Social Networking, Blogging and Just straight Googling

I have been involved with the plans for Claromentis 6.0, with the consequent emphasis on collaboration, for a while now – and we have been consistently blogging about intranets and collaboration at Claromentis for over a year. Just this week we also moved some of our information and guidance information to a public facing intranet WIKI.

This has required a considerable and consistent effort in terms of time.

As we have now  also launched a successful social networking platform for one of major USA clients, I am becoming increasingly interested in the relative values of these various platforms if you are looking for information and expertise. I am however only interested in their use in the corporate space, not as an individual looking to expand my social network.

At the same time I have been a member of LinkedIn for quite a while. I have only extremely recently started to Tweet, and really have very little knowledge at all of this platform, but I very much wanted this to be in the mix of what role they would all play in helping me with a topical question connected with my work.

It is clear to me that the return you might get out of all of these platforms does indeed depend on the work you have put in historically – the value of your followers in Twitter or the likelihood of your Blog appearing in search results, for example. However they do also take very different amounts of time to participate in – and for me this is actually the point of this little experiment.

I find that I can consistently only create about 10 meaningful and relatively well written Blogs about Claromentis and intranet software in a month, whereas I can post a question in a forum in just a few minutes, and Tweet in a matter of seconds.  So my question is, for me, which platform is the best return on investment of my time? I realize that the short term is not the way to judge this, so I will consistently try experiments over the next 6 months and try to sum up anything I find.

My natural preference when looking for information has always been simply to Google it of course, and rely on the algorithm itself, with its own complex assessment of the relevance and importance of information to help me find what I need as quickly as possible.

I selected the following question as a simple initial experiment.

“What are the implications of Google caffeine for seo and twitter”

This is a question I am genuinely interested in, and would like to find the answer to. If indeed it is possible to find a definitive answer to such a question – I realize I may have to find the best opinions – but that again is somewhat the point of these platforms, so my approach seems reasonable.

6:45 Straight Google : Immediately I can find some relevant content, although the answer is not clear. From what I can see the algorithm is obviously changing, and some folks think social networking or at least some kind of complex links – rather than just straight keyword links from anywhere, might have implications.

I got distracted, read more about Caffeine in general, and went over to read what Matt Cutts had to say.

Ran out of my 15 minutes allocation with no clear answer.

7:00 Start a post on linked. I already belong to an SEO group, so I just posted the question :

“Does Google Caffeine in any way mean we need to pay more attention to Twitter?

We are an Intranet software company, not in any way an SEO organization – I am looking for information.

I am just curious as our own approach to our SEO is fairly conventional, creating well organized and fresh content, a Blog and now  WIKI – and I wonder if Caffeine is going to emphasize the importance of our online presence in social media in any specific way?”

Had a look through other posts there, but in fact these just seem to be posts by people that I suspect are just trying to get links themselves – there is in fact very little actual interaction at all. So a the end of my 15 minutes I was no further on, although there was some minor mention of Caffeine, but nothing that helped my question.

I have however of course posed the question in a relevant group.

7:15 : Tweeting this took just a few seconds.

“Does Google Caffeine in any way mean we need to pay more attention to Twitter in our SEO approach for marketing? Or is there no connection?“

7:20 : Started to post this blog. Amazingly this actually took almost an hour by the time I published it!

I realize that this is a very small experiment, and just the first one – but I will be interested if any of these approaches help me out in any disproportionate way, compared to the effort required by each platform.

I will post the answer as a comment in a week or so. I will also try a similar experiment in a few months as by then I should have much more experience of Twitter and may have managed to build up a network of people with similar interests which will make this more meaningful.

2 thoughts on “Social Networking, Blogging and Just straight Googling
  • As far as my knowledge goes on Google Caffeine update, it is going to be more and more about the “content” of your website / blog / product. Undoubtedly, the backlinks will carry out a huge importance as always. Google PageRank algorithm relies on backlinks to determine the “likability”, therefore the “popularity” of a website.

    Yes, Google keeps checking the social networking platforms mentioned on your blog. Twitter is more about the “live” concept, whereas the delicious, linkedin, digg etc. is more about what a user wants to keep/share your content in long term.

    There is not much to “tweet” about if you didn’t have a content on your website / blog. As Matt Cutts mentions on several of his speeches in the past, the Caffeine is more about an upgrade to Google’s infrastructure, rather than an upgrade to Google’s determination of webpage quality. It is a known fact that the algorithm have changed more than once a day during 2008 and the same goes for 2009.

    What is special about tweeting, forums and other social networks is that you are approaching to your potential clients directly, rather than putting a fishing net into the sea and waiting to catch a fish.

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