Even though the body isn't cold just yet, a few new start-ups are showing some real moxy in attempting to become the successors of Digg, once the preeminent social bookmarking service. While Old Dogg is doing a full frontal attack (see "Social Media News Service On A Shoestring Introduces Old Dogg With New Tricks") - SERPd.com is a new platform that focuses on stories that serve the search engine optimization (SEO), Internet marketing and social media communities.
For those that are unaware, all Web sites benefit from high rankings from SERPS or 'Search Engine Results Pages.' Any one with content on the Web is impacted greatly by SERPs as the higher the ranking, the more traffic a Web site can derive via search engines (particularly Google since it garners the highest number of Internet searches).
SERPs can achieve high rankings when certain keywords for a site are optimized. For example in the case of a hotel in Honolulu, to attract travelers to become hotel guests, their Web site might focus on optimizing the keywords "Honolulu hotels," "Hawaii Hotels" or "Hawaii vacations." The same holds true for news sites that optimize stories based on their content. The more popular the keywords, the more important it is to optimize them.
By turning the term SERP into an action (SERPD), SERPd.com expresses their desire to serve the SEO and Internet marketing communities so users of the site can share, comment, vote and collaborate on the site while helping to boost visitors to Web sites and publishers of content.
Up till now, Sphinn.com has been serving this demographic as the "Digg of the SEO community." It was a great service alternative since Digg was known for burying SEO-related stories. For the past three years, it allowed users to submit and vote on posts that could become popular enough to make the front page. However, with its latest iteration, Sphinn has decided to eliminate the 'democratic' voting process, replacing it with a self-review by site's editorial staff to choose what stories deserve the most attention on their site.
Gerald WeberIn interviewing Gerald Weber (aka @the_gman), co-founder of SERPd, he noted that he couldn't quite understand Sphinn's rationale for making this change that has proven very unpopular with the site's users, even though "they have given several explanations." Weber says, "They have made reference to 'voting gangs' voting each other contents to the front page and not being happy with the quality of the content on the home page as a result. Another reason they gave is that people just don't vote very much." He also added, "they have also mentioned the hassle (perceived by company) of having to play referee between users and Sphinn moderators."
In addition to filling the 'voting' void that Spinn created, Weber made point they would also be presenting users with an enhanced feature not offered by Sphinn. "We will be conducting a weekly roundup on our community blog, where we will showcase some of the best submissions of the week, which eventually will evolve into a weekly Web cast show - where submitters with popular postings may have a chance at a little Internet fame by being featured speakers and presenters" noted Weber.
A SERPd.com voting button is available now for anyone that would like to post it to their blog or Web site. "While we aren't working exclusively with any specific publishers at the moment, many people are already using the button on their blogs," noted Weber.
What's most important to Weber and his co-founder Chris Burns is that their site not be perceived as a service for "SEO elitists." Users at all levels of Internet search understanding are open to use the platform as a valuable resource. Too often in the past, sites like Digg and Sphinn developed functionality based on the needs and desires of the their staffs versus those of their user base. IMHO, I think this is one of the major reasons both sites have lost the interest from their once large audiences that were attracted to these sites when they first arrived on the scene. They lost their Web 2.0 democratic appeal.
Only in Beta since September 15, the site's already tallied 300 users, 349 posts and 288 comments, which indicates to Weber and Burns (both SEO specialists for the last several years) there is definitely still a need for an SEO voting community. Check them out and let me know if you don't agree?