Content is King. Google made this clear over the years.
But any king needs an army. And obviously — we are the army. Bloggers, web-masters, SEO specialists… We are all in the never-ending battle to get our sites popular. And since we have a king, a a holy goal and an army… what more we need?
Weapons (software and tools). Maps (any attack starts with a map). Data (because there is no other way to decide how we’ll fight our battle than relying on experience, analytics and …data). And this little piece of data is here to answer one single question:
Does Community News Submission work?
Well… It seems obvious that we need to submit our great articles to community-news sections of related sites. But is it that obvious? Yes, we all know any form of popularization is welcome (I don’t mean “black-hat things here), but when you have to decide where to put your time, it does matter what exactly one could expect. I couldn’t find a proof that it is a must to spend time to submit my blog posts to community-news sites, so about 6 weeks ago I started one small experiment to see does that really affect blog popularity.
1) On the 7th of March I wrote a post called “5 Best Site Speed / Load Time Test Tools“. That post was submitted to just 7 community-news places. 3 of them approved and listed the article.
2) On 11 March I wrote similar post: “5 site validators I am using daily” but this time I didn’t submit the article anywhere.
3) On 1st of April, 2012 I published this, bigger guide: “Multiple Browser Testing: Beginner’s Guide” and submitted it to 18 community-news portals; 8 of them approved and listed the news (curiously, even one site I didn’t submit to listed the article, but it seems it was owned by the same people behind one of these I submitted to)
4) About 10 days ago I wrote another short post (something about my jQuery Mobile tests) and didn’t submit that one anywhere (it actually doesn’t deserve it)
And the results:
1) The 1st post, submitted to several community news places and approved by only 3 or 4 of them reports these results right now in my analytics (my visits excluded everywhere)
2) The second post (not submitted anywhere) got these visits:
3) The third article, written on 1st of April (20 days ago) and listed on 8 community news places reports these visits:
4) The last one, written 9 days ago and never submitted anywhere got 7 pageviews so far (for over a week!):
The average number of pageviews for posts that I never popularized is under 30 for the first month. The average for posts that was submitted to some sites is 5-8 times bigger (80-250 visits for the first month). In any case, popularization trough community news places worths — it takes about 30 minutes to submit your news to 20 sites. If 5 or 10 of them approve the news, you get a nice kick-start for your article.
So, it seems now that it works — when a post has some value — we must submit the news to related community news sites. When popular community news place list your article, you will ged a lot of visits in just few days. If you get listed to more sites, you’ll get more visits. But then — remember that all these places are moderated. You’ll not get listed if you submit useless things. And you risk to get banned if you submit too many news / too often. Don’t push your luck and submit only the posts that worth something to the audience, and submit to relevant places (I don’t think football site will list web-design tutorial, for example)… But this is another story.