Monthly Archives: June 2013

Ready for launch! (New membership system)

We have just finished putting the finishing touches to the new membership system that is launching on Monday. You will be able to choose from one of 6 membership plans, starting at just $5 per month or you can stay with a free membership and just purchase credits as and when you need them.

All existing members will be migrated to the closest of the new plans and as long as you do not cancel your current subscription you will stay on the same price point which is slightly cheaper.

We’ll be kicking off this launch with a very special offer (which will also be applied to existing members) so look out for details on Monday! We’ll be blogging, Facebooking and emailing out all the details. In the meantime, have a great weekend! 🙂

Credit System Fully Implemented & Credits Purchasable, All Limits Removed

The new membership system launch is almost upon us! We are on target to launch 6 new membership plans next Monday July 1st but in the meantime we are preparing the system to work with the new credit system that we started implementing some months ago.

We have now completed the transition and today’s update is a big one with some major changes:

All Sites are Credit Sites

Previously we had a mixture of regular sites that were always selected on every submission and credit sites that could be selected as optional extras on any given job. Now all sites in the system are credit sites which means that we have migrated to a fully usage-based system. Your monthly membership free buys a number of monthly credits and you are then choose to spend those credits how you wish.

There is one improvement we need to make in this area. In the credit site selection area of the submission forms we use a colour coding system to indicate if certain sites have restrictions on them. For example the article sites have a minimum word requirement so it will show you which sites need 400, 500 or 600 words. However, the form doesn’t actually prevent you from making unsuitable selections – the job will just fail later. We will put in these restrictions later.

Credit Packs are Purchasable

If you run low on credits and want to submit something before your next payment date you can also purchase credit packs on an ad-hoc basis. These are more expensive than the credits that will be allocated with the monthly membership plans but they are allocated immediately. These packs are also available to free members meaning you can now use your free IMAutomator account as a pay-as-you-go account, and simply purchase credits as and when you need them.

The following packs are available (from the members page but I have provided links for convenience here)

These links will take you directly to a paypal payment page. Please do not close your browser or press the back button or the credits will not be allocated to your account!

All Light Member Restrictions Lifted

Previously, Light members only had access to the Social Bookmark submitter and for each job a maximum of 15 submissions would be made. Both of these restrictions have now been lifted so in essence the only difference now between the current Light and Pro memberships are the number of credits allocated per month. Also, all Light members have been allocated 50 free credits so you can have a play with the new tools straight away 🙂

Monthly Credits Increased

Light members will now receive 100 credits per month and Pro members 2,500. This will take effect from the next payment on your account.

Daily Submission Limits Removed

Previously we had limits set on the number of jobs you could submit of a given type per day. So for example Light members could only submit 10 bookmarks per day. This restriction has now been lifted and you can submit as much as you like, so long as you have credits available.

What’s Next?

So for all existing members you are now operating on the new system but within our old membership systems. The big feature that is coming on Monday is 6 brand new membership plans ranging from $5 to $500 a month to suit all budgets and requirements.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the new system or notice any problems.

Job Sorting Added to Job Lists

Another new feature has been added today – the ability to sort the jobs in the jobs list for each job type. At the same time, we have also removed the button which was marked ‘Completed’ – all jobs are now contained in a single list as with the job resubmission code, the idea of ‘job completion’ no longer makes sense.

At first glance the lists will look the same as before as by default they will be sorted in descending order of Job ID – so your latest submitted jobs appear at the top. But now you may click on any of the columns to sort by that column.

So for example, an interesting one to try it to sort by the SA column which is the number of submissions available. The first time you click a column it will sort into a ascending order. Click a second time on the SA column to sort it in descending order and you’ll see your older jobs at the top of the list. Large numbers in this column means that you can now re-submit this job to pick up all those extra backlinks!

Your current sort setting is saved as you navigate around the site. So if you sort by the title column in ascending order on the Bookmarks list and then click onto the Articles page, those will also be sorted by title in ascending order. However, this reverts to the default the next time you login.

The pagination is currently the same. 20 jobs are displayed at a time per page. We may later add the ability to select different numbers here.

We still want to add a filter function to allow you to search your title & description fields but that is not likely to be before the July 1st release.

Login box obscured by video – fixed

We fixed a small issue today that we’ve had since we deployed our new web design. On certain versions of Internet Explorer and Chrome, when you hovered over the ‘Login’ tab of the navigation menu, it would drop down but be hidden behind the video that is on the home page. The workaround was to load any other page and login from there but it was a nuisance! This has now been fixed 🙂

Job Resubmission is Live!

