Internet altogether. Until then, learn what you can or hire someone who already knows.

Social Bookmarking for Car Dealers

Until they fix shouts, use: Digg_This:_09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

The way things work with the current shout system, you can shout spam a story to every one your friends list in 3 quick clicks. In contrast, if you want to send a REAL shout, you have to do it one at a time.

To me, it's completely reversed from the way that it should be. I watched Graham (CosmikDebris) send shout after shout to some of his friends regarding an apparent bug on the Digg website. He had to copy, click, click, paste, and click over and over again several times just to get an important question out to his peeps, yet a shout spammer can fill our shout board and send hundreds of people "Please digg this" spam in a matter of seconds.

Until Digg fixes this issue, I have a possible solution. If you want to get a message out to your friends and you don't want to spend an hour doing it, use the infamous Digg This: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0 post and share it. As of now, it's difficult to use share to put out a message because many, myself included, skip right past any shouts that have stories attached. I almost missed a very nice message by Verge who was shouting a story to send a mass message.

The Digg_This:_09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0 post is probably the most recognizable post in Digg history. With over 44K diggs, it will stand out as your friends sift through the shout spam to find any real messages from their friends. Even if they scan quickly, it will most likely get their attention and at least make them check to see what someone is saying about it.

Just a thought. Please Digg this and get the word out. The shout feature can be one of the best new changes to Digg in a long time. We just have to figure out a way to wade through the sea of spam. Hopefully this is an answer.

Social Blog

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Race to 1000 ends in a draw with a red eyed tree frog offered as a peace dove

To explain what happened in the previous post, Muhammad Saleem replied in his blog that the frog was neither conspiracy nor was it some strange way of messing with our minds. He and Zaibatsu have decided to end the race to 1000 front page stories abruptly before its conclusion. Why? Read his story for details, but needless to say, their significant others are probably very happy by the news. It was fun to watch!

read more | digg story

Agalychnis callidryas - zaimsaleembatsu conspiracy

Are Zaibatsu and MSaleem sharing the same brain?

Or are they the same person? Come to think of it, I've never seen them together in the same place. The Drill Down -- could it be one person disguising his (or her) voice? Is MrBabyMan part of the conspiracy?

Were they hacked? By a tree frog?

Whatever is happening, it's clear that Agalychnis callidryas, the supposedly innocent red eyed tree frog, is hind-leg deep in the middle of it.

Digg Blog

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

zaibatsu vs. msaleem: The Race to 1000 is ON

They do a podcast together.

They are two of the top 3 members of the most powerful social news website in the world.

They've shut down their share of servers for a day.

This month, they are going head to head.

Chances are good that sometime during the month of November, 2007, both zaibatsu and msaleem, two of the most prolific contibutors to Digg, will surpass the 1,000 mark for stories they submitted that reached the Digg homepage. Yesterday, I sent a shout to each about the magic number. Here were the responses:


Me to msaleem: "Submitting a ton lately, I've noticed. We should have a betting pool (fake money, of course) on what day you'll hit 1000 "Made Popular" submissions. My guess is November 19."

Msaleem response:
"Haha, that's very kind of you. Who all is in the pool, and can I join? (That guy, Zaibatsu certainly won't make it easy for me).

Just kidding Z, Peace in the chicken grease."


Me to zaibatsu: "Hey Z, I predicted Muhammed would hit 1000 "Made Popular" by November 19. When are you going to hit the magic number?"

Zaibatsu response:
"I'm actually fighting to regain my former glory. It's on baby and November 19th days is way to long, I can FP 10 in a day my friend. Help me kick some ass on digg, spread the word it's NEO vs. Morpheus on Digg. Who ever get to 1000 1st gets to pick who the f*ck they are. I don't want to be Morpheus.

I'm sitting at 922 now, give me until Nov 10, wekends suck for me and I need to a day or so to recover from a FP streak!"



Here is my take on the two. No offense intended to either. I have the utmost respect for both apparent styles. In real life, both may be completely different, but on Digg and The Drill Down, here is how they come across to me:

Zaibatsu is the Digger for the common man. Excited, passionate, ever-active, he wants everyone to Digg his submissions because they're good and because he's Digging your stuff too. Rolled up sleaves, shovel in hand, ready to get to work. A Donald Trump style power digger.

Msaleem is a Digger for the elite. Proud, selective, enduring, he only wants to Digg what he likes and expects people to judge his submissions on merit. If it's crap, it's crap, and neither shout nor reciprocated Digg will earn his vote it's crap. A Crown Prince style power digger.


