Twitter for SEO: update

July 25, 2007

After some weeks of writing my first post on SEO in twitter, jaiku or tumblr, it is time to revisit the experiment. I actually believe now that the benefit has been threefold:

  1. Increase the indexation ratio of the target website. RSS feeds, if done properly, offer a diverse content that changes frequently. For huge sites where Googlebot tends to get lost, twittering using the RSS feeds generates external linking to wide variety of pages that would otherwise likely not attract much external links due to their niche character. It may turn out actually the the content accesible via RSS may not be well linked even internallyl. This means Googlebot would never find it (unless you use well constructed site maps).
  2. Increase the linking. This was the original idea behind the experiment. It definitely works as advertise and I believe steps will be taken in near (or not so near) future to mitigate this effect. Remember, Twitter and Jaiku have not been constructed as SEO tools. If all SEOs start using this strategy, it may disrupt the normal operation of these sites (be it by using excessive resources for RSS polling, or by flooding the recently updated twitts/jaikus by endless product feeds.
  3. Increase human traffic. This is what I believe now is the best and sustainable effect of twittering for SEO. The linking effect may disappear (how long does it take to implement nofollow tag in twitter? 15 minutes if they decide to do so…) but this effect is here to stay. If you create a good publishing strategy thatĀ  actually brings value to other users, they will both add your jaiku/twitts into their social network (great for linking) and ocassionally click at links you publish, if they are of interest for them. Jaiku/twitter pages also get indexed in SERPS and they may help you to increase (even if marginally only) the visibility of the site you are SEOing.

I am currently working on another interested experiment, blogging (not splogs, but authentic blogs) for SEO. Are you interested in participating? Drop me a line!

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Site Search: The Ultimate Mashup

July 24, 2007

So you’ve achieved 100% indexation of your site in all the main search engines. Great.

Now it’s time to recycle that content a bit to boost further the number of page. Yes, I’m talking about the same content, mashed up in creative ways. You can most likely create loads of category pages by segmenting your product catalogues (creating what’s called views); you can split content large pages and create subpages (especially if your pages are long, or if you use tab navigation within them). You can use the current tag cloud hysteria to organize your content by user-defined (or SEO-defined) criteria. And, you can create literally hundred of content pages by allowing SE bots to index the pages with site search results. Just how to go about it?

1. Optimize the onpage content of your site search results: review the title, metas, content. It must be relevant, it must convert (check out those bounce rates in GoogleAnalytics or whatever other web statistics program you use!).

2. Optimize the cross-linkingĀ  of your site search result pages (SSRP). Check out amazon: their “user who bought this also bought that” concept can be easily applied to SSRP (users who search for this also searched for that). If you don’t have user data, define the relation between search queries yourself, using some simple similarity algorithm. What queries you ask? There are at least three easily accessible sources: site search query logs(if you don’t have them, talk to your sysadmin or the person who programmed the site search) web server logs of queries people use in public SE to reach your site (again, your sysadmin will help), and other sources (such as the infamous AOL data leak etc.)

3. Optimize the linking of the new SSRP and your other landing pages. There are twofold benefits of extensive SSRP indexing. Additional direct traffic, and additional linking created to your regular landing pages (because the principal content element of your SSRP are links to your regular landing pages, right?) I dare to say that in 90% of cases of site search mashup I’ve analyzed the linking effect exceeds the direct traffic effect.

I would love to hear from people who’ve tried this recipe; drop me a comment/email if you are willing to share (in a strictly confidential manner) your results.