Tynt May Get You Some Links. But It Probably Won’t.

I’ve been reading a lot of bloggers lately hyping up this new link building service called Tynt. According to a quick Google Blog Search, 1,083 mentions of Tynt have come up over the last 7 days. It is also getting enough buzz across the innerwebs that a client was savvy enough to email me about it this morning.

Allegedly, Tynt is a cool service for bloggers and other creators of written web content. Tynt provides a piece of Javascript that creates a backlink to your blog post or site when your content is copied and pasted by a third party into a content editor.

Below is an example of Tynt at work. Thanks to Patrick Altoft of Branded3 for noticing that the Daily Mail in the UK uses it, and blogging about it on BlogStorm. He wrote a great post that helped alert me to Tynt. His post was also so good that I impulsively scrolled my mouse over his text, hit “CTRL + C” on my keyboard, and hit “CTRL + V” on this blog post.

Tynt At Work

Tynt Insight monitors copy and paste behavior on billions of page loads per month across hundreds of thousands of web sites . Our data shows that up to 6% of page loads results in a user copying content! On a site that has 20 million page views per month – cont

Source: Add links when people cut and paste your content with Tynt

My Reaction To Tynt

Wait a second… where’s the link?!?!

When Tynt works its magic, the title of Patrick’s blog post on BlogStorm (Add links when people cut and paste your content with Tynt) should have been hyperlinked directly to his post. After all, I directly copied and pasted his content into my WordPress editor - no Jedi mind tricks here.

So… where’s the link?

The Problem With Tynt

Turns out Tynt’s Javascript code inserts the link to your blog post the second someone copies and pastes your information into a WYSIWYG text editor.

In contrast, I use an HTML editor to create my blog posts, rendering Tynt’s magic useless. Also, because of the way Tynt’s script works, their attributions are very easy to remove. A novice web plagiarizer can easily take them out of a post once they have copied and pasted your content.

Tynt is promoted as a “provider of SEO benefits by generating more links back to your content that are search engine visible.” Read more: http://www.tynt.com/#ixzz0XnNAbeTL

See - even when HTTP code is used for link placement, it is still ineffective.

Is Tynt worth adding to your site to be an assistant to your link building efforts? Sure. But will it actually produce a quantity of links for you? No.

I get that bloggers and news sites are tired of having sites steal their content, and I 100% agree with your gripes. As an alternative to using Tynt for building links when your content is stolen, I would personally recommend WordPress users check out Joost de Valk’s RSS Footer Plugin.

After reading over Michael Gray’s testing with this plugin, the RSS Footer Plugin seems much more effective at putting content bandits to work for your link building efforts than Tynt.


Designing Above the Fold…Does It Matter?

Old NewspapersIf there’s one thing that most designers will tell you is important when designing a page, it’s that all of the important content should be “above the fold.”  It’s a common practice that dates back to when humans read something called “newspapers.”

These archaic gray monstrosities were often printed on thin paper and folded right in the middle.  Therefore, it was standard practice to put the most important content “above the fold.”

The difficult thing about designing above the fold on the internet is… well, we never know exactly where the fold is!  Nevermind the fact that most people use a variety of screen resolutions, ranging from the dreadful 800 x 600 up to the glorious 2560 x 1600. On top of that, people also can have an unknown variable of toolbars.  Currently, I have 3 toolbars on my 1680 x 1050 monitor, cutting out about 85 pixels from the top of my browser.

So what can a designer do?  Typically, the thought is to design a page for the least common denominator, assuming that your average viewer will be looking at your page on their grandmother’s 13in. CRT display.  This means putting all the stuff you deem as important up at the top and all the rest slapped down at the bottom.  The obvious problem to this is that it will look weird on regular monitors.

So what can you do?

First, you can take a look at your site statistics and figure out what percentage of users are looking at your page with various resolutions. If no one is looking at your site at 800 x 600, don’t worry about designing for them!

Second, you can determine which parts you absolutely want above the fold, like a call-to-action form, and place that higher up on the page. Then you don’t have to worry about whether or not you have an H1 and an H2 above the fold.

Third, and most importantly, you can ignore the problem altogether and read this interesting article about whether or not “designing above the fold” is worth the effort. The article comes with heatmaps and actual user testing.

