I came across this product today in the signature of an article about social bookmarking.
First off, I usually hit back as soon as I land on an uberugly sales page. But this headline stirred up a question in me: Is this “black hat” or is this a legitimate tool in the honest, respectful blogger’s arsenal?
“In Less Than 20 Seconds,
This Closely-Guarded Black-Hat Tool Instantly Submits New Blog Posts
To The Top Social Bookmarking
Without Looking Like SPAM!”
To me, spam means you put something that is of absolutely no value up just to make a quick buck. SEO spammers use things like keyword stuffing in text and massive link farms to get short term high rankings (because they will sooner or later get dinged). In social media, I would see this as creating fake MySpace profiles, fake Digg accounts, answering your own questions in Yahoo Answers and so on.
I suppose creating bookmarks for your own blog posts could be considered a bit spammy. But how is it different from the days when one needed to submit to a search engine? A keywords meta tag was at one time useful to tell the search engine what your site was about. Now using tagsonomy helps users find relevant content. And since users might be using any one of a host of social bookmarking sites like Netvous or Connotea, doesn’t it make sense to promote everywhere? Just like if you were selling a product in a vertical search engine like Pricegrabber, wouldn’t it make sense to submit the same product feed to as many other comparison engines as you can reasonably manage?
“Social bookmarking involves posting a link back to your web page or blog post from a social bookmarking website which stores the link. You enter keywords (called Tags) which categorize your bookmark and allow others to search, view and vote for your bookmark. You are basically sharing your sites with visitors and members of the bookmarking site.
There is benefit to this on several levels:
1. First you get some direct traffic from people clicking on your bookmark and going directly to your web page. This is usually won’t be a huge amount of traffic in most cases, but is is very targeted. Also every once in a while you get a site that will take off and become very popular from this alone.
2. The next benefit is an increased potential for fast search engine indexing. When you post your bookmark to a bookmarking site, it will be displayed on the front page. Now these pages are usually a very high PR, ranging from PR5 to PR7 or PR8!
What this means is that Googlebot and other search engine spiders visit this page hundreds of times each day. When they visit and find your links there they will check out your site immediately.
Think about this: Google is finding your page from a link on a very high PR site. This is the “best scenario” for getting a good search engine ranking.”
If tags really drive “very targeted” traffic, then the users who comprise the “targeted traffic” should find the bookmarked content beneficial. So my problem with using this kind of software is if a poster is really churning out crap and has a one-sided motive for blogging in the first place. The blog isn’t about informing people or building a relationship with customers.
I disagree with point 2. I have reason to believe Googlebot doesn’t follow bookmark links. I’ve tested it. I posted a couple new pages to a bookmark site for a Squidoo blog I set up for a client to see if Google would index the page faster with the social bookmarking site or through Squidoo. The social bookmark page with the links was indexed about a week before the Squidoo page was indexed. If Googlebot was following links, it would have followed it right to the Squidoo page and indexed it shortly after.
The social bookmarking site in question was del.icio.us. Maybe Google’s ignoring it because the big Y! owns it, and maybe Google follows connotea and Ma.gnolia and Netvous and all the others…but I highly doubt it. Anything as easy to add as a social bookmark probably wouldn’t have much value as a link to Google, similar to forum post signatures and free-for-all link pages.
That being said, the other search engines might “care,” (and yes, up to 50% of the time people do use other search engines.)
So the question I have for the social media community is:
What do you think about tools like Autosocialposter? Is this a tool for the darkside? Or is this a tool that fits in under the ethical SMO (social media optimization) umbrella?