Links Ahoy! Turn Copied Content to Instant Links

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“Content is King” would probably be one of the greatest online myths of all time (well for me at the very least). Yes, we all know and agree that great content will always be invaluable, but great content in a mediocre website? It’s like having a great and wise king alone in an old crumbling castle waiting to disappoint bandits with no loot (poor raiders IMHO!).

What I’m saying here is that design and usability is as important as ever today. Great content, to be well appreciated, deserves a well-designed and usable home. By not making your content readable, consumable, share-able, and what not, what’s the point? You’ll never attract bandits to steal your content (having raiders clamoring for your content = epic win!)!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for content pirates and scrapers, but be informed that there’s a new way of looking at people who actually copy your content for the sake of admiration, approval, and mere quotation. Take a look at Tynt, the copy/paste service.

So What Does it Do?

Tynt as a Traffic Driver

Tynt is in essence an automated link attribution service, which means that any snippet of content copied from your blog or website and then pasted onto other webpages, social networks, or email, will automatically include a URL back to your original content page.

Aside from having all of these links driving traffic back to your site, another important aspect of this would be on the user-side of things where readers are informed directly of the content’s original source–sort-of-like-a-human-front-end version of the canonical tag eh?

Tynt as a Link Building Tool

Good news to SEOs, having an automated link attribution service running on your site will make link building much less of a hassle. All you have to do is add great content (and I do mean great) and you have another avenue to generate links from.

Tynt Link Attribution

Tynt Link Attribution Setup

Tynt as Engagement Analytics

On top of making your content work harder by automatically sending you traffic through inbound links, Tynt adds icing on the cake by making everything measurable (Yes! Measurable!). Basically, you can measure how much content was copied from your pages, what pages content was copied from, where your content was pasted, to how much traffic all of these link attributions sent back to you site.

Tynt also provides users with heat maps of the pages where content was copied from, thus adding more value to webmasters who constantly work hard on improving their properties–just imagine amount of insight you can derive from all this data.

Tynt Insight

Tynt Insight – Analytics

Tynt Page Insight

Tynt Insight – Page Analytics

What’s the Catch?

I’ve probably given you the most concise review of Tynt’s service and I guess it’s about time for me to tell you what’s hiding underneath this golden sheath. Well, sad to say you get all of this for the minimal price of…uhm it’s FREE!

However, take note, nothing’s perfect and thus I’ll share with you the lowdown of some the improvements I would definitely appreciate from Tynt.

1. Anchor Text – this has always been an important factor for SEOs and sad to say Tynt doesn’t give us the capability (as of now at least) to modify the kind of anchor text our link attributions will have on other sites. What we get however are link prefixes and suffixes (e.g. More from SEO Taoist: http://www.seotaoist.com/)

2. URL Shortening – based on behavior a lot of real people share content via social media, we have Facebook, Twitter, and of course Google Buzz. The problem when people copy snippets of content from our site is that Tynt displays the full path of the URL and (again at least for now) doesn’t detect if content is being shared on character-dependent services like Twitter.

3. Content Pirates and Scrapers – there are two types of content pirates, the automated robots who scrape the web for content and the copycat who’s so lazy and desperate he/she can’t write his/her own. Correct me if I’m wrong but I do think that by having Tynt running, we’ll have less problems with robot scrapers because we’ll have attributed links pointing back to us on all of these pages. However, people who manually copy content can easily remove the automated links generated by Tynt. My question is, can Tynt actually track content piracy with out the generated link? This is me thinking of having a Copyscape-like tool running on my site.

4. Content Type – simple question is, is Tynt’s service limited to text as of the moment? It would be interesting to see how their service can evolve to include videos, images, and other objects as well.

Is it Difficult to Apply?

Not quite, it’s as simple as registering your site and pasting a script much like GA on your site or blog template and your done. It took me roughly a minute or less registering and installing it myself.

We Want to See it Work!

As much as I’m hesitant to do a shameless plug (but I have to for the sake of your first hand experience!), kindly check out my site at SEO Taoist, my Internet marketing philosophy blog and really read through my articles (let’s keep the experience real guys!). If you find anything interesting, a snippet of content you really like for example, share it to your friends through your blog or social media and from there you’ll see how Tynt works–it’s currently running on my site.

To make you creatively appreciate Tynt more, please do bother and take a look at my article about mind control and local search and see how you can be a link genius by leveraging on choice architecture and reciprocation with the help of Tynt.

As always, I’m looking forward to your comments and suggestions. Feel free to share your take on improving Tynt’s service as well, I bet the guys from Tynt will be more than thankful.

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Jurgen Estanislao
Jurgen is a Certified User Experience professional experienced in Integrated Marketing, Human Factors, Usability, & Interface Design. He's also an avid photogrpaher, and you can... Read Full Bio
Jurgen Estanislao
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