Read this article…it’s worth your time.

I highly suggest reading this article and making your own opinion.  The most important thing that I took away from it is that your site should have enough important, relevant content on the page that makes me actually want to scroll down the page.

Imagine that?  People will scroll down the page if there’s interesting content!

It sounds so simple, but I think it’s a concept that most people forget.  If you have interesting and relevant content on your page - information that people are actually looking for - it won’t be a chore for them to read it.

Then, your content will be digested by more people and visitors to your site will stay longer, improving your bounce rate. That will help the overall ranking of your site.

So as a designer, this is an exciting revelation. Great content makes or breaks a page, not the designer!  Well, I’m off to forward this article to our copywriter.  The burden is all on you from now on, Ashley!  Guess I’m off to lunch now.


Pulling Blogging Ideas Out Of Your…Hat

As an internet marketing firm, it’s easy to stress to clients the importance of a regularly updated blog. The tough part comes in taking your own advice. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in client work that internal work can fall to the wayside…and I wouldn’t be surprised if most internet marketing agencies run into this problem occasionally.

So when it comes time for me to blog and I have a ton of other work to get done, my biggest stress is coming up with decent ideas for blogging.

Good Blogging Ideas…A Dime A Dozen?

Since I was strapped for time, I figured I’d do a quick blog about this awesome whitepaper I found over at Small Biz Trends called “137 Small Business Twitter Tips” (seriously, check it out). But…it kinda felt like cheating to me. I mean, I could do that for every blog post really if I wanted to, since there’s no lack of awesome resources on the web.

That would certainly take care of the stress of coming up with good blogging ideas anyway….

Ideas for Blogging…In the Eyes of the Beholder

But then I had my “ah-hah” moment, and my blog post involved into one main lesson: the value of a blog post is really in the eyes of the reader! A blog post I felt like I was “cheating on” may be exactly what a particular reader needed!

So basically what I’m saying is this: don’t pull out your hair trying to come up with “amazing” blogging ideas…creativity just doesn’t work that way! Next time you don’t come up with a great idea right away, check out some of your resources, share a helpful story, relay a funny work story, whatever.

The whole point of a blog is to connect with your audience…every post you write doesn’t have to win a “Most Resourceful/Amazing/Remarkable Blog Post Of The Year” award (though some certainly should!). Great ideas for blogging will come…you just gotta let it flow sometimes.


Blog Commenting Etiquette: To Approve or Not To Approve…?

Hands down, my favorite part of blogging is seeing people respond to my writing and actually leave comments. Whether good or bad, I’m not too picky. Comments just give me that warm fuzzy feeling when I realize people actually read what I write, and what’s better, have something to say about it!

Nowadays though, it’s vital to any blogger’s sanity to set up some kind of comment spam filter or approval process on their blog. Comment spam has risen to ridiculous levels (I’ve lost count of how many I’ve gotten on my personal blog) and without the multiple plugins for comment spam made for WordPress, I don’t know what I’d do.

After reading a couple of good posts on blog comment etiquette (“The Blogger’s Guide To Comment Etiquette” and “Internetiquette – Anonymous Commenting”), I realized that it’s also important for a blog (especially a company blog) to decide and make known their own personal comment policy. The posts I read are older, but still pretty dang relevant today.

I Delete You Spam!For example, should you approve comments that are an obvious attempt at leaving a link, and add nothing at all to the conversation? (You know the, “Great post, you rock,” comments). What about anonymous commenting? Do you let people post comments, either positive or negative, if they’re not willing to stand behind what they say and actually leave a real name, email or website?

As a business, do you choose to be totally transparent and post the bad along with the good? Do you try and hide the fact that, like any business, you’ll have people who may not like you? I know that personally, when I’m commenting on blogs, I only leave my comment if it actually adds to the discussion, and if it’s something I’m willing to put my name behind. If I wanna be anonymous about it, that’s usually a good indication that I may not be living up to my own personal morals and ethics.

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to these questions, just what you think is best for your blog. I’d love to hear other bloggers’ take on this topic, or any basic rules of comment etiquette you follow, either when commenting, or for comments on your blog.

So what do you think? How do you make the call on what comments to allow, and which to delete?