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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site or page from the search engines using natural organic and algorithmic search results (SERPs).

SEO is actually a component of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Which encompasses many avenues with which to promote a web site or page.
If you have come here looking for SEO help, you have found a blog that can help you. There is much information here to be held and please feel free to comment anytime...Even with a question.

July 29, 2007

User Generated Content (USG) is Hot - Find Out Why, and How to Make it Work for You.

SEO, marketing, and content trend just like any other market. For the last 6 months and holding there are 3 very big draws to website traffic, indexing, popularity, rank position, and user popularity....these are website video media, web 2.o, and user generated content. With the exception of video media these things are all high maintenance, but definitely worth it, as they are indexed and ranked with clear prejudice.

This Blog has from the very beginning subtly making use of all of these ingredients. The Cog Blog is about 2 months old and 62 posts, with 1,349 backlinks in Google's Webmasters Tools coming in to 41 of its sub pages, not just the main page. So this practice of bookmarking and Successful Blogging has moved from theory to practice for me, I think it is safe to even say it works! The site has no PR yet, but is indexed quite well. I have already Blogged Web 2.0 and how to apply that strategy to your site. You can read about Wiki and how to get listed, and Social Bookmarking techniques. There is more to Web 2.0, but Wiki, bookmarking , and USG are the most common elements we can apply in most of our websites.

So User Generated Content, is HOT? Yes, and it can drive traffic, authority, and links to your site. There are a many popular USG platforms, Blogs, forums, Wiki, galleries, customer reviews logs, bookmarking, photo albums and even adding titles and description in Google image search. These are not all applicable to our purpose, but some are and we just haven't tapped them yet! I think most webmasters use forums and Blogs. When Google gets finished with JotSpot, many more will use Wiki also...I know I will. So what do these 2 platforms provide for the webmasters?

Blogging probably provides more authority and backlinks of the 2, but takes longer for indexed pages and the users to begin participating. Blogging correctly is alot of work, but it pays off exponentially. I developed a guide to successful Blogging that has worked for myself and our clients. It is based on the theory, experiment, and resulting successes of the test Blogs I used. I will tell you though, I you don't Blog everyday with your OWN content 500 words or more, you won't have the same success others have had using the techniques.

The purpose behind a Blog is your own. Maybe it is your only web presence, or you use it to promote a website or product, and maybe its just for advertising. In any case, you will want to manage the content properly to accomplish the task.

Forums or Community Boards are going to provide less authority and backlinks, but far more indexed pages, headaches, and users. Forums are difficult and time consuming to maintain. If you are the type of person who cannot share responsibility, then you will have to visit your forum 3 times a day for maintenance. If you can share responsibility, then other users, can be promoted to the Admin, or Moderator level to help you maintain the board and keep it spam free. I don't mind a little spam, but they will post extremely graphic sexually explicit pictures and websites if it is not moderated properly. I would also suggest you get a webmaster with forum experience to set up your forum. At the very least visit a few webmaster forums and ask some questions. It is a very big job, and there is much to learn.

A forum can be a very effective way to apply customer service or technical support to an existing website. It is also a highly compelling manner to support a community area or support type atmosphere for any site. People generally enjoy collaborating with others, they will become "pseudo" experts and answer repeat questions, saving you time and telephone order time. You can spend a few minutes a couple of times a day in your forum and save several hours on the phone! Most forum software can be used to develop groups and newsletters also!

I am going to touch on this one more time. I highly suggest you have an experienced webmaster set up your forum. There is much to do, many of the directories have to be protected via robots.txt to avoid duplication penalties. Experienced webmasters will have lists of email domains, IP addresses, and unacceptable words and their variations to block or to ban right from the beginning to help reduce your workload. One last word of advice, back up your forum EVERYDAY!

Peace and SEO
Melanie Prough

DIY Your SEO With The SEOCog
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