The stats and analysis:


Member since:
zaibatsu - 12/2004
msaleem - 09/2005

No advantage here for either. Both have been on the scene and well known across Digg channels long enough.


zaibatsu - 178
msaleem - 98

The more quality friends (those who are active and Digg your stories) you have, the more Diggs you can potentially get. The way the Digg algorithm seems to work, the more friends you have, the more Diggs you need to make it to the homepage. Both have found what they consider the "sweet spot" as far as number of friends. Whichever one is right may end up being the winner.


zaibatsu - 82,517
msaleem - 42,975

Again, this comes down to personal preference. Zaibatsu is more prolific in his Digging, honestly telling people that he'll Digg a lot of their stories, as many as he can, as long as they are Digging his as well. Msaleem is more selective, trying to take the higher ground by only Digging what he considers "quality". As with everything else so far, it seems that the advantage will come to whoever's strategy is more correct, and only the programmers for Digg know for sure.


zaibatsu - 1,493
msaleem - 1,613

Some say it has an effect. I tend to believe that it just gets more people to your profile page with an opportunity that they'll like your stories. I've been wrong before, but I think it's pretty much a non-factor.


zaibatsu - 2,150 --- Last 8 days: 5, 9, 7, 3, 4, 9, 2, 2 -- 41
msaleem - 2,997 --- Last 8 days: 10, 11, 8, 0, 1, 4, 9, 12 -- 55

Msaleem has an advantage here. More submissions means more opportunities. The one good thing for zaibatsu here is that he can ramp his submissions up. It will bring his percentage down, but a month's worth won't damage his high popular ratio too badly.


zaibatsu - 925
msaleem - 945

A big lead going in for msaleem. Twenty is an awfully wide gap to overcome.


Popular Ratio:
zaibatsu - 43%
msaleem - 32%

Zaibatsu has always been one of 3 or 4 top Diggers to maintain a 40% or higher Popular ratio. In this race to 1000, ratio may get thrown out the window. It's all about bulk. Will he be able to step up?


I've tried to look at this as a race. Then, the image of a hot dog eating contest came to mind. Finally, I came to the conclusion that it's like Iron Chef. A time limit, a goal, two different styles, two different strategies. I see MrBabyMan sitting at the thrown overlooking kitchen stadium nodding his head at their efforts.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Social Media Spammers: Propeller May Not be for You, which used to be Netscape, is one of the most policed social news media websites on the internet. Their people are tenacious as finding spammers and quickly banning them. Unlike Digg and Reddit, Propeller does not allow spam to run rampant. THAT is the gist of this article. I am not convinced 100% that Propeller is not good for SEO, but I will admit that it is a heck of a lot more difficult and time-consuming than the simplicity of the other websites. Only Newsvine is more diligently policed by its members. Read the article. Tell me what YOU think. I stay as far away from straight-spamming as possible, always opting towards spending the time to build friends and read their stories to "earn" the right to promote some of my articles, but that's me. If you SM spam, I'd like to know about it. Successes, failures, yadayadayada. Mostly, I want to know the results.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pownce for Marketing? SEO? Social Bookmarking?

Pownce. Some call it Digg social. Some call it Twitter 2. I call it a potential website marketing goldmine.

Well, at least a silver mine. Maybe bronze.

Okay, so it doesn't have all of the things that you look for in a link-building social network or bookmarking website. The pages are not indexed regularly, but this can be fixed. There is no ability to plug in anchor text on the links. The links are not contextual. It's hard to build a theme of relevance.

With the negatives aside, here are the positives:

1) Nofollow -- Not there! Just like with Digg, the links are valid. No redirects, no nofollow attribute, just good, clean links.

2) Control -- You can plug in whatever you want and delete whatever you want. If you look at Automotive Marketing on Pownce, you'll see that I have been able to start slow and build up from there.

3) FUN -- It can be enjoyable building links, marketing, and interacting at the same time. Sometimes, promoting a website can be very tedious. Pownce makes it a bit less mundane.

4) Direct to Friends -- The interface to build friends is very easy. Not TOO easy, where whoever you add is a friend automotically, but easy enough to get a nice long list in a short amount of time. You might be able to get some traffic after all from your efforts unlike many of the other link-building techniques.

5) Fast -- It takes about 15 seconds to build a link on Pownce. Compared to directory submissions, articles, soliciting, etc., it's faster. Not as fast as a BM button, but not bad at all.

6) Indirect -- Here's a thought. Build up links to the pownce profile that will draw traffic to it. This indirect sort of marketing can allow the profile itself to place in the SERPs if done well, not to mention the direct traffic and the increase in the quality of the pownce links themselves.

7) No Risk -- There is nothing worse than working on a website that eventually gets banned, a BM profile that gets banned, or anything that gets banned for that matter. From what I can tell, as long as you follow the rules, you won't get banned as a spammer.

The Pownce experiment is on. I will try to see how hard it is to get indexed. I will contribute to the cause, meet people, be friendly, build links, and promote the page itself. I'll let you know how it goes in a few weeks.

Social Bookmarking

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Social Bookmarking Experiment: Sending Visitors to See the Penguins

Here is a little experiment. Using only social bookmarking websites, we are going to see how much traffic we can send to an article about penguins. Penguins.

This article is from, which is a high traffic website, but this article surely will not receive a ton of traffic. It's from the American Bus Association (already a tough article to get views) and their campaign using penguins to promote bus services.

The story itself isn't important as long as it doesn't draw its own traffic based upon the material. The article is Take the Bus for Penguins, which as you can tell, won't get too many people looking for it on Google. We are submitting it only to SB websites. The benefits from a search engine optimization perspective are well documented, but how much direct trafic comes from SB websites. I'm betting high, but we'll wait for the empirical data first.

