I have just realised I have never explicitly outlined on the site what happens when a new lost or found pet is posted to the site.
Basically when someone completes the relevant posting form for a lost or found pet, I receive an email alerting me to a new posting. I then log in to the site’s administration section, review the posting, making any changes I feel will make the posting more useful to site visitors and indeed the search engine spiders who index the content on the site frequently, and then mark the posting as approved which in turn initiates the following actions.
- The geotagged posting goes live on the appropriate section of the site. We are currently seeing around 8,000+ visits per month.
- The site contacts the major search engines (Google, MS Bing, Yahoo, and Ask) and alerts them that there is new content to be indexed and tells them explicitly where they can find it. It is only when these search engines come in and index the posting that it can appear in the search results.
- A text message with geolocation information is sent out on our Twitter account which appears in our followers (currently numbering around 1,800 Twitter streams and is also publicly available from both our Twitter page and from our own site where we republish our Twitter stream.
- If the posting is accompanied by a photo, this photo is sent to our Twitpic account so that people using Twitter can easily view it – currently we are seeing an average of about 50 views per photo this way.
- If the posting is accompanied by a photo we also automatically publish it to our Flickr account along with its geolocation information which allows it to appear on our Flickr map and also to our own Flickr group and to other relevant Flickr groups we are members of such as the Irish Flickr Users group. This brings a potential audience for the posting to about 3,000 people on Flickr alone and in addition makes the posting even more visible in search engine results.
- If a photo is included it is also published automatically to our Google Picasa account.
- The posting is sent to our Facebook page and will appear in all our fan’s activity streams unless they explicitly prevent it – almost 4,000 more sets of eyeballs seeing a posting.
- A summary and a link back to the original posting is sent to our Bebo account.
- Full details of the posting including the photo if included are posted to our MySpace account.
- The posting appears in our main RSS feed (geolocation information once again included) and all relevant filtered feeds so is automatically distributed to individuals and other sites such as Galway SPCA, Topdog.ie and TailsandTrails.ie – we have provided some tools and help to easily display our feeds on third party sites so we hope more sites will syndicate our feeds in time.
- Listings are also exposed via our Google gadget to those who have installed it on their personalised iGoogle homepage or indeed on any other web page where it is installed.
- The individual submitting the post is informed that it has been approved and published and they are provided with the direct URL for the posting where they can then share it via their own social networking sites and, if the posting includes a photo, print out a custom poster to distribute locally.
- I am now also manually publishing the listings to Google Plus where we have a page at http://gplus.to/lostfoundpets – be sure to add us to your circles.
I also carry out a number of other actions to ensure that the posting is indexed in as timely a manner as possible. Since I use these techniques on some of the commercial sites I have built and/or maintain I can not discuss them here but in general, a listing will be available in the Google search results within 30 minutes of approval and often less.
With current monthly traffic of around 9,000 monthly visits to the site alone, I believe that currently no other site offers the breath of distribution and therefore exposure of postings this site offers. It is also worth noting the extra benefits in terms of exposure one gets by including a photo with the listing.
I will be updating this post as I add more features – we are a long way from done!