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October 17, 2007

SMX Social: Yahoo Answers & Wikipedia

By Li Evans

SMX Social:  Harnessing Wikipedia & Yahoo! Answers for Your Marketing Strategy

Matt McGee - Marchex
Matt is speaking about using Yahoo! Answers.  Yahoo! is more for services, rather than products. 
What is Yahoo! Answers:
It's a Q&A sites, and very active Q&A sites.  Has moderation, points and friends.  You get to create your profile page, with a link to your website, but they are nofollowed.

It is the #2 website behind Wikipedia.  56% year over year growth, since they launched.  They are smart enough to realize people will use it to market their services and actually encourage it.  It is o.k. to drop your link as long as you are providing helpful information to the community.  This is a way to build up your service's credibility too.

Why Use It:
Referral Traffic to his Small Business blog, 4th highest referral, #1 source of new traffic and that traffic has the lowest bounce rate.  Search traffic also comes from answering on Yahoo! Answers.  As it gets older more pages are ranking.  Search engines are having no problem crawling Yahoo! Answers, despite the

How to Use it:

  1. RSS Feeds Rule!  Use them to subscribe to these Q&A's, it is the easiest way to use it.
  2. Sort Wisely - Sort by date, that are about to expire, and answer the one's that are about to expire  Also answer ones that have a lot of answers too - these have more traffic.
  3. Sign Your Name - spammer's just drop links w/o name, this gives you more credibility
  4. Don't Spam

Jonathan Hochman - JE Hochman Associates
Jonathan is now an administrator, first SEO to be an open one.  Digg is great but, Wikipedia has much more visibility.  The number of eyeballs is huge to this medium.  Most forms of manipulation has be tried, but fail. 
Top newbie mistakes:

  • don't pick a promotional user names - these are called promotional accounts, violation of TOS
  • don't conflict of interesting eiditng - don't write about yourself or things you are close to
  • don't copy copyrighted content

Conflict of interest editing risks bad press, and outing.  If you put one up or edit one about yourself, the pitchfork mob will come after you.  Showing both examples of Barry Schwartz and Matt Cutts issues.

Spamming  - a bad idea with lasting consequences.  You spam you go on the spam black list, the search engines can down load this site, and other wiki's use this by default.

Edit histories are public:  WikiScanner searches edits (wikiscanner.virgil.gr).  IP's are not anonymous.  Avoid embarrassing situations by establishing policies at your office.

Reputation management:  use the talk page to call out negative or false information to get fair and balance coverage.  Create a watch list feature, which can give you and RSS feed.

Power of Wiki:

  1. Your audience does your marketing
  2. Content spreads virally because of loose copyrights
  3. Participating can improve your reputation

Stephan Spencer - netconcepts
Wikipedia the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, however edits need to stick (they can be a reverted).
Getting your edits to stick:

  • age & history of your account
  • awards
  • your user page and your talk page
  • adminship
  • clean up spam

Incorporate your content edits for when adding a link.  It makes it harder to revert your edit.  Communicate with the main editor of the article before adding an external link that you think is valuable that could be looked at with suspicion and removed.

Add links as references, because they substantiate claims made in the document, they are also more likely to stick.

Creating brand new entries:

  • Need to be logged in with a virtuous account - solid contribution history
  • Make sure there is no connection between you and the article subject
  • have the subject of the article weigh in via the Talk page rather than making edits themselves
  • watch the page so you can be alerted to any AfD (article for deletion) nomiation or reversion of your work
  • Use lots of references, particularly ons that are from mainstream media sources.
  • References serve two purposes:
    • external links that will stick and
    • establish notability

Getting Over the Notability Hurdle

  • Use Google NEws Archive Search for finding references articles
  • An article with just a passing quoote isn't good enough
  • Get your PR firm to help you land an artilce even if it is with a small newspaper that profiles your company
  • Awards can help establish notability, press releases do not
  • OK but not ideal to use new articles that are not available online

Protecting Your Investment

  • "administrators and new page patrol need to be clear when they see new usernames and page creation which are blatantly commercial - shoo on sight" - Brad Patrick WikiMedia
  • Make friends, You're gonna need them
  • Watch the pages you ahve interet in
  • Don't just rely on Wikipedia Watch function;  use a tool that emails you when changes are makde (trackengine.com, changenotes.com, urlywarning.net, changedetect.com)

Don Steele - Comedy Central
Division of Viacom/MTV Networks.  Comedy Central looks at everyplace that their brand can be placed on the internet and digital marketing.  South Park has about 165 wikipedia pages.  Within 15 minutes of the press release, a new wikipedia page goes up.  After the show, the page gets edited with a mention of Bono, Bono page referenced the South Park page - but is in "discussion" whether it is important or not.

They use the "Talk"/Discussion pages to help get the right information out about the brands and shows.  They content is highly referenced and referred on Wikipedia.  And Wikipedia has become a relevant traffic driver to comedycentral.com.  Wikipedia is a free traffic driver.

If you are marketing content, you must understand and pay attention to how that content is living on Wikipedia.  Monitor traffic from Wikipedia!

Lise Broer "Durova" - Wikipedia

Lisa's a Wikipedia Administrator.  Wikipedia has tens of thousands of volunteers.  People follow advice that they think are true, but aren't and most can be a mistake.  People try to treat Wikipedia like Facebook, Digg and MySpace, it's not.

Virgil Griffith, the WikiScanner Guy, working with Lisa to make this better. 

They can see through "sock puppet" accounts.  IP Address tracking, they know what ip proxy.  They know your learning curve so you aren't fooling them.  "Have some class about it", and be upfront about it, Wikipedia doesn't hate SEO's, they know you know a lot of information and have images they would love to use.  Unfortunately they deal with spammer SEO's, so some volunteers become jaded.

Open edit doesn't mean chaos!


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The first SMX Social Media conference is now wrapping up. The only session left is a clinic, which normally is not covered. Below is a list of all the coverage, stories, blogs, and so on that I have found that discussed the conference and/or covered se... [Read More]


You're right on. Though I just got started with it, I share your insight. Like it.

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