As a control article, we are also submitting a potentially more popular article from the same website. Since concept cars and information about them gets its own traffic, 2008 Nissan Skyline GT-R will be submitted to the same social bookmarking websites as a traffic comparison. People at SB sites will often click on an article, but leave immediately, so this will purify the data.

PLEASE, if you contribute to the social bookmarking of either of these articles, post it here. Every effort must be documented to make sure that the data is real. We want to know the instant traffic boost as well as any residual traffic in the future.

Thank you for your support.

Search Engine Optimization Bookmarking

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Adjusting to the New Digg

Okay, it isn't that bad. It took forever to make it to the homepage (12 days) but once there, I realize that it isn't that bad. Here are the adjustments that I made:

1) Getting 30, 60, 90 Diggs isn't as easy as it used to be. Before, having a ton of friends and doing a ton of Digging was enough to ensure that you could get a bulk of Diggs to anything. Now that people actually have to click on to the page, there is a chance that they will read it, which means that spam submissions is out, for the most part. This is a HUGE plus for Digg users, especially those who hate the spam. Will it continue? Of course. But the chances of a spam submission getting more than the initial Digg is greatly diminished.

2) Shouts don't work for most. I've been tracking some of the "shout spammers" out there and it just isn't an effective way to get Dugg. Sure, you'll get some, but for the most part, you might as well email spam and get the same results.

3) Quality of submissions is ever more important. Catchy headlines will always play a major role in the quest to make it to the homepage, but the story needs to be a good one.

4) Keep it up. Like I said, I wasn't a power Digger by any means, but I used to be able to count on at least one story making the homepage every few days. Now, it seems that the gap is growing. As much as I want to dump the efforts, I just can't. If you are thinking about it, keep going. It'll happen if you stick with it.

5) Fans are nice, but most are meaningless. There are "Fans" out there who never Digg your stuff. Because there doesn't have to be the same gap in time between adding friends, many are trying the bulk friend approach. This may actually work, but you can't just befriend them and go. Digg their stuff, keep digging their stuff, and hopefully you'll get noticed, added, and Dugg.

6) The time it takes to make the homepage seems to have increased. Where before, 24 hours was usually the cutoff, there are more and more popular stories that approach 2 days before becoming obsolete.

7) Submit less. Before, submitting a ton of stories every day would land you somewhere with something on the homepage. I've examined some of the mass submitters and seen literally hundreds of submissions in a row without going popular. Submitting good stories is much more important.

In conclusion, I was completely against the new Digg. I've changed my mind. The quality is improving, and after all is said and done, that is really what will make Digg great again. It was getting too easy to post crap and make it the homepage, or at least get a ton of Diggs for it. Now, you have to submit good stuff to have a chance. This is a great thing for serious Diggers, and even a greater thing for those who read Digg for the news itself.

Digg SEO

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Digg to Make Digg Digg Again

There is Facebook. There is Pownce. There is Reddit.

And then there WAS Digg.

It was different. It was better.

There are millions of ways to socialize online.

There are hundreds of places to store pictures.

There are dozens of quality news sites.

None of them were like Digg, until Digg became like them.

This Digg is not good.

This Digg Sucks.

Bring Digg Back.

Digg to make Digg Digg again.

Testing the New Digg System with Self-Promoting Articles

There won't be much here. This is, of course, by design. Just checking to see if another terrible headline with another batch of terrible descriptions leading to a story that doesn't say much will get dugg.

In the past, someone could expect to get a least 20-40 Diggs for meaningless stories if they were submitted by someone with an established group of friends and a high level of activity. The new Digg, which requires that upcoming stories must get clcked on to get Dugg, may eliminate the self-promoting, search engine optimization related submissions.

I have used this method to get a page of a website indexed quickly. For non-competitive keywords, I have actually gotten 1st page rankings in Google within hours for pages that were brand new -- never indexed.

This article is the tester. I will have a buddy submit it who is relatively strong at Digg (he's had several stories make it to the homepage, unlike me). We'll see if it goes anywhere.

And just for the pic factor, here is one so we won't be able to blame it on the lack of a picture:

Social Media Marketing

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Web 2.0 Tool

Automating your social bookmarking is an important aspect to using the various SB sites for search engine optimization. While using social bookmarking is becoming a valid method to getting pages ranked, it can also be a long process, one that requires you to fill your browsers with buttons and links.

One tool, the Web 2.0 Toolbar, is an asset that every SEO should incorporate into their arsenal. While it doesn't truly automate the process, it does consolidate many of the top sites into one toolbar, saving room and time.

Many use OnlyWire. It's another tool that submits to 20 or so SB sites. Luckily, the Web 2.0 Toolbar includes OnlyWire in its toolbar.

It also includes:
and Rawsugar

While some of these are duplicates from OnlyWire, it allows you to vary the anchor text more often. Pound for pound, it's the best free tool that I've found for social bookmarking.

Social Media Marketing
Automotive SEO

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"I Support Bush" and 9 other reasons this won't make the Digg homepage

1) Bad title. It mentions a top 10 list and doesn't bash the Republican party in any way. Plus, it's too long and doesn't say [pic].

2) Nobody important in Digg visits this blog, so it will probably be submitted by a loser (or me if nobody submits it at all by tomorrow, which they probably won't).

