Journée Infopresse sur les moteurs de recherche 2008 : Summary of Brent Csutoras’ conference
For those who don’t know, Brent Csutoras is a highly regarded independent consultant specializing in social media and search engine marketing from San Francisco. Some of his most famous work comes from the Weirdasianews.com blog which made Digg’s homepage three times in the past 36 days (the blog has 17 stories with 1000 diggs and more).
Today, Brent talked about how social sites (mainly Digg-like sites) can become an extremely powerful medium to drive traffic, visibility and links. Citing two examples, namely « Excuse me, I Am Here For My Cunt Examination » an « Singapore Superhero: Batman Bin Suparman« , he demonstrated how 1 hour of your time can reap 100 000+ visits and 8000+ links including links from respectable domains such as Gizmodo.com, Woot.com & TheInquirer.net. Ok, 1 hour isn’t all that fair because you’ll also need months and months to understand those social sites and to build yourself a name in their communities…
Although the presentation was somewhat geared towards neophytes (which is to be expected of conferences by Infopresse), Brent’s communication skills made the session quite enjoyable and inspiring (on top of that, I think it might be the first linkbait presentation given without actually saying the word « linkbait », which is quite an achievement) .
First, he made a clear point as to what should be the ultimate goal of link baiting: acquiring links. He even quietly dismissed the importance of that huge 24 hours spike in traffic resulting from a successful story. He explains that since traffic from this spike is more or less targeted for conversion, it makes sense to hope for more from the acquired links and the increased positions on search engines.
Brent gave numerous tips on how to successfully use social sites. Here’s a little summary:
To do before writing your content
- Get involved in the community
- Check what worked before
- Make sure you can handle the » Digg effect »
To do with your content
- Be link worthy (unique content on current events, offbeat subjects, anything that’s biggest, amazing, smallest or longest, « create a resource better than the original source »)
- Should be visual and easy to read (use images, videos, summaries, point form)
- Avoid spelling errors
- Limit your ads
- Your title should have at least 1 keyword
To do when submitting
- Submit at the right time (during office hours)[HTML1][HTML1]
During the question session, interesting subjects came up (thanks to Guillaume Bouchard):
Q. Where and how should we put linkbait content on a corporate site?
A. You want to minimize sale pitches, so avoid headers with corporate quotes. Although you might have to change your normal page structure, keep a header and a menu: it has to look like a site. A blog is great. Creating a mini-site might be your only solution if your site is www.insuranceforyou.com.[HTML1][HTML1]
Q. Since it takes so much effort to build respected accounts on social sites and that outsourcing this task can be expensive, what skill-set should companies look for when searching to fulfill a community manager position?
A. Someone who knows how to search, how to write, know what’s happening, understand how the web works, willing to go the extra mile and able to accept failures cause it’s a rocky and lengthy process.[HTML1][HTML1]
Q. Is it possible to create link worthy content for every companies in every industries?
A. Here’s an example of a link worthy content for a bolt and screw company: 25 ways to screw someone.
There you go.