|Social news sites are about content for the reader, not self promotion.|
This is part two of my series on Optimization for Social Media Integration, this time covering social media news.
The top two social media news sites today are Digg and StumbleUpon, so I’ll concentrate on these. However, Propeller.com, Reddit.com, Mixx.com (do-follow links) and Buzz.Yahoo.com are all worth a look.
The main thing to remember about social media sites is that the news on these sites is chosen by the users, making popular items even more so because bloggers look at this content for cool, link-worthy stuff and then re-post or write about them. The stories get great visibility and natural editorial links. In addition, the content is targeted, making it great for boosting your ranking and authority.
In brief: Digg utilizes outside voting, requires LOTS of votes for an item to go popular, generating less illegitimate content. StumbleUpon features toolbar voting, send page to a friend ability (which pretty much forces a view) and even includes the option to buy more views at a whopping 5 cents each.
Here are some general guidelines to make your social news more popular and to provide those nice surges of traffic to your blog or site. These spikes can be fantastic!
- Give quality. Readers (voters) appreciate hard work, like learning, hate spam, SEO and marketing. They strictly want news, not fluff, so make sure that news, not self-promotion, is what you’re presenting.
- Be concise. Save time for everyone by not overdoing the amount of text. Social news readers like to skim without too many clicks. In other words, they are anxious to vote and want to get it done right away!
- Use titles in your blog posts that are positioned for back links with great SEO text. Page titles can have more keywords.
- Post regularly. Keep that great content coming.
- Don’t be tempted to 301 redirect old content to new posts. Let the content be.
- Garner trust because trusted domains are more likely to hit the front page of Digg.
- Stay on topic.
- Make your news linkable.
- Adhere to the Terms of Service for the news site.
- Optimize, rework and monetize your articles 30-60 days after they have gone viral.
- Utilize RSS feeds to help drive links from other sites. RSS feed links are not nofollow.
One final thought. You can actually dominate longtail results with proper social news optimization even if your site isn’t optimized, a terrific byproduct. Links generated to your news article can push even pagess with no SEO to speak of higher.