3) It doesn't fit into any category other than "Offbeat News" but it's really not that offbeat and it's definitely not news.

4) The Ron Paul Online Army doesn't know my blog exists. If they did, they would spam it, so I prefer the anonymity.

5) It is posted on a free blog that was created a few months ago, so it would take 150 Diggs and 50 comments to get it past the Upcoming section.

6) I'm broke -- can't buy Diggs.

7) The story description will probably be really bad. In fact, they'll probably just cut and paste reason number 7 (if the digger reads that far down).

9) It will be buried as inaccurate since I skipped #8, thus, there aren't "9 other reasons this won't make the Digg homepage". (did that make sense?) Plus, there is a mispelling somewhere in this post.

10) The picture in the story is boring -- just a list of the top Diggers according to

Social Bookmarking Blog

"I Support Bush" and 9 other reasons this won't make the Digg homepage

1) Bad title. It mentions a top 10 list and doesn't bash the Republican party in any way. Plus, it's too long and doesn't say [pic].

2) Nobody important in Digg visits this blog, so it will probably be submitted by a loser (or me if nobody submits it at all by tomorrow, which they probably won't).

3) It doesn't fit into any category other than "Offbeat News" but it's really not that offbeat and it's definitely not news.

4) The Ron Paul Online Army doesn't know my blog exists. If they did, they would spam it, so I prefer the anonymity.

5) It is posted on a free blog that was created a few months ago, so it would take 150 Diggs and 50 comments to get it past the Upcoming section.

6) I'm broke -- can't buy Diggs.

7) The story description will probably be really bad. In fact, they'll probably just cut and paste reason number 7 (if the digger reads that far down).

9) It will be buried as inaccurate since I skipped #8, thus, there aren't "9 other reasons this won't make the Digg homepage". (did that make sense?) Plus, there is a mispelling somewhere in this post.

10) The picture in the story is boring -- just a list of the top Diggers according to

Social Bookmarking Blog

Friday, August 31, 2007

Anchor Text: Switch it Up

From time to time, I check the bookmarks of SEOs who are using SB sites for link building. One thing I've noticed that is a big no-no -- you're not alternating the tags.

Anchor text is one of the most important indicators that Google and MSN use to determine what a website is about. Having the same tag, or anchor text, associated with a link on all of your SB sites will diminish their own effect, plus minimize the possible advantages granted for the link itself.

There is always a temptation to use onlywire or one of the other automated bookmarking tools. If you do use them, make sure to split it up amongst 3 or 4 different submissions. In other words, use the tools, but submit a site once with only a few SB sites checked, then resubmit with another set, and on and on.

Google doesn't like it when the same anchor is used constantly. They want websites rankings and link building to be natural. They don't want googlebombing or any other form of SERP manipulation.

It will take more time, but it is worth the effort.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Digg Becoming More about Photos than News

Photos have always been popular on Digg. Now, they are becoming more "Popular" as an increasing amount of users digg the sacred word pic normally written in parentheses to indicate 3 things:

1) It's probably funny
2) It won't take any time to get the full effect
3) It won't require any thought or reading

This screenshot of "Top 10 in All Topics" was taken shortly after midnight cst, 8-20-2007. It is clear that the key to not only going popular but also making the most of it after going popular is to add 5 characters to the headline, ( p i c )

With Google Universal Search starting to have effects on the results, we should start seeing an increase in Digg's power over the search engines.

Social Media Marketing

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kevin Rose's First Digg that DID NOT Go Popular

It's official. Kevin Rose, the Digg Master, has submitted a story that did not make it to the Popular front page. His 285 submitted story, "XREP - Taser via Shotgun", was submitted on August 7th.

It has stalled at just over 100 Diggs and did not make it over the hump.

Proof positive, in case anybody doubted, that Digg is truly algorithm based without manual override.

The funny part is, that story will probably get more hits now than it would have had it gone popular. You have to admire the guy, not just for creating the most powerful social news network on the planet, but also for "keeping it real" in most situations and not abusing his fame and power. Unless...

Why would he have submitted this story? It doesn't seem to fit with his standard Digg-related or tech related-story submittals. Did he just find the story interesting, or was it one of my possible conspiracy theories?

1) He was paid. Lots. The company with the product or the website with the story (or both) sent him a large check with a url.

2) Someone close to him was kidnapped. The ransom was one crappy Digg submittal.

3) Blackmail. Someone found a deep, dark secret about Kevin and they forced him to submit the story in exchange for their silence.

4) Hackers. His account was hacked and he either hasn't noticed or he's keeping it quiet until there's a full FBI investigation.

5) Disinformation. The algorithm IS rigged and they wanted to ruin his perfect record just to prove it.

6) Stocks. Kevin bought a ton of stock in a company that manufactures the Taser XREP and he's trying to cash in.

7) Attacked. Someone hit Kevin with the XREP, knocking him unconsious. They had just enough time to submit the story, and since there's no way to unsubmit or correct errors like there should be (like with comments) he was unable to correct it and just hoped for the best.

Whatever happened, I give my full kudos and respect to Kevin Rose...

...but something seems fishy.

Social Media Marketing

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Creating a Social Network for Links (oh, and networking)

MySpace. Facebook. LinkedIn.

