What Can I Do For You, Commentators?

Author: Gab Goldenberg

The video with my thoughts and questions is after the jump. Please give me some feedback on this – what can I do for you guys?

A few notes on the video:

First, I’m being facetious when I say I’m interested in comments on my blog only. Don’t take the poker face too seriously. It’s a [meagre] bit of self-deprecating, ironic humor.

Second, here are some links that will help make the video richer:

  1. Gyutae‘s Winning The Web Top Blog rankings
  2. Lee Odden‘s Big List of SEO Blogs
  3. Characteristics of Linkbait or Rand Fishkin Is Brilliant
  4. Avinash Kaushik‘s blog metrics
  5. Barry Schwartz’s SEL column, the Daily Searchcap (aka linklove fest).
  6. Michael Gray’s Viral Conversations and the ‘how to be creative in 4 easy steps post‘ I wrote for his seo blog.
  7. Tamar Weinberg’s social media castle, Techipedia and the legal classes as social media post I wrote for her site.

Third, I need to correct something I mentioned in the video – I’m close to 400 stumbles, not 500 or 1000. http://gabgoldenberg.stumbleupon.com. Donno why I thought it was higher, but I’ve been really active in any case.

Fourth, some purists might say I’m only interested in helping others for the benefit it might bring me – more comments. That’s not the case, and the proof of that is how I still enjoy lending folks a hand offline.
I do want to get more comments and that’s an important motivation, but I’d be happy to help you guys out even if it didn’t increase the depth of conversations on this blog. So please stow the flames.

Thoughts? What do you want right now? Need a job? Need a reference? Links? Social media votes? Something else?

Idea! I’d like to tag the following folks and invite them specifically to comment (since they’ve commented intelligently before), though everyone else is welcome to the conversation too 🙂

Ben McKay , Bob Potter , Liam Delahunty, Michael Gray, Joshue Sciarrino, Matt Longley, Kyle Wegner, Shana Albert, and the mysterious Markus whose last name I can’t quite figure out/find online.

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  1. I'm surprised I'm the first one to comment, really. I hope you're not taking the whole comments thing personally, I get the slight impression that you do - am I right in thinking in this? With a growing reputation, and good level of visitors, I guess you just want people involved in the work that you do. It seems like you put out some very insightful perspectives in news and the like, and spotting things that others haven't, so that's not it. As much as the links and other giveaways are concerned, I know from first hand experience, you're the most overly generous blogger for such things, so that's not it either. Maybe you need shock and awe tactics - something that challenges something else, maybe drives anger, rage or surprise to generate comments. The other thing is that so often people are just whizzing past in their lunch hour, picking up some information before they hit their next blog, or the big community sites to land a comment or two. But even those, when you think of the visitor figures that they get, are relatively low for comments. It seems visitor:comment conversion is typically quite low (IMHO) unless you use shock and awe tactics of course... Food for thought maybe. Cheers Gab - keep motivated! You're a rising star in search - keep it up! Ben

    Comment by Ben McKay - December 4, 2008 @ 4:05pm
  2. (After such an honest video, I couldn't do anything but land a big fat comment on your site now could I?!)

    Comment by Ben McKay - December 4, 2008 @ 4:06pm
  3. It's not like a personal insult, but it's frustrating/boring when I write stuff and it's like I'm the lone guy in the forest n nobody's there to hear the tree fall. I think you've hit on an excellent point about appealing to folks emotions. I'm going to look at doing some video content that is more about storytelling and see if that helps solve the problem... Awesome comment dude :)

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 4, 2008 @ 4:39pm
  4. Pleasure. Videos work. They certainly help bring content (and people!) to life. Looking forward to the next instalment...

    Comment by Ben McKay - December 4, 2008 @ 6:16pm
  5. I wouldn't worry too much about the number of comments, especially on a technical professional blog. We follow what you write, and appreciate it. ^_^

    Comment by Fili - December 5, 2008 @ 6:44am
  6. @Ben - Thanks - good to hear :) Fili - Welcome to the blog and thanks for sharing. Hope to see more comments from you in the future :).

