Time Efficiency, Forum Posting, And Social Bookmarking — and Communities

OK, time to get into one of the more obscure elements of SEO work: time efficiency. It’s always hard to measure time efficiency — that is to say, how much rank a website gains per minute you spend working on backlinks for that site — but it’s vital.

If you spend 100 hours over a month and the website doesn’t meaningfully improve it’s rankings in that time, you’re clearly doing something wrong. On the other hand, if you’re seeing huge results for that 100 hours, you need to know what you did right so that you can repeat it for other sites in the future!

There aren’t a lot of studies done on this kind of thing, but around here we’ve noticed that two activities consistently seem to be pretty much the LEAST time-efficient things to do: forum posting and social bookmarking.

Now why would an SEO company talk about how bad it is to purchase two of their services? Because, as you might have guessed, I’m about to flip the script on you.

You see, by combining forum posting and social bookmarking, you can create side benefits that far outweigh their value in terms of improving your rankings directly. Both of them engage a very powerful force that most SEO gurus will rarely ever mention: communities.

Communities are groups of people online who gather to talk about a specific topic. If you’ve ever been part of a message board devoted to a single topic — whether it’s ‘Elements The Game’ or ‘How To The Economy’ — you know how rabid the posters on a dedicated forum can be. They also generally have a place where you can post links to stuff you like or whatnot.

Social bookmarking sites, on the other hand, have Vote buttons that allow you to give something a positive bump. Get enough votes, and your link might make it into some list of daily, weekly, or monthly Top X in a given category. If that happens, the result is an instant and long-lasting surge in traffic through that site.

See where this is going? If you can get popular on a forum related to your subject, create some material that the forum-goers would like, and then link to a social bookmarking site that links to the material you created, you can essentially get a huge pile of free votes from the forum-goers. Make it into the list with those free votes, and all that ‘lost’ time efficiency goes out that window as the traffic surges in.

Pretty neat, huh?