If you’ve checked your gmail account in the past few days, then you’ve probably gone straight to a screen asking if you want to set up Google Buzz. If you’re worried about a complex set-up procedure, then stop worrying. It’s extraordinarily easy to set up because you’re walked through every step and it’s all very clear.
But perhaps before you get all gung-ho on what should be a new and easy way to tie together contacts and share social networking information, you should know up front that Google Buzz feels very “wide open,” and that’s because, well, it is. Google has already taken some heat from a blogger who found out the hard way that Buzz was revealing her present social networking information to her ex-husband because he is, for better or worse, one of her “most frequent” contacts. Your most frequent contacts are automatically allowed access to your Google Reader unless you explicitly block them. “Frequent” contacts are also those who email you frequently, whether you want them to or not.
This post assumes that you know what Twitter is (a place where you can post 140-character microblog posts) and how to get an account (Just go to Twitter.com and it will tell you how). Twitter is becoming a more important in the world of SEO because now Google is showing “real time” search results from there, as you can see in the screen shot. When you see Twitter results in a Google results page, they update in real time. However, there is a “pause” link at the top of the Twitter results so you can freeze them long enough to get a better look.
On Jan 27, Google promoted its social searching algorithm from the laboratory to “beta,” which means it’s now a regular search option. Reactions so far are mixed. Social searching has been praised by those who care what their friends on Twitter think of the new iPad, and criticized by those who wonder how anyone could care what their Twitter friends thinks of the iPad.
To partake of this new morsel on Google’s search buffet, you need to sign into your Google account and update your Google profile to include links to your accounts on social sites like Twitter and Facebook. But the Facebook link is a little deceptive. The only thing Google can index from Facebook are the public parts of people’s profiles. There isn’t a way for Facebook users to make their status updates available to the entire web.
So Google won’t be searching it to see what relevant things you have to say about a topic one of your Facebook friends has researched as of now. But if there is something relevant in the public part of your Facebook profile, it can use that. Somewhat ironically, FriendFeed, which is now owned by Facebook, is geared toward public information sharing, so if you are on FriendFeed and modify your Google profile to reflect this, that content will eventually become available.
I was asked by a friend today if posting comments on blogs with no follows is a good way to build links for SEO. When I asked him what other strategies he had for acquiring links he mentioned this was going to be primary source of link building!
Just like the good old days where keyword stuffing and meta tag stuff used to work quiet well, search engines and especially Google are now catching on to comment spamming.
Links in comments are now devalued regardless whether or not if they have no follows. This is a direct response to the huge amount of spam comments now appearing on blogs, if you have ever ran a blog of your own, you will know what I mean, even the most obscure, hard to find blogs on the strangest topics can attract spam comments.
Its actually not hard for search engines to determine if a link is from the comments section of a blog, a quick look at the code in wordpress.
Not hard for search engines to look for these tags and devalue the link-juice within them is it?
While comments are no longer useful for link-juice / reputation passing, they are still useful for the following reasons;
Driving qualified traffic
Lets say you own a fishing / lure store and you come across a blog post from someone complaining he isn’t catching any fish. This would be a perfect opportunity for you to leave a comment with fishing tips and suggest some lures he could use; at the end of the comment, be honest and say you own a fishing store where they purchase these products, with one link to your website, not ten!
You already have the target audience thanks to the blog post, now its simply putting together a well constructed comment.
Be mindful how you structure the reply, comments that look like a cut and paste job or advertising fluff will be deleted. Trust me, these type of comments are not hard to spot.
Ask yourself, are you providing any added value to the post, if a friend came to you with a complaint that he isn’t catching any fish. Are you going to give him a bunch of random lure names without telling him why he should use them? Of course not, be conversational. don’t write your comments like robots, because they will be treated like one.
Comment links can also be used to get your website indexed quicker by search engines, if your website is new and not showing up in Google index; it is most likely in Google’s Sandbox.
A method I have found to be useful is using blog comments on popular blogs to naturally drive Googlebot to your sand boxed website.
Follow the advise above with comment structure and don’t spam. You will find once you have a few decent comments approved on blogs, it will move out of the sandbox faster, in most cases I have found this process to be faster than manually submitting your website to Google.
( Don’t forget to setup a Google webmasters account, if your sites not been found it could be other issues causing it, don’t assume its just been sandboxed, I will be posting about Google Webmaster Tool soon, stay tuned )
Blog commenting is one of the simplest form of Social Media Marketing! Good comments generate discussion, and this is what every blog owner wants. Subscribe to comment updates via email so you know when someone else has responded to your comment, this is where you can really engage with your target audience and offer your services / products.
Good comments can still land you juicy backlinks, most blog owners appreciate good comments and will reward you with a link from an actual post perhaps mentioning how your fishing lure has helped him catch more fish!
Not only do you get a backlink from an actual post which would pass on the link juice, you have just gained yourself a loyal customer that will potentially refer others to your website.
So hopefully you will take my advice and stop comment spam once and for all on the internet!
But seriously, blog commenting is a great internet marketing tool, but for link building purposes they are clearly not as useful as they used to be. If you are solely focused on an SEO campaign, cross off blog comments please!