Finally someone is here to give you the reality of social networking. I’m tired of these top bloggers talking about great social networking through Technorati, Digg, twitter, mybloglog, Forums, etc. I run 13 different sites (mostly blogs) and never had to rely on social networking to try and get traffic to my site. I rely mainly on SEO (search engine optimization), to get most traffic to my sites from the search engines.
If you stick around in the blogging community long enough, you’ll know about those who were able to rise to the top just on social networking alone, with little help from search engines. A perfect example is the high traffic blog JohnChow.com, who got his rank punished by Google for shady backlink building strategies. He now relies mostly on social networking and name recognition and not search engines to get most of his traffic. But getting a high traffic site from social networking is difficult. It takes some luck, hard work, and probably some creativity to get people to notice you. You can wind up spending hours commenting on other peoples blogs, submitting your sites to social bookmarking sites, posting in forums, and going on mybloglog adding people to your friends list and visiting their sites. You’ll notice a quick surge in traffic everytime you do one of these things. However, usually the traffic surge is nothing major and might ultimately add to a few pennies in your adsense income (if even that).
What most bloggers also don’t tell you, is that when you stop all this, your traffic usually leaves just as quick as it came. Everytime you submit a blog post to Digg and other social bookmarking sites, you get a surge and then the traffic leaves quickly. You soon have to make another post and submit it to a social bookmark site or make more friends at mybloglog or any number of other things, in order to get another surge in traffic again. It’s a really a vicious cycle requiring a lot of time.
On the other hand with SEO (search engine optimization), it is very methodical and requires very little work in the long run. You don’t have to spend everyday networking or creating new content to submit to the social sites. I actually started a new site about 3 months ago and played around with the social networking in the beginning. I would make a post and submit it to the social bookmark sites and visit blogcatalog(which is like mybloglog). When I stopped doing all this, my traffic slowed to a crawl, except for what i got through search engines. Well after 3 months of starting the site, Google gave me a big jump in the search engines (because of 2 good backlinks plus I’ve always gotten a a boost in rankings automatically in google after the 3 month mark) causing my traffic to nearly triple almost overnight. I hadn’t posted new content on the site in nearly 2 months! Now if I had sat there and did social bookmarking all the time, I would have had to do a lot more work, for the same result. And once I would have stopped, mostly likely my traffic would stop to. All I needed was 3 good backlinks to get a big jump in rank, forever. Should take you less than a half hour to get 3 goodbacklinks, if you been reading my articles.
The problem is most people don’t want to learn SEO at any level. Although at first it takes some learning, in the end it’s much easier, methodical, and less hassle. Heck, I stopped posting on this blog one time for 2 months and still got hits everyday during that time without any work because Google was sending me hits everyday. Sure you can spend everyday making a new blog post and submitting to social bookmarking sites, but you’d make better use of your time optimizing your site for SEO and building backlinks. With social networking tactics, you don’t get much traffic for the amount of work you have to put in. Let Google do the work for you. It’s more sustainable and efficient in the long run.