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Archive of ‘social traffic’ category

Why It Pays to be a Twitter Snob

A Twitter snob is someone who has a large gathering of Twitter followers, but yet is too “uppity” to follow many of them back. So is this going to hurt your brand on the micro blogging platform? Not really, and here’s why…

So in recent weeks, there’s been a spate of discussion about “Twitter Snobs” – twitter users who don’t follow many people back. Maybe following 200 people and have 20,000 follow them.


Todd Friesen AKA Oilman was analysing how he could get into SEOMoz’s Rand Fishkin’s twitter cliche. Rand  follows 11 twitter uses and has about 5,200 followers.

Likewise, other bloggers have been (more…)

DoFollow or NoFollow?: The “I Can Has Backlink” Dilemma

SEO best practises, especially linkbuilding (off-site SEO) has come to the forefront since social networks have built critical mass in the last couple of years. Some ambiguous/enigmatic practices with regards to giving backlinks to users has left SEO specialists like Aaron Wall, Rae Hoffman, Michael Gray, Todd Malicoat, Dave Naylor amused, puzzled, frustrated and at times outright indignant.

[This is a follow up to: Blackhole SEO: Has Google’s Hegemony Spilled into Twitter?]

So the sticking point in recent days (originating from discussions last year) was why Twitter nofollows links from your profile page and your tweets.

Is it because you could be potentially linking to “bad neighborhoods”? Or social spamming links like what some marketers have been doing on MySpace, Squidoo and HubPages and potentially Google Knol?

Here is the thing: the social space and social networks in particular will need some degree of human intervention/curation. That’s why Squidoo has a staff of moderators/volunteers to review lenses, article directories have human editors. The best content review algorithmn still has a couple of years to catch up with user-generated content.

So some human intervention is needed to review content.

i can has backlink

And if users are spending 1-2 hours each day on sites like Digg, Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, shouldn’t they gain some outbound link benefit from their efforts? Your users are (more…)

Blackhole SEO: Has Google’s Hegemony Spilled into Twitter?

Hegemony (from Wikipedia): is a concept that has been used to describe and explain the dominance of one social group over another, such that the ruling group or hegemon acquires some degree of consent from the subordinate, as opposed to dominance purely by force.

Have the forces of blackhole SEO spread beyond the reaches of Wikipedia and eBay to dig it’s claws into Twitter, as Sugarrae has asserted?

Though Rae mentioned the issue last September, SEO specialist Todd Malicoat AKA Stuntdubl tweeted about it yesterday, together with some choice thoughts:

i mean – do you really believe that twitter links are passing NO credibility, NO juice, NO nothing…?? just like wikipedia ….riiiiiiight.

maybe implement a sandbox for new users
certain threshhold until they are trusted enough to get into a non-robots.txt directory

why not utilize robots.txt solution…instead of nofollow?
i guess nofollow in general just gets me riled up and pissed off

What would happen if twitter got rid of the nofollow on all links? How would it affect the web?


So why’re we revisiting this issue?

Blackhole SEO is where an (more…)

Making The Most Out Of Social Media

At last month’s Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas, I took a question asking “How do I effectively use social media in my business?”

Here is the long answer:

Social media (I would consider this as “blogging and the other stuff that goes with it”) is more than just a tool in my business. Up till now, it is the foundation of my business.

If HTML websites are billboards filled with information waiting for people to stumble upon them and read them, then blogs are like aggressive ticket scalpers running up to you and shouting in-your-face, in a direct manner. (this is a good thing).