Yesterday's news from an SEO point of view.

The use of redirection, no html in posting, nofollow, or whatever other methods that these and similar social networks are using is making them less valid for search engine optimization. They still draw some traffic depending on what you're using it for, but in reality, they don't help making your own websites rise in the rankings.

Social bookmarks are still currently strong, but it's time to to hedge bets and go somewhere between the blogs and the social bookmarking sites. It's time for personal social networks.

What is it? A personal social network is one that is created by an individual or company using Ning, Goingon, or one of the many emerging websites that offer the service. You create a site, formatting it as a blog, an RSS site, a commenting or forum site, or just about whatever you want from it.

You invite people or get found on its own merits. People can join, post photos, videos, articles, or whatever you want your people to be able to post.

I will show you Ning in this post. I created a few myself, but my focus is on Automotive Network. Searches for "Car Dealer Social Network" or "Auto Dealers Social Network" on Google will show that it is currently #1 as of the time of this post. The site itself has only been up for a couple of months.

Through the blog posts, through the editable text boxes, a good SEO can really create some strong, relevant links on a separate server that are under the website owner's control. It's a brilliant method from the perspective that it serves two purposes -- you can create the links with ideal anchor text and you can find like-minded people who can become partners, collaborators, contributors, or even customers.

Car dealers like Toyota Portland and Glendale Nissan will be able to connect with their customers and connections in return by building their own social networks.

Any business, automotive or not, will be able to have their own website that can rank well for their brand name (if optimized) and push down any negative blogs or reviews that also show up for the company name.

Of course, there is a cost. Time. From a financial perspective, it's perfect. It's free.

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SEO with Social Media

Monday, August 6, 2007

Online Marketing: Digging the Competition

This is a terrible, nasty, devious, evil technique that I am ashamed to even post. I am compelled because someone, I’m sure, already has posted it and others will follow. That doesn’t make it right, but at least it justifies my intentions in my own mind and makes me feel better about myself.

Digg your competors. No, not their websites. Most companies have someone who has had a bad personal experience in their dealings. The internet, which is often a place for people to vent publicly, likely has a documented incident that they do not want read by many.

Even better, if you can find a news report about them that portrays them in a bad light, you want that up there.

Best possible scenario, there is a court document out there that truly is “dirt” against them.

Find these stories, pages, documents, whatever. Research them and see how old they are. Brand new posts are often not the best, as they do not have enough history in Google to do well. Try to find something that is not too old that it no longer applies, but that is old enough to have been indexed and perhaps even linked to from other sites.

Digg it. Furl it. StumbleUpon it. Reddit,, simpy – all fair game. The key is to make the title of the Digg or tag or seed the name of the company. You will have a hard time getting to the top spot if they optimize their website at all, but you may get on the front page, even as high as number 2.

Man, it’s dirty. Really, really filthy as a technique, but if I didn’t post it, someone else would have. Heck, I’m sure it’s been posted a hundred times. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself so I can sleep at night.

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Social Media Optimization

Monday, July 30, 2007

Using Social Media to get Pages Indexed Quickly

Sometimes I laugh at the ads posted through banners and links on different web pages.

"We'll submit your website to 65 trillion search engines for $29."

Sometimes I just shake my head, not because it's such a scam, but because I know that people do it. That's their $29 SEO. The pay and go and wonder a few weeks later why Google has not indexed their page yet.

There are a few things you can do to get your pages indexed if your site is new. You can submit it to the search engines. This takes a while and by the time Google and the others get around to indexing submitted sites, you've probably given up on it.

There is the link purchase, where you buy a link on a PR 6 or higher websites. It works, but it costs quite a bit, especially if you're smart enough to search for relevancy.

The easiest way to get you pages indexed is to "AddThis" or whatever widget you use for social bookmarking. If you submit your site to Digg, Furl, Reddit, etc, you have made the second step towards getting your website indexed.

The first step? Be active and make friends on Digg, Furl, Redd1t, etc. There are many people who have these accounts on the SB sites, submitting their own work in a few seconds, and never exploring or making friends or anything that will actually help them. It is a time investment, but the rewards can be tremendous.

If you can make enough friends (and by friends, I mean those who mutually befriend you) by Digging their stories, the right people will befriend you and Digg your stories back. This is the key. Hoping that your one single Digg to your page or website will be enough is a stab in the dark. It may get indexed, it may not.

Friends allow you to get 10, 20, 30 or more Diggs on a story. If it gets 30 Diggs, Google will index it. If somehow it is able to go Popular, prepare for the storm of traffic.

A case in point is Portland Toyota Dealers. They are a new site that was having trouble getting indexed. Using my SB sites, I was able to get it indexed and start a nice flow of backlinks pointing to it.

If you do not want to spend a few hours per week with social bookmarking to help your SEO, you shouldn't spend any time at all.

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Social Internet Marketing

Friday, July 27, 2007

Some Rules for Social Media Optimization

If you can get past the marketing of the services, the advice on this article (the one linked to below) is actually very good. Replace the "we can" with "you can" and learn the techniques that they are suggesting, and it should be an excellent source of information.

One thing to remember - these services are very useful, but much of it is very isolated to certain markets. Low traffic websites are not going to get a burst of traffic by paying people to do SMO for them.

