Lee Odden

SES Chicago: SEM via Communities, Wikipedia & Tagging

More Search Engine Strategies goodness from Chicago: SEM via Communities, Wikipedia & Tagging

Moderated by Danny SUllivan.  Speakers included: Jeff Watts – National Instruments, Andy Hagans – Text Link Ads, Aaron Wall – SEOBook, Jim Boykin – WeBuildPages

First up was Jeff Watts of National Instruments.

National Instruments approach to community:

Traffic = Community + Search + Content

Very focused on content development. NI looks at community as a way to find out what people are looking for relevant to their web site.

Any conversation about community needs to start about buzz. Need to make sure you a part of the conversation. Alludes to Cluetrain:  “The conversation is going to take place, the issue is whether you choose to take part or not.”

Accept the fact that people are going to say positive and negative things. You must engage in community to take part in that dialogue.

Engaging with the community allows you to:

  • Response to criticism
  • Educate and learn
  • Be transparent – put a friendly face on the company
  • Discover leading users, applications and trends
  • Grow mindshare

The web is a friendly environment for distribution and very unfriendly environment for censorship.

How community mindshare fills the funnel:
Community increases the size of the top of the marketing funnel

National Instruments has been working with Wikipedia 1.5 years ago. Started by creating an article for their flagship product which was from a marketing perspective. It was edited by the Wikipedia community changed from a 40 word document to a huge document.

The outcome was a quality source of information and a link back to the National Instruments site.

Wikipedia What NI Learned:

  • Focus on information
  • Do not focus on link building
  • Do not edit correct criticism
  • Respect the community rules – neutral point of view
  • Benefits: traffic to your site, “unbiased” overview
  • Better Syndication Through Search:

Syndicate your content:

  • Creates traffic channel
  • People are opt in and self selected
  • Better conversion rates

Offline Communities
– use web to distribute info
– drive follow-up contact


Next up is Jim Boykin and Aaron wall with a last minute presentation – Nick Wilson did not make it.

How many people are bloggers, about 40%. Not bloggers about 60%.

What is Tagging?  A real time web organized by you.

Tag Clouds – visual representation of ideas. Trends of ideas.  The larger the text, the more important the idea.

1. post a link
2. others read and link to your post
3. If enough people link, it gets on the del.icio.us popular page
4. Popular page sends lots of traffic
5. Go back to #2

Tag sites:
digg.com – received VC money today
Yahoo My Web

Shows list of tagging and social networking sites

Indirect Links

Digg can generate substantial traffic. Del.icio.us popular generates a lot of traffic and also a lot of links from other blogs.

RSS allows you to subscribe to a channel
Tags facilitates linking

– Best type of link is the kind of link you don’t have to ask for.

Technorati Tags – come from del.icio.us and furl.net and also tags on blog posts
<a href=”http://www.technorati.com/tag/keyword” rel=”tag”>keyword</a>

If all you do is tag your own del.icio.us posts you’ll look like a spammer.

Digg – the new slashdot
Unlike Slasdot, which is centralize, digg is moderated/managed by the community.

Wikipedia – It may be better to create a web page with a link to your site, than just a link to your site.

Folksonomies (skipped)

Search Engines and Tagging


Andy Hagans – “I am not looking to contribute to the community. I’m a marketer. I’m looking for links.”

It’s very hard to game community based sites. Don’t spam.

Works best by putting out your best content. Original content, exlusive, funny, gets bookmarked by lots of people.

Focus on del.ico.us. It feeds into Technorati and other secondary social bookmarking sites.

If you have a blog, put a link to bookmark to del.icio.us after each post.

Get people you know to bookmark to del.icio.us to jumpstart it. It will then grow on its own merits.


Danny speaks briefly. Doesn’t like tagging, thinks it’s a backward step. There are search alerts to keep you informed of what’s new.

Yahoo My Web

Login. Search for something, then save that search result. You can tag it.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. This is a great article. I really enjoyed it and I learned a lot. Thanks for the information!!