And if you’re new to the social traffic, social networking game, here are some pointers:


  • Go out and try everything: The best and worst part of social marketing is that it’s usually free to sign up and participate in. (Although if you forget to factor in the value of your time invested, you could be losing out in a great deal of opportunity cost). Heard about LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, Plurk, FriendFeed, Friendster, Orkut, Plurk, Hi5, Flickr, Craigslist, YouTube, Twitter? Why not sign up for an account. If you’re concerned about it (and you probably should be), make sure you register your personal name, your business, your brand, and get your related domain or account name before someone else does. Sure, you can go after “social network domain/account name squatters” after the fact, but it’s going to take time and resources to do that, so why not spare yourself the trouble now.
  • Learn to specialize: I don’t think it’s worth being a “jack-of-all-trades” and spread yourself across all the social networks and have merely superficial relationships with the people in those communities. Instead, I’d suggest focusing on specializing in one or two social networks and “embedding” yourself in them. Learn the social rituals, get to know the influencers, build YOUR own social influence within those circles. Some wannabe “gurus” would have you believe that your social influence is dictated by the number of followers or friends you have. In my opinion, that is utter nonsense and is at best a simpleton’s scare tactic. Just like wine, it’s quality than counts, not quantity.
  • Stay away from the Dark Side: Yes, the medium is a free one, but does that mean you should keep taking away from it (see: How NOT to be a tool on Twitter and How NOT to be a tool on Twitter part 2)? Believe or not, there’s a better course of action, that’s to build your goodwill bank.

Being “successful” with your social marketing efforts has a lot to do with your social influence and ability to shape opinions and behavior. And that’s going to take more than just a simple follower count to resolve.

how not to be a tool on twitter

How To Succeed At The Social Media Love Dance

You can’t escape social networks or social channels even if you tried to. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Plurk, FriendFeed, Orkut, Bebo, LinkedIn – give access channels for strangers to meet and attempt to become your friends.

As a marketer, social networks or web 2.0 networks and services give you an opportunity to reach out to potential customers at significantly lower costs compared to search engine optimization or paid advertising.

In my opinion there’s greater finesse involved, because if there are another 100 marketers using the same channel to reach out the the person, you have to fight to gain the person’s attention, even as they are being courted by 100 other suitors.

So the $64,000 question is how do you get someone’s attention without becoming annoying.

Can you painlessly win the social media love dance, without getting your heart (and sales conversion) broken?


Here’s an example of what I mean:

My facebook “friend add” request queue currently numbers in the 450+ range.

How do I decide if I approve a friend request?

First step, I look to see if we’ve friends in common.

Second, who are those friend? Casual acquaintances, close friends? Business partners?


If there’s a personal note, it could gain a couple more bonus points…or be a major deal killer.

A reason like “I saw you on the network and I want to grow my friends list. Please add me” works well if you’re building a friendship profile, or looking for strangers to chat up on an instant messengers or IRC. It doesn’t work as well otherwise.

Another poor reason “I see you’re in affiliate marketing. Let’s be friends”.

Erm, my blog is listed there. I have videos up. Would it be too much to take a look at what I do, and invest a minimal amount of time and effort to find out more about me. And then decide if you want to be my friend?

The analogy would be, if you wanted to expand your circle of friends, would you find out more about someone, or would you go out in the street and randomly start talking to strangers?

I can’t say that talking to strangers might not yield results, but I’m fairly sure the hit rate is going to be significantly lower.


So you’ve made it past the velvet rope, now what?

The love dance doesn’t (more…)

The Broken Twitter Web

The Twitter team has been working overtime with fixes intended to resolve the growing pains associated with the microblogging service, with regular updates at the Twitter blog and the Twitter status blog.

I am a little surprised and disappointed that several core Twitter features have been disabled in the interim.

The loss of private messaging I can live without (for the short term), but what happens when you are handicapped in your ability to follow conversations?

Witness the page for Jeremy Palmer’s Black Ink Project:


The pages show the twits originating from Jeremy, but the “With others” tab which you could click on and see the 2-way conversation is now missing.

If you want to track the conversation, you’d have to hit the “in reply to” hyperlink.

[At least that's how I remember how I used to track conversations...]

So if you’d like to follow an active Twitter user, you’d be hitting the “in reply to” link pretty often and opening up a bunch of windows and study the timestamps and figure out the chronological sequences.

I may be wrong, but I thought the purpose of these technologies was to make things easier, rather than give me some weird sudoku-like puzzle to figure out what goes where?


Having installed the latest version of the Flock social web browser (based on the Mozilla code, which Firefox is based from), I noticed that there’s an integrated Twitter module.

Take a look at the left (more…)