For the implementation of SEO, Search engines like themed, structured topical data with a logical and intuitive navigation and site architecture. The downside many webmasters face is not having enough topical content to tip the scales in their favor.
This problem can be solved from user generated content (allowing the members to participate and share their thoughts).
The upside of this model is people who are passionate about their contribution will promote it on their own volition, which could represent droves of viral hits as a result of tangential traffic.
The downside of this model is if it’s not properly moderated, it could become a duplicate content nightmare where the web property is just another dumping ground for spammers seeking an outlet to reach more eyeballs.
Examples of user generated content are:
- Wikis – Wikiepdia is by far the most authoritative user generated website online. With over 44 million pages indexed (all created by the collective global community at large) it is no wonder it ranks for everything. This model could work well in technical environments, EDU’s or in specific instances such as a knowledge-base.
- php Based Forums – forums can make great additions to websites that offer a unique product or service or specific type of information / community. Coupled with a CRM (customer relationship management) software, you can implement newsletters, as well as follow-up products and services through using drip-down email campaigns to spearhead new business.
- Pligg Based Voting Systems – Pligg systems typically allow users to share bookmarks and then vote on their popularity (like digg.com) which reward content with higher popularity a higher position in the website / community.
- Micro Blogging Formats – The most popular micro blogging format at present is twitter.com, however, you can implement a micro blog format on your own website with minimal effort.
Once there are editorial controls in place to moderate the quality of the content the content conundrum becomes a moot point and every new page indexed is another opportunity to weight that site for specific keywords.
Once a substantial volume of content is built up, it can be put to use via internal linking to elevate specific landing pages for commercial purposes or used for passive income from all of the long-tail traffic it can generate.
If you have a dedicated base of return visitors (easily gleaned from analytics), then it may be in your best interests to leverage their interest by offering an outlet for them to participate through your web portal.
Guest posting is another overlooked medium that ties back into the UGC model above. Although there may be a few outbound links (one to their site) and a few to the references they make, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages as long as the content is unique and adds value to your website.
The only thing is to find the appropriate match for your audience or find enough guest authors to make it a worthwhile endeavor.
The pros of user generated content are like two polar opposites attracting – SEO generates traffic, so why not use the voice of that traffic for SEO? If the caliber of the content is impeccable and the audience that views it responsible, the community can moderate itself (as an incentive to maintain the standard).
While this may be a wild card approach, with selective indexation, you can always determine which pages appear using index, follow or which pages are omitted noindex, follow or noindex, nofollow – giving you full control of profiles or content that is not conducive to your optimization efforts.