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 5, 2008 @ 1:56pm
  7. You can always say that SEO is dead :)))) I would say, and i hope you take this the right way, that your posts are a little bit too tedious to read. I understand that you are a legal student and that may be the source of your trouble, but sometimes i feel you get a bit too carried away with citing other people's articles. I haven't done the counting but i would say that your average post will link to anything between 5-10 other articles around the web. To make things "worse", you always link to industry leaders, which will probably drag the people away from your post (since they are not industry leaders for nothing). Now, i see how extensive citation adds credibility in the academic world, but on an SEO blog, I believe it can be a hindrance. So my suggestion would be to work a litle bit on the structure of your posts (more paragraphs, more numbered or bulleted lists and so on) and to link out less. Even if you do have to link out, do it without talking about the owner of the site you are linking to (and how awesome he is :) ), but rather link using parts of your regular flow of context. I am not saying that you are doing this, but sometimes it feels that the main purpose of the link is not to support your content. On the other hand, I may be completely wrong and you are doing everything perfectly. It happens more often than not. Was this done at home ? Judging by the mezuzah on the door post :)))

    Comment by neyne - December 9, 2008 @ 7:26am
  8. I never considered that! That's an awesome tip Neyne. I thought I was building relationships with all those links, but I never considered the downside of that. Also, as to linking to leaders constantly, I'd link to you more often if you blogged on a more regular basis - your material is awesome, but it's annoying visiting several times in a few weeks and the same post is there, so I end up visiting less. (RSS is a hassle.) Case in point, your last post is dated... October 15th lol. Nevertheless, I do need to link to non-industry leaders more often. Also, this post does link a bit more than I normally would. I think I'll put the links in towards the end using Eli's plugin from now on, rather than do so much manual stuff... GREAT TIP :D. p.s. Yes it was homemade ;).

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 9, 2008 @ 5:07pm
  9. hey don't get me wrong, my intention was not to ask for links. i'm just saying that if your link is basically an advert for Aaron Wall's or Michael Gray's blog, the chances are that people will get dragged away. I'm really not hunting for links on my blog. As for my blogging frequency... alas, no time. I would love to be able to blog more, i have like gazillion experiment ideas in the head but have no time to do them/write about them... but there is something in the making, stay tuned.

    Comment by neyne - December 9, 2008 @ 5:22pm
  10. Why do you need the external validation of comments on your posts at all? I get motivated by seeing traffic come on on terms I've targeted and any comments are just the icing on the cake. However if you do want more comments, I would suggest you pare down your posts, I would imagine at the length they are many people don't get to the end to make a comment at all. Perhaps take the next couple of the posts and put CrazyEgg or ClickTale on them to see how far people do get. Indeed, if you take your posts thus far and compare the word and comment count you might already find that the shorter articles get read to the end and then attract more comments.

    Comment by Liam Delahunty - December 16, 2008 @ 12:01pm
  11. Liam, I just find myself bored or ignored if I get no comments. It's like talking in a vacuum. Not very exciting! You make an interesting point about keeping posts short - I hadn't considered that that might be a usability obstacle. I'll definitely look at my shorter posts and see what the difference in comments is. As an aside, I tagged you and the others above for sharing great tips in their comments, as you have here :).

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - December 20, 2008 @ 7:17pm
  12. Hey Gab, I'm writing my newsletter about common SEO misconceptions and how to spot a bad SEO company. I've spoken with too many businesses that have been burned and that isn't good for legitimate SEO companies. One thing I'm passionate about is educating and helping business owners in all aspects of web design, development, SEO, and social media. So it got me thinking about a process to walk clients through the SEO process. What will they receive, how we are going to get them there, and what will their expectations be? Communication is KEY. So, do you have a "SEO plan" (like a business plan) that provides a scope of the project you are working on so that those three above mentioned goals are met? In my mind, this could be everything from copywriting services, targeted keywords, link buying, demonstrating the quality of those links, link bait campaign, and all of the details in between and beyond. Let me know what you think. I'd like to hear your strategy or take on this.

    Comment by Bob Potter - February 24, 2009 @ 1:08am

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