Driving SEO revenue from user generated content

It’s great to come across a slide-share on the valuable topic of generating SEO revenue from your user generated content, as that’s certainly a topic I worked on at Shopping.com post-Google Panda to try and raise our ranking. What has used to be called social media optimization (SMO) has now migrated to the more specific term ‘social SEO’ in an era when reviews and guides are increasingly core to e-commerce success, and when getting full SEO value from them post-Panda can make a measurable dollar difference.

A top 40 comparison HD TV product guide enabled for SEO purposes on Shopping.com UK

There my approach was to research four or five keywords, based on a combination of share of voice (SOV) and keyword competition, using Google Adwords tool as the now defunct Google Wonder Wheel tool. I then employed Gemma and Tim at The Copywriting People to write guide text for a trial 40 comparison product guides using those chosen keywords, taking the choice of products from our most popular products for the month of May. What I have heard since then (thanks to this webinar with the founder of Trackur, from Hubspot: 23:00 mins) as a tactic to improve backlinks from top blogs is to use a social tracking tool based on keywords you are focusing on, and spotting when top bloggers are writing on a relevant subject. Then reaching out to them to see if they’d review your product, or leave a comment on that blog piece with a link back to your content without making the content too ‘spammy’. You can try this out with Alterian’s free SM2 tool for example.

To measure the effect I recorded the ranking of the products on Shopping.com UK and DealTime UK at the outset. Then with the aim of returning 6 weeks later to record the results.

For comparison check out the slideshare in question below from PowerReviews, which details how to self-assess your own ugc value for SEO – based on the estimate that 60% of US e-commerce sites which carry reviews don’t get full SEO value from them.

It may also worth checking out the Smart SEO tool launch by Bazaarvoice earlier this year. Clearly there’s a real demand for such a product/service in the marketplace, the trick as always is to match a method which fits your budget and delivers to your ‘social commerce‘ objectives.

Britannia takes on wikipedia

Interesting news on how Brittannia is taking on Wikipedia by allowing users to contribute contribute for the first time in its history. Especially like the fact this will feed through to the printed version of the encyclopedia – which is published every two years:

In effort to compete with Wikipedia, the Encyclopedia Britannica company is opening up their online version to editing by contributors everywhere. Unlike Wikipedia, however, all changes will be reviewed and edited before being posted.

The new website features will enable the inclusion of user generated content, and will be available on the site within the next twenty four hours.

Encyclopedia Britannica is a 241 year old publication, and they are making these changes to their site to encourage more community input, more use, and – most importantly – to increase their rankings on search engines.

Unlike Wikipedia updates, all of the additions and changes made on Britannica will have to be reviewed and edited before the changes go live on the site. The company has set a 20-minute turnaround to update the site with user-submitted edits to existing articles – though with the popularity of Wikipedia, this may not be possible if the service takes off.

The concept behind user generated content is that much of it will eventually appear in the printed version of the encyclopedia – which is published every two years.