I consider social media as a true means of generating traffic as a fad without growth. While the fad will continue (it shows no signs of slowing down) by saying "without growth" I mean that the quality traffic that it generates will not turn into a substantial increase in sales (if you're selling something) or return traffic unless what your website does is provide a flow of information.

The true benefit of social media for many sites, especially stagnant market sites like automotive and real estate (where people look for these sites only once every few years) is in the boost you get for search engine optimization purposes.

Still, the article is excellent and I am happy to link to it. Be sure to go past the 5 and read the other 12 listed below.

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Social Media Optimization

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Social Bookmarking Profile: Shadows

What is it?

Social bookmarking community, with the last word stressed. It does't have nearly the benefits that can be achieved through Digg or some of the others, but it is more enjoyable and the conversations are engrossing.


It is extremely well organized. The pages, groups, and profiles are interesting. There are 4 links that can be placed on the profile, plus more links can be added into the biography itself. The profile page can be made into a strong linking page with enough room for lots of content.


It takes a while to get indexed often and even longer to get the links page itself indexed. You can put a ton of links on the link pages, but the ones on the profile, if it is updated regularly, are the ones that can have the most effect because the profile will be indexed more often and can gain a stronger relevance through content.


No nofollow yet. Until the spammers find it, it should stay that way for a while.


Shadow takes the mundane out of social bookmarking. There is a strong sense of internet community here, so there can be real fun in doing it. I suspect it also throws some small measure of traffic towards its sites, though nothing like going popular on Digg.

Here is my Shadow Profile.

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Social Bookmarking for SEO

Sunday, July 22, 2007

An Outside View -- Social Bookmarking Sites Rated

In my attempts to rate and classify the best bookmarking sites and ability to be used in search engine optimization, I was searching to see how my blog was ranking on the subject when I found another site that was similar.

Mine (of course) ranked higher for the term that I searched, but this is more of a generic, loosely focused site that delves in depth with one article on the ideas and concepts presented on this blog.

While I want to be known as the expert on the topic and a pioneer in the field, it never hurts to give credit to those who have also worked hard to determine the validity of this before it becomes more of a trend.

So, I will submit my first external link to a site with which I am in mild competition. Those versed in SEO will balk at this, as there are many reasons to now want to link to a "competitor", but after reading this article and others on the site, I felt it was definitely a resource for readers of this blog.

There is no shame in accepting that someone else is also doing a good job.

To read their article, please click HERE.

Social Bookmarking SEO

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Social Bookmarking Profile:

What is it?

From the perspective of being a social bookmarking site the way it was originally supposed to work, is the best. Very simple to use, great plug-ins, and a wide variety of easy-to-integrate-and-import partner sites makes great for non-SEO surfers.


Traffic to is one of the best. From a strictly social bookmarking perspective, the hotlist is a very common daily stop for millions of people. Getting to the front page, the "hotlist" means a burst in traffic beaten only by Digg.

The feeds that come from to other websites are extremely easy to use. Many social sites have an option to receive the feed, so tagging a site on is like tagging a site on several sites in one step. This is the best feature for


Very few, other than the one glaring one...


Many SEOs became tearful the day that implemented "nofollow" onto their links. The link itself, if not tagged by others, is pretty much worthless. Luckily, most of the sites that accept feeds do not have nofollow and the attribute does not follow the link when imported.


Next to digg, is the best site for SEO if you take into account the feeds and shared favorites. To many, it is actually better for this very reason.

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Social Bookmarking SEO

Monday, July 16, 2007

Social Bookmarking Profile: Newsvine

For the intellectuals of the world, Newsvine is your Digg.

What is it?

Newsvine is a community of "Citizen Journalists" whose work rivals the mainstream news media sites. This group is not exclusive, but to have a successful "Vine" of stories and seeds, it is necessary to have an eye for news, a willingness to speak out, and a strong grasp of the English language.

Low quality work will never rise up the Vine.


For high quality work, the rewards can be many. Because everyone gets their own sub-domain to post their work, it is possible to create a very strong stand-alone website with posts and seeds to others' work.

While it is strong at building high quality backlinks, the real benefit is the earnest traffic that can come from it. Though it won't shut down your servers, if you post something that is high-quality and thought-provoking, you can drive many people who can recognize greatness and may bookmark your site for future visits.

Unlike Digg, it is possible for a great story to work its way up the vine without having to build up a stock of friends to help it build momentum. Great stories rise of their own merits, regardless of the person who seeded or wrote the story.

With that said, longevity and having that stock of friends built up still helps.

The spam filters (i.e. self-policing Viners) are very sharp. This is great for someone who really wants to write and disastrous for spammers. A spammer can spend a lot of time and effort working their way up the vine, only to find that they were caught, deleted, and banned from the Vine forever.


The competition is tight. Because so many of those who post articles are journalists with professional credentials and strength in their eloquence, it isn't easy to present the type of work that moves up quickly.

For those who are just looking for backlinks, this is not the place to go. It takes much more effort to get a story indexed and get a backlink than Digg, Furl, or some of the other "spammer friendly" websites.


Newsvine has no need for nofollow. Its very nature and the nature of its community does more to fight spam than a nofollow attribute could ever hope to achieve.


