answers2

Yahoo Answers is one my favorite social media tools — with Answerbag and Askville coming in second. It posts questions and answers to anything under the sun you can imagine — from apples to zebras. Indeed it is a great way to build traffic — but has more viral then SEO benefits. Yahoo Answer links are “nofollow”, yet don’t be so quick to dismiss it as a great marketing tool. Punch in your most relevant keyword on the search field and be sure to search open questions.

Why Yahoo Answers is great:

It is marketing to people who are already looking for you. If your website was an actual store — then they have already knocked on the front door. Answering won’t be imposing your product on them, it will be presenting a solution to a problem.

You can answer as many questions as you want. Just be sure not to be “spammy” and always assume the persona of someone who’s out to help people (which are you are doing really). Leave a link and be casual about it. Don’t overdo it though, Yahoo Answers can and will suspend abusers who overpost and are too candidly promoting themselves. Yahoo Answers can be a friend, but can also be a very bad foe.

You can be anyone, anywhere. I am talking about Avatars (in Yahoo Answers I am a brunette in Hawaii). Well this one doesn’t have any viral benefits, but it’s fun.

Search engines love Yahoo Answers. When you plug-in a question on the Google or Yahoo search field, more often than not a Yahoo Answers page will come up.

You earn points every time you answer a question. What are the points for? Just like in “Who’s line is it anyway?” the points don’t matter. But it does give you the freedom to ask a question. You earn 10 points for getting “Best Answer.” Having the “best answer” is a nice little pick up in your day, not only that it could also mean higher chances for traffic and conversion.

And lastly, for the simple reason that it works! It has worked in increasing traffic to several clients I’ve worked with in the past.

So that’s my tribute to Yahoo Answers. Maybe I should post the friend or foe question on the site. What do you think? Is Yahoo Answers friend or foe? 🙂

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web 2.0

Web 2.0. When regular non-net-addicted people hear the words Web 2.0, usually it’s met with a frown of confusion or a cocky smile. “Yeah, Web 2.0. I’m all around it.” or “Web 2.0? Is that a kind of software?” This term developed as an umbrella term that means nothing and everything. It means the social part of the internet.

If it was a part of the house, it would be the living room or the patio. If was the part of the body, it would be the mouth. Web 2.0 is simply that part of the web that is largely user controlled more than anything else. Blogs. Message Boards. Forums. Social Networking Sites. Social Bookmarking sites. User-generated video sites.

Now more than ever, power is bestowed to the user. I am empowered to publish with one click with a blog. I am empowered to express my opinion in a message board. I am empowered to comment in whatever tonality I prefer in a news article in a news forum. I can make myself known in the identity I chose in a Social Networking Site. I am free to choose my favorite site and make it known to others in a Social Bookmarking Sites.

What is interesting with the title is the word “unseen.” Yet it resonates true in our society today. I think less than 1 in 10 people know what web 2.0 is, let alone care, but the more interesting thing is the fact that Web 2.0 actually matters.

It is the most popular social lounge next to Starbucks – and gives you more benefit than that all-important kick in the head that caffeine brings. If you are a business owner, it is a fast way to communicate with the consumer and build your brand, if you are an individual artist, it is the fastest, cheapest way to get your music out there.

Think of how many Indie artists have leveraged myspace in order to get people to listen to them, and eventually attend their shows. If you are simply an expressive individual needing some online company – there are online communities everywhere – within groups in social networking sites like facebook, myspace, yahoogroups, etcetera. If you are a blogger it is a certainty that there are a community of bloggers out there blogging about your theme – whether it be niche or mainstream.

To put it in simple, concrete terms, getting involved in Web 2.0 is creating a blog at WordPress. Commenting on other blogs. Connecting with your friends on facebook. Digging a relevant news story at digg.com to share the news piece to others. It is going on forums like Yahoo Answers, Topix.net or Answerbag.com, sharing what you know, and allowing other people to help you out with a question.

Why get involved?

In Asia alone, 3,733,783,474 people are online. This is 56.5% of the world population. This is an interesting statistic since most of the control of Web 2.0 actually originates from the United States. In North America, 334,659,631 people go on the internet – roughly 5.1% of the entire population. (source: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm)

Roughly 10 percent of the world’s population – that is 627 million people, have shopped online at least once. This information is from a study done by AC Nielsen in 2005. That was three years ago. Can you imagine the numbers today?

According to Technorati, a widely popular internet community, there are currently about 50M blogs. 175,000 new blogs are being created everyday. Blogs are being used for all sorts of occupations in all sorts of disciplines. Blogs have been used to share knowledge, promote a person, product or service, or even get help.

In ourukrainianjourney.blogspot.com – a mother of an adopted Ukrainian boy seeks financial help for her new child’s needs. Even Martha Stewart is reachable via comment and click. Aside from this, the unstoppable growth of the information which cannot be recorded as it occurs on tangible books, is recorded in the blogosphere.

Web 2.0 has infiltrated the SEO/SEM and Web Development industries as well. Such web development companies as Meteorsite, a los angeles based SEO and Web Development company are developing web 2.0 applications and using web 2.0 designs in their websites. Now the industry terms SEO and Web 2.0 Marketing are almost inextricably linked, with Web 2.0 being the marketplace and playground for SEO practices.

Message boards are affecting our opinions more than ever. There’s various forums where people can seek help in every field of work or field of interest – like Ehealth forums and Elancetalk. Omigli.com is a great search engine where you can type in any keyword and find a chunk of message boards about any topic.

And finally, getting on the bandwagon of Web 2.0 is important because of the viral nature of Web 2.0. Hence you have the terms viral marketing, word-of-mouth marketing and guerilla marketing. If you post anything funny, sexy, or pyrotechnic on YouTube for example, (the three main baits of marketing) on the net, you’re bound to get at least a thousand hits.

Digging a news story on digg.com puts it out there for other surfers to quickly find. Several companies have taken the viral route in marketing and advertising. Check out a collection of funny viral ads at funnyplace. Now anybody can be a star on YouTube – and potentially be unraveled talents if ever that wandering producer hits you up and takes an interest.

Creating a buzz about yourself or your product is simpler than going to an ad agency and paying big bucks, and might even have more profitable returns.

Now that you’re convinced (I’m claiming this) that Web 2.0 is the way to go, how do you start? Start putting your favorite keyword and adding “blog”, “forum” or “messageboard”. Go to Google Blog Search and start reading up on your favorite blog topics. Leave a comment. Spark a discussion.

Start by leaving a comment here! Socialize to your heart’s (or finger’s) content. Jumping on the bandwagon has never been so beneficial, and enjoyable.


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