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Sunday, September 23, 2007

SEO & New Traffic Generation Tool for Bloggers

Every once in awhile a new tool emerges intended to increase visibility and traffic. I've discovered a tool that may help bring privacy to more bloggers and those involved in building the technologies of the web.

It's called BlogRush and works on the principle of the old banner exchange model - but this one operates with an embeddable widget. The more times you display the BlogRush widget, the more "credits" you get for your posts being displayed within the widgets of other members of the BlogRush Network. The concept is extended beyond simple one-to-one numbers as those who get their widgets from you, then expose your widget to their own audience and you gain more credits for display of your post headlines across the network on all bloggers using the widget. It seems like the model will overextend itself at some point unless growth is phenomenal and sustained over time.

Nevertheless, I'm happy to try it out and see if the model works for extending the SEO conversation through the world of influential bloggers. Take the BlogRush widget you see to the right on this blog and see how it works for you to increase the visibility of your most important topic. If your topic involves SEO at all - try out our SEO Guru Search Engine which draws ONLY from authoritative SEO sources via the Google Custom Search Engine and if you like that one, try out the SEO Job Search Engine.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Social Media News Room SMNR & Press Releases

To continue the conversation about Social Media News Rooms (SMNR's) started in the last post, there's a great podcast from "For Immediate Release" by Hobson & Holtz discussing the latest at GM of Europe launching their Social Media Newsroom. In this podcast, they also point to a social media release distributed by Cisco Systems, which is posted at CNN SmartMoney.

The Cisco press release, distributed by MarketWire, is included on the SmartMoney site with the social media links to RSS feeds and the related social media bookmarks embedded links REMOVED from the release. This is discussed by Author Shel Holtz in a brief WebProNews article about the Cisco social media release, points out how CNN removed the embedded links to video, podcasts, blog posts, links and other links included in the original release.

To be fair, this is a function of standard PR distribution and may also have more to do with the CMS that CNN uses, which may drop links from all press releases. It's not unusual for automated publishing systems to drop links from content they have no control over. But shouldn't social media have different submission and approval processes?

Below is a player from EveryZing, which allows playback of the Hobson & Holtz "For Immediate Release" Podcast discussing Social Media News Rooms

"social media news room" For Immediate Release Podcast - For Immediate Release: 09/06/07

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Social Media PR - Press Releases for Online Business Buzz

A big two thumbs up to Jennifer Laycock of SearchEngineGuide for her discussion of the Social Media News Release" as it relates to SEO. While I've seen this concept discussed in the New Media Release discussion forum at Google Groups, among those involved in developing the concept, I've not seen it discussed by SEO's until now. I'm a staunch advocate of traditional PR making the move to using social media and am often surprised at the resistance to change within the industry.

Highly recommend a visit to Jennifer Laycock's excellent post on the topic where she discusses the Social Media News Release Template from Shift Communications, seen below:Social Media News ReleaseI took notice that Jennifer's SMNR post at Search Engine Guide makes use of the AddThis bookmark and feeds buttons, which incorporate all the social bookmarking sites into a single button, she didn't stop there, she includes a "Sphinn" button from the social media portion of SearchEngineLand to the mix. Good job Jenn - got me to go look up how to add the Sphinn button to my own page. ;-)

During a job interview about a year ago, I was asked what I thought the newest thing to come along in SEO was and I had just joined that Google Group to join in the discussion (mostly listening) and my reply to the interview question was immediately about the new hRelease. I had also been reading up that day on Lee Odden's TopRank Blog his positive views on the New Media Release.

Interestingly, tonight when I clicked on the "Sphinn It" button at Jennifer Laycock's post, I saw Lee Odden in the comments there, seeming to talk down the hRelease in favor of "Proper Media Pitches ... by email and phone". I'll repeat my comments from Sphinn here, so you don't have to hop around to complete the story ;-)

Lee, I'm surprised you appear to be on the fence here, supporting social media in PR, but acting the devils advocate here and suggesting that the Social Media Press Release is "before its time" and that "journalists are definitely not responding like they do to proper media pitches via email and phone."

"Proper media pitches?" Sounds like you've tried SMNR yourself and it didn't work for you.

Let me ask you, How long has email been a part of "Proper" media pitch? OK now that all journalists seem to use email - how long before they expect RSS feeds, technorati tags, links, embedded video? When they become available routinely in social media press releases - journalists will expect them and look for them. This is added juice - if they want it - and they will.

You can still use the phone and email if you like for those "proper media pitches" - but why not add the social media tools to the mix?

The SMNR may take a bit longer to move to the mainstream, but it will come.

Can't wait for that and will promote it until mainstream PR folks start to listen. It will come - maybe not exactly in the way that Shift Communications see it in that template above, but it will come. PRWeb already incorporates the bulk of the elements in their hosted versions of press releases.

Here's a video by a British firm WebitPR on why the hRelease is coming and should not be ignored.

Thanks again to Jennifer Laycock for pointing it out and bringing the hrelease one step closer. SEO's should care about social media press releases - I hope more of us wake up to the value and begin recommending this avenue to clients so it becomes mainstream.

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