As a social bookmarking tool for SEO, Newsvine is not worth the expenditure of time and effort. For someone looking for good, quality stories and a community that rewards good, quality contributors, Newsvine is perfect.

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Social Media Optimization

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Social Bookmarking Profile: Digg

Digg is changing the world of news as we know it. If anyone is ever interested in what's hot in the world at that particular moment, just check out Digg. It's topics are wide ranging and they vary in scope from the war on terror to tips for cooking on the grill.

What is it?

Digg is the grandpappy of the social bookmarking sites. Started by Kevin Rose, it allows people to submit stories from pages on the internet. These submissions are placed in a constantly updated pool of stories for others to "Digg" (vote up) or "Sink" (vote down).

An algorithm looks at the Diggs and decides which ones are to go "Popular", or be placed on the coveted 1st page. Many servers have crashed by the exponential increase in traffic from making it to the front page of Digg.


No other site has the instantaneous effect that Digg can have on a popular story. From a SMO point of view, it is the light at the end of the tunnel, as traffic is guaranteed. From an SEO point of view, the links can be strong when a Digg from a high PR/TR user is indexed at the right moment.

Getting Dugg well is a guarantee for indexing.


It takes a lot of effort, Digging other people's stories, making friends, and luck to go popular. Above all else, it takes interesting stories, videos, or articles. Still, having the best written piece ever is no guarantee without some help from friends. If a story doesn't get Dugg quickly by a few people, within the first hour or so, it is doomed to sink to obscurity.

Some Diggers have a strong enough base of friends and reputation to post articles on about C-Span and go popular. This is a flaw in the system, but it also helps. It is possible for someone to go on, post a single story, and have it go popular. I've seen it happen. I've also heard about people winning the lottery, though I never seem to get close.


Digg has held strong and not adopted the dreaded nofollow attribute.


Anyone who wants to get into SMO must get into Digg. It's the Google of social bookmarking.

More about SEO can be found on Automotive SEO, a specialized blog about search engine optimization for car dealers.

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Social Bookmarking

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Case Study: Digg vs. Copyblogger

Have you always dreamed about getting on Digg’s front page? Well, perhaps you should dream of being featured on an authority blog on your niche, instead. People have discussed widely the fact that traffic from social bookmarking sites is “peculiar,” but a couple of weeks ago I was able to track down the numbers.

read more | digg story

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Social Media Marketing

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Power to the Diggers: How Nofollow Hurts Social Bookmarkers

In an effort to fight comment spam -- a tactic used by Search Engine Optimizers to build link popularity for their websites -- Google established the "nofollow" tag. It eliminates the "juice" that a link gives to its website. Spammers can post hundreds of comments on dozens of websites and receive no benefit for its search rankings.

Over the last several months, several social bookmarking sites such as and reddit have adopted this same technique in an effort to keep spammers from populating their website with a ton of junk. The thought is that SEOs will stop using the service and that only those who really want to post interesting things that they "found" will be able to have an impact.

It doesn't work and here's why:

1) The social media optimization boom has made spamming even more useful than it ever was for straight SEO. The services normally offer easy to install and use buttons, so there is no wasting time.

2) Many SEOs don't even check for nofollow, either because they believe what many of the forums are saying about how nofollow is a myth, or out of sheer ignorance.

3) SEO spammers need multiple sites from which to link, not multiple links on a site. Once they have placed their link, they move on to the next website. Eliminating the occasional 1 tag is nowhere near the epidemic of social media optimization, where build a friends network and creating multiple accounts has SMOs systematically tagging each page of their sites over a long period of time and voting for their friends in hopes of a recipricol vote on their own.

Now, this all seems fine, but why would a standard non-SEO, non-SMO care about any of this? They do not care about placement, though most like to see their stories make it to the front page of their favorite bookmarking site.

The dilemma lies in credit. Many people find something interesting and want to share it. If they share something that others like, it goes popular.

Everyone has heard of the tremendous instant boost in website traffic when it makes it to the front page. Wouldn't it be nice to also bestow some of this "glory" for future people to see through the search engines? Once a website leaves the front page, things go back to normal for its traffic. If the link juice were also applied, as it is with Digg, Furl, and Listible, then people's vote would be more than just on that website. It would count across the net through its effects on search engines.

I am a fan of nofollow. True SEOs don't need to spam forums and blog comments to get their websites ranked. Still, I do believe that all social bookmarking sites should remove nofollow and keep up with the times.

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Social Optimization

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Social Bookmarking and Blogging for Automotive

There seems to be a trend in the automotive industry that is gearing dealers towards moving their search engine efforts to blogs. Why? Because it works, has been for a year and now auto dealers, who are always a little behind on the technology aspect of marketing, are just catching on.

Websites like BlogProAutomotive are helping to spread the word about how blogging for car dealers is not just a fad, but also an important aspect of automotive SEO. The market is thinning and the competition is growing, so dealers need everything they can get to make their dealership stay afloat.

Social Bookmarking, the topic of this particular blog, is another area that auto dealers cannot afford to let slip. With sites like Digg, Ratepoint, Furl, Simpy, and offering quick and easy ways to make bookmarks, they fit into the common dealership mentality of "if it's simple, do it." Even smaller SB sites like 9Rules, Reddit, and Newsvine offer ways to market a dealership's services and products.

