Just a very quick post today, about a quick and simple technique to increase quality traffic to a site, while appeasing everyone in the social media space ... the content creator, the social media themselves, and search engines.

This technique will:
a) generate more traffic for social media sites
b) make search results more user friendly
c) drive more 'quality' traffic to content creator sites ... ie producers of quality content!

What you say ... how can this be possible? Win-Win-Win scenarios are never possible, especially where social media and content creators are concerned ... ask Marty?. Its almost a truism that social media converts extremely poorly. Surely you gest?

Win Win Partnership Cartoon
Image courtesy: Lapiana.org

The Problem:
Have you ever had a great post submitted to various social media, only to see the pages from the various social media rank in the search results above your own? Eg. here is of post of ours today, and we're actually appearing in position 6 below the fold. I'll refer to this as "grouped results".

Duplicate Appearances in Search Results

Kinda seems like overkill ... doesn't it? Sure, someone finding the site in the search results will see your story ... but sometimes 4 or 5 instances of exactly the same title tag (the grouped results). Not very friendly really. Yup ... definitely overkill.

The Opportunity:
So, what if everyone was encouraged to change the title slightly for each social media its submitted to? For example, what if:

    a) the Digg submission was: Are Social Media Users Really Blinded by Group Think? Then, the piece on Digg may rank for 'social media users', 'social media group', 'social media think', etc.
    b) the Reddit submission was: Social Media - Are We All Just Followers Guided By Blind Faith?
    Then, the piece on Reddit may rank for 'social media followers', 'social media blind faith', etc.While the original piece ranks for 'social media sheep'.

The Benefits:
There would be many benefits ... to all involved. I would argue its a win-win-win scenario. In particular;

    • a) the content piece would generate more traffic, and certainly more quality traffic, since the content now ranks for more 'long tail terms' ... different titles on different sites enable that. I am not encouraging the submission of sub-standard content however!b) the additional search traffic is likely to create more business, since its highly qualified traffic ... it is from search after all!

      c) so long as the content originator site also displays the "vote" buttons for the various social media, appearing in the search results for more terms increases the likelihood of receiving even more social media votes ... increasing the likelihood of the piece going hot, and further increasing traffic levels.

      d) individually, the content piece is likely to generate slightly more traffic for the likes of Digg, Reddit, etc., as those site will now be the most direct link to the content in the search results (since the actual site will not appear for all the same terms). Done en mass, the piece is likely to generate much more traffic for Digg, Reddit, etc. ... a win for the social media sites.
      e) by varying the titles, we are far less likely to see 'grouped results' for any keywords, which makes the search results appear more relevant and trustworthy.Again, changing the title and description per social media submission, is a win for search engines too. Though, maybe Matt Cutts would be kind enough to let us know in person?
  • 1) To the Site Owner:All in all, a tremendous win for content providers.

    2) To the Social Media Site:

    3) To the Search Engines Themselves:

So, my question question for all of you is this; how can we best encourage this behaviour as it is in the best interest of all involved?

Is it too presumptuous to provide alternative titles and descriptions at the bottom of each post?

What are your thoughts and ideas?

Just in case ...
Alternative Titles :)
Title: Increasing Quality Traffic from Digg, Reddit, etc.

Title: Using Social Media ... for Better Search Results

Title: Can Digg Help Me Get More Search Traffic?