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SMX Panel Recap: Extra! Extra! The Social News Sites

Today’s third session and first of the afternoon was focused on the social news sites. The panel was of course moderated by Danny Sullivan, and it included Neil Patel of Advantage Consulting Services, Chris Winfield from 10e20 and Tamar Weinberg of Rusty Brick and techipedia.

Also, please note that there are numerous live bloggers covering this and other panels today including Vanessa Fox and Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Land, Marty Weitenberg on AimClear, and of course Kim Krause Berg (cr8pc) for Search Engine Roundtable.

The focus of this panel was to understand how to harness the potential of the social news sites like Digg, Reddit, Newsvine, etc. Those that are using these sites on a regular basis are a different crowd than traditional media — so your techniques of course need to be updated.

Neil Patel started our session off with a heavy focus on Digg and his proclamation that he “loves Digg as much as most guys (his) age love porn”. He went on to discuss how to use the Digg system, but since most of that has been covered in the past, I’ll stick to the iniformation on marketing opportunities here in this post.

Having conducted his own test in a one week period, Neil found that the average story gets 129 links as well as more than 10,000 visitors in one hour. This is obviously great branding and traffic opportunities that you will need to harness for successful social marketing.

Neil discussed what the requirements were to get on Digg — which was pretty self explanatory. Content, pictures, videos and audio are all ways to get your contention Digg — but Neil recommends using the news and video areas most because of their proven success.

There are often important factors that are worth considering. With Digg, you need to use the following in the active promotion of your stories. Number of votes, time involved, number of votes, submitters and friends. Unwritten rules that Neil offered up included no self promotion, not paying for votes, don’t spam Digg — and of course — SEOs are not allowed.

Fun facts wrapped up Neil’s presentation — and here they are:

  • .7% oof all stories get to the homepage
  • The top 100 users control 56% of the homepage
  • You can’t control what people say
  • Tamar Weinberg on How to Game Digg

    Tamar opened up with discussing the importance of viral content (think lists, controversy, tools, videos, quizzes, etc.). She then reiterated an important fact that we have heard a lot of today — that being the necessity of a strong title and descriptions when submitting your story.

    One of the many accomplishments that Tamar has earned is that of a reputable Digg submitter. When it comes to building up your reputation on Digg, she recommends covering breaking news as well as creative images and stories to help build your reputation faster.

    Building up your profile is important, and Tamar goes on to recommend the following:

  • Make yourself identifiable with profile avatars
  • Provide contact information in your profile to promote offsite communication
  • Befriend users and actively Digg their stories early and often
  • Comment on stories early and regularly.
  • When it comes to additional forms of networking and promoting your Digg submissions, Tamar’s advice is to keep it private and safe. She highlighted the equation of Shouts = Spam = Bury when referring to the Digg Shout options — as some of the most reputable and powerful Digg’ers really frown upon it.

    Another great note that Tamar offered up to those in attendance, was the importance of keeping your Digg actions natural. She provided the example that twenty Diggs in twenty minutes is incredibly unnatural.

    While the panel is focused on the news sites like Digg, Tamar recommends using other services like StumbleUpon as well. Categorizing your efforts is also something that is important as Digg will promote you based on the categorical competition. Areas like science for example are much less popular than technology or news — so it takes less overall Diggs to reach the front or category pages on Digg.

    Chris Winfield: Digging Your Way to the Top

    Chris began by highlighting the importance of success on Digg. As mentioned earlier today was the amount of links and traffic that people are receiving from homepage promotion on Digg. Businesses are challenged at times because of the jargon and nature of people using Digg. The recommendation is to read up and see what people are saying in comments to make sure you’re understanding their point of view.

    Things like press releases really won’t work well — but others like the folks at Blendtec have become successful because they use things like images and video to their advantage. Lists are also great for Digg submissions — despite the fact that they are common practice by all generating link bait.

    Chris continued on with a number of submission tips — but most of those have been covered in my earlier posts from the conference. What I do want to highlight is Chris’ recommendation of using other social networks like StubmleUpon and industry leading blogs as major tools to increase back links. In his client’s case — a case study shared with attendees — more than 1,000 lnks were gained along with hundreds of thousands of visitors. The client received more than 200 new email list sign ups and it continues to retain value to this day.

    Category SEO
    SMX Panel Recap: Extra! Extra! The Social News Sites

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