The real difficult comes in the idea of no being welcome. Most of these sites pride themselves on keeping relevant and only posting what people really want. Who wants to click on something they find on Digg, only to be taken to a car dealer homepage?

This is why blogging for dealerships is the best way. The automotive industry, in general, is not ready for social bookmarking. Not to be offensive, but they just don't have anything to offer people beyond their products. Blogs, unlike social bookmarking, allow people to post what they want. The explosion over the last couple of years of MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr make it possible for good search engine optimizers to make a difference without getting involved in "tricky" methods.

Social bookmarking is the fad that's here to stay in search engine optimization. Auto dealers need to focus on blogs instead of SB for now. This shouldn't be a problem until they start to catch on to SB sometime early next year.

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Social Bookmarking Optimization

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Social Networking; Social Media Optimization

Discusses articles from Search Engine Watch and Advertising Age and how social networks and social media optimization can be used for Internet marketing strategy, search marketing (ppc campaigns) and search engine optimization (seo).

read more | digg story

A complete list of search engine friendly (SEO) WordPress plugins for your

After being on WordPress for over four months now, I thought I would compile a quick list of WordPress plugins that I’ve used to optimize my blog for search engines. I have found that most lists out there include a couple of these, so I thought I would try to create a master list of the best SEO plugins for WordPress.

read more | digg story

The new SEO Guide

Chris Beasley JUST released a new guide to SEO. Chris is someone who has proven experience with SEO and has taken his experience and created a thorough guide (approximately 60 printed pages) and is giving it away for FREE!

read more | digg story

21 Essential SEO Tips & Techniques

Small businesses are growing more aware of the need to understand and implement at least the basics of search engine optimization. But if you read a variety of small businesses blogs and Web sites, you'll quickly see that there's a lot of uncertainty over what makes up

read more | digg story

The SEO and Marketing Power of the Right Domain Name

The strength (SEO Value) of your domain name was reported in Search Engine Ranking Factors V2 by SEOmoz in 4/2007. The study was completed by 37 of the top SEO professionals in the world. They report that using a top/strong keyword in your domain name is rated 3 out of 5 important and effective. Next, you'll want to know this; it's rated 2.8 import

read more | digg story

Morals and Ethics in SEO: A Philosophical Treatise

A great deal of discussion has taken place over White Hat SEO vs. Black Hat SEO. It’s a really old debate actually. “Should I try this new thing they call ‘Google Bombing’?” is an age old question that still pops up from time to time. Does one simply focus on proper html structure, content and a solid link foundation?

read more | digg story

Automotive SEO: Why Car Dealer SEO is Unique

Most search engine optimization services work the same. They will take any client, perform the same type of SEO tasks that they do for other websites, and at the end of the day, they’re scratching their heads wondering why they can’t seem to breach the top rankings. Automotive SEO is an entirely different beast than any other type of optimization

read more | digg story

Pageflakes adds social networking

The latest upgrade to Pageflakes (to go live later today) will see the personalized start-page service take its first steps towards evolving into a social network based on shared interests.

read more | digg story

Google Universal: the SEO Doomsday Machine (according to Chicken Little)

If you're up-to-date on the latest in SEO news and developments you've been reading about Google Universal. Essentially, Google wants to bundle all of its data -blogs, images, videos, book content...

read more | digg story

SEO for the WEB 2.0

Search engines give web sites higher rankings when Web 2.0 technologies are used for enhancing depth of content and user experience. Search engines are "getting wise" to sites that embed links all over the place just to try to increase the perception of popularity.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

10 Tips for Getting Dugg on a Small Budget

There are 10 things I've learned about Digg over the last few months:

1) You need friends. Unless you are a respected Digg member, you can post a Pulitzer Prize winning piece, but without a few friends to Digg it with you to get it noticed, it will soon fall to the "under 10 Diggs hell" and lost forever.

2) Appealing to the 20-something crowd works, but it is no longer the only way to get Dugg.

3) Sex, drugs, and video games are not topics that will get Dugg easily anymore.

4) Humor works, but it has to be really funny.

5) You need friends. A video of an alien abduction will get buried if you don't get a boost of people to push it into the spotlight. Not a lot -- 5-15 friends are enough to get it noticed by the casual and hardcore diggers.

6) You must be FAST with national news. Constant, diligent monitoring of feeds is the only way to scoop a story.

7) Sometimes, scooping is not enough. You can Digg a story first, but if a "power-digger" posts the same story a few minutes later (and ignores the duplicate check), yours will get a few diggs, but not enough to make it.

8) Unknown blogs need a power-digger to get them popular.

9) Digging stories directly from other social sites is taboo. Digg it from the source.

10) You need friends. An story written by J.D. Salinger will get buried if you aren't respected and don't have friends.

* * *

The other technique is to pay for it. Contact someone who's stories always go Popular and offer them a hefty fee to submit your story or video for you.

Article commissioned by the royal automotive kings at Dealer Website Design.

Special thanks to the Digg community and creators for putting together the highest quality social bookmarking site in the universe.

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Social Bookmarking SEO