The geeks shall inherit the Web

Filed in Google, Link Building, MY BEST POSTS, Social Media, Yahoo by Matt McGee on August 1, 2006 0 Comments

Digg logoYou may not realize it, but the geeks pretty much own your site right now. They own your link profile — both the quality and quantity of inbound links you get. And that means they own your search engine rankings … your SE traffic … and so forth.

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I’m sure you know by now about the 6-pack of “SEO Answers” videos Google engineer Matt Cutts has made available on Google Video. (1st set of 3 | 2nd set of 3)

At the 45-second mark of the very first video, Matt answers a question about “general guidelines and recommendations for people who desire to increase their site’s visibility on Google.” He gives a basic 3-prong approach to doing that:

  1. Make sure your site is crawlable.
  2. Develop good content.
  3. Market your site & content — “you wanna be thinking about a ‘hook,’ something that’s viral,” Matt says.

On that last one, and this is the important part, he specifically mentions getting your site/content mentioned on Digg, Slashdot, Tailrank, reddit and similar sites. He could’ve mentioned, Netscape and several others, too, that all do the same thing.

What do they do? They determine the most popular and communally important sites, articles, and links of the day — every day. If a user on Digg, for example, submits your site/content and enough other users vote in support of it, too, your site/content can reach the Digg homepage — and at that point, you’d better have some solid server power under the hood. It even has a name: the “Digg effect.”

If this happens to your site, here’s what you get:

  1. A huge surge in traffic.
  2. A huge surge in links (from blogs, newsletters, news sites, etc.).
  3. (Thanks to all those links,) A nice bump in your search engine rankings.

(Quick note: This isn’t the first time Cutts suggested viral marketing as a key element of improving search engine rankings. In an interview with Mike Grehan a couple months ago, Cutts said: “Just make a great site, with great content and a normal reason why people would want to link to you and visit your site. A compelling reason why people would want to link to your site. And that’s going to help you capture the mind of the blogosphere and that’s really the best way to let search engines find out about you too.”)

Now, let’s bring this full circle: Who posts on Digg, Slashdot, Tailrank, reddit, etc.? Geeks! And I don’t say that pejoratively, it’s just a statement of fact: The vast majority of stories submitted to these sites are tech-related. Go to Digg’s home page and look for yourself….

So, in conclusion… With Google making such a fuss about the need for viral marketing and buzz to help your search visibility, and with Yahoo so heavily invested in social search (they own, fer cryin’ out loud) … we are at the point now where the geeks have inherited the Web.

I was exaggerating at the start when I said the geeks “own” your site; obviously, they don’t. But they do have an undeniable power and control over buzz and viral marketing. They are influencers. I don’t know if they can break you, but they sure can make you. Like it or not, they’re part of your target audience. Ignore them at your own risk.

(Psst! While you’re here, why not Digg this article and we’ll see if anything happens….)

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