Blogging & Social Networking

Blogging

Blogging is a good way to create links back to a site. It creates the dilemma that if the content you’re creating is so good, you’d be better off putting it on the main site, but if it’s complete crap, eventually the search engines will wise up to it.

There are three ways to use blogs in Japanese SEO:

  • Japanese SEOs refer to blogs maintained on commercial blogging services, rather than on a companies main domain, as “satellite blogs.” Generally these will be blogs by employees. By being separate, they can link back to the main company websites to boost the rankings, and the content can be a bit less corporate since they are on a different domain.
  • At the other end of the spectrum are blogs created with crap content and packed with links. It only takes a brief glance to figure out that these are SEO spam. There are a lot of these being used by website developers and SEO consultants, but I don’t think they will fare well under the new Google regime.
  • In between these two extremes are blogs that do not advertise their relationship to the company or companies that they were created to promote, but which are nevertheless not completely on the up-and-up. For instance, you could create a blog with industry news summaries based on items found in Google News’s Japanese site, and link from two or three keywords per post, with a link to the site that you are promoting coming up every third post or so. Or you could have a hired blogger masquerade as a blogger going through the process of doing something related to the business of the site that you are promoting, and linking to resources on your site. She can get into the part by finding a real blog of the same general type and rewriting some of the posts. After putting up several posts (backdated), you needn’t update these blogs very often, maybe once a month or so.

The first and third options are effective, I think, the middle option not so. Make sure you check out whether the service you are using allows dofollow outbound links.

There are zillions of free blogging services and hosts in Japan, including:

  • blog.seesaa.jp
  • ameblo.jp/ameba.jp
  • blog.fc2.com
  • cololog-nifty.com
  • blog.livedoor.com
  • blogmura.com
  • yaplog.jp
  • blog.goo.ne.jp
  • blogs.yahoo.co.jp
  • exblog.jp
  • e-words.jp
  • jugem.jp
  • blog.ninja.co.jp
  • webryblog.biglobe.ne.jp
  • blog.so-net.ne.jp
  • plaza.rakuten.co.jp

Many more are listed on Wikipedia, and CosmoNavi has a list of free blog services.

Social Networking (SNS)

There a number of social networking systems indigenous to Japan, starting with Mixi. The degree to which each is open to the web, is crawled by the search engines, and offers dofollow links varies, but for the most part these do not help directly with search engine ranking. There is a list of all these sites on Wikipedia.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking sites popular in Japan include:

  • BuzzURL
  • Choix
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • FC2 Bookmark
  • Google Bookmark
  • Hatena Bookmark
  • Livedoor Clip
  • newsing
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! Japan Bookmark