Today we have released a major new feature – Job Resubmission which replaces our Secondary Submissions tool which was available to Pro members only. This new job resubmission code is available to ALL members.

How to resubmit your jobs

1) From the list of jobs, click on the ID number of the job you would like to resubmit. This can be a current job which is still in progress or any job which is listed under the ‘completed’ tab. This will load the job details screen for that job.

2) As well as the details of the job (which you can still edit as before) you’ll also find a site section section just like when submitting a new job. The only difference is that only sites that have not been submitted for this job appear. If you try it on your latest jobs you will have very few sites available or maybe none at all. However, try it on your older jobs and you could have a lot of sites available – maybe even all of them if the job was submitted a long time ago!

3) Select any sites you’d like to submit to and click the preview button.

4) Review the details of the job and click the re-submit button.

5) You’ll now see that the counts of remaining and available submissions have been modified accordingly.

Some improvements still to come

This is the first version of this particular piece of functionality and there are several improvements that we are going to make for it but we may not have time to do them before the launch of the new membership system if we are to hit the July 1st date. These are as follows:

1) Resubmission for failures – currently you can only select sites that have never been selected for this job. What we will also add later is the ability to also select sites which have previously been selected but which failed. These would be clearly marked so you could ignore them if you wish.

2) Stricter constraints on selectable sites – for articles and RSS feeds not all sites are suitable for every job. For article sites, there is a minimum word requirement so if your article is only 300 words then you don’t want to submit that to a site that requires 400. Similarly for RSS directories, some of them are actually blog directories and require that the submitted site be an actual blog. Currently these sites are clearly marked but you can still select them. We will make these un-selectable in a future update.

3) Searchable and sortable job lists – right now you have to hunt through your old jobs to resubmit them and this is cumbersome as we list them just in pages of 20 with no mechanism to filter them or sort them. We want to add a better interface for the job lists and we were hoping to get it in before the July 1st release but it may have to wait until afterwards.

Some additional notes to be aware of

1) We ran a script a while back to calculate the counts for the number of remaining and available submissions for all jobs in the database. The number of sites that shows as available does not take into accounts the constraints mentioned above. So for example, if you have just submitted a 400 word article and selected all sites that showed up, it would still show some sites as being available which are the 500 word and 600 word directories but they will not show up when you click the job details. Hopefully we can fix that in the future.

2) You can resubmit a job at any time. You do not have to wait for the job to complete in order to resubmit it with new sites. In fact the whole idea of job ‘completion’ no longer makes sense. We will keep the ‘in progress’ and ‘completed’ lists there for the time being but once the searching and sorting are available it will be removed and there will be just one master list of jobs for all job types.

3) When you resubmit a job, a schedule is created for the new sites you have selected. This schedule will begin from today – it is not appended to the previous schedule.

4) Also in this update we have made all RSS sites into credit sites. This now works like Directory sites – you will now have to choose at least one site when submitting a new job and no submissions will be made automatically. The next stage will be to convert article sites but we will hold off as long as possible when doing the bookmark sites as that is what most people use.

5) This functionality replaces the Secondary Submissions tool. For those pro members that used it – all of your scheduled submissions are still scheduled and will still be submitted as normal but you will no longer be able to access the tool itself. This new feature is far more flexible than the secondary submissions tool – you can choose any jobs as you like, whenever you like and you can choose precisely what sites you want to use.

Job Resubmission code working on test system

Our job submission code is now done! This is a major step forward as it allows members to go back and re-submit any of their existing jobs to any new sites at any time thus ensuring a constant stream of new backlinks for your content. The code is not live yet; we’re going to do a little more testing and then upload it to the live servers tomorrow so you guys can get your hands on it.

This is the job details screen. Like before you can edit the details of the job such as the title, description etc and you can also delete the job if you wish but now you also have a site selection section but instead of showing all sites it just shows the ones that have not yet been selected for this job.

Once you hit the Preview & Re-Submit button it will take you to the preview screen as before and then you can submit from there. This will create a new submission schedule for any new sites you have selected but these will be from today just as if you were submitting a new job – they do not continue from the end of the existing schedule.

Also note that you don’t have to wait for the existing submissions to complete before scheduling new ones; you can re-submit as often as you like.

New Submissions Available – Another tweak to the jobs lists

Yesterday we added a new column to the job lists to show the number of submissions remaining. Today we’ve added another column, this time to show the number of submissions available. You’re probably wondering what that means…

When you submit a job to IMAutomator a submission schedule is created for you and then our submission engine works behind the scenes to submit your job to all the sites in the schedule. Under our old system, if the list of sites never changed then that would be the end of it. And indeed we marked jobs as ‘complete’ when all the submissions in the schedule had finished as there were no more submissions to be done.

But there are two factors that change this. Firstly, our sites list is not static – especially not the social bookmarks sites list. We are constantly working to keep our sites fresh. All submissions are monitored and if a site stops working we check it daily for around a week and if the site has definitely stopped working or been taken down then we remove it. As a result, we are also constantly adding new sites to the system so these become newly available submissions.

So as time goes on the list of supported sites in our system changes and every time we add a new site – that is a new submission that is available for all of your existing jobs. Right now, there’s nothing you can do with them; it’s only an indicator. What we’re working towards is new functionality that will allow you to submit your existing jobs to these new available sites in the future as you wish. So if you have a particularly important piece of content you can continue submitting it to new sites as they get added to keep a constant stream of fresh backlinks coming into it.

The second factor to affect this number of available submissions is the selection of credit sites that you choose when you first submit a job. Right now, these are optional on all but the Directory sites but once our new system launches, all sites will need to be chosen in this way. So of course you can choose as many or as few as you wish. If we have 50 sites available and you choose 20 of them, then once you have submitted the job, it will show 30 as being available.

Tweak to the job lists – Remaining Submissions Count

When you click on any of the tools buttons you get a list of the jobs that are currently in progress. In this list you will now see a new column marked ‘SR’ which contains the remaining submissions count.

This shows you at a glance how far along each job is. The higher the number, the more submissions are remaining to be processed.

Job ‘completion’ concept soon to be removed

Currently, when you submit a job, a schedule of submissions is created and once all of those submissions have been processed to completion then the overall job is said to be complete and it is moved into a separate list. However, with the new job resubmission code that we are developing, this concept will no longer make sense. Instead, when that count reaches 0 it simply means that the current batch of submissions is complete.

Under our new credit system you choose the sites that you want to submit to and you’ll be able to choose as many or as few as you want. What we are working towards is a system where at any time you can go back to an existing job, and re-select the sites to submit to. This will be particularly useful when we add new sites (which we do all the time) as you’ll be able to keep bringing in fresh links to your content.

Therefore instead of having two separate lists of current jobs and completed jobs we’ll just have a single list but those which are currently classified as complete will simply show 0 submissions remaining.

Searching & Sorting

Of course, with just a single list of jobs – that would be cumbersome! Especially for those of you who have submitted thousands of jobs! So, another piece of functionality we will be adding is the ability to search and sort the lists to make them more manageable.

Success rates improved for some sites

We are always working on improving success rates of submissions and keeping them as high as possible. Most sites have around 99% success rate, and a handful around 80-99%. Today we’ve made a small change that will improve success rates in some cases on selected sites.

When we submit your jobs to the various sites in the system, we perform a little work on each field before the submission. First of all if its a spintax job we’ll pick the next available spun version of the field. Next we pad or trim the data as appropriate for the site in question. Some sites require slightly longer or shorter fields so we ensure that the data is always adjusted according to the rules of each site.

However, a few weeks ago we started finding new kinds of sites that worked differently to before and had dynamic fields – meaning the names of the fields changed with each submission. We were able to change our submission process to resolve the dynamic fields but it broke the padding & trimming code so the data was submitted at the original length. For the vast majority of cases this was fine but sometimes a particular job would have a field that was too long or too short and that would cause that submission to fail.

Not many jobs were affected and this is only on a small handful of sites but anyway – we have now fixed this so all fields will be properly sized on all sites so success rates increase just that little bit more 🙂

 

Just what are you trying to build links to?

I had the pleasure of attending the Content Marketing Show in London last Friday and took away a ton of useful information. Now as users of IMAutomator, you’re all here because you’re interesting in link building. But one thing this show got me thinking about, was what kind of content are you trying to build links to?

Content is King – Again

A few years ago the catchphrase ‘content is king’ was very popular in the SEO community, then it started to fade out somewhat and I saw alternatives such as ‘backlinks are king’. In the last year or so Google has been making a lot of changes to their algorithm and they are now making a bigger push than ever towards high quality content.

Using a service such as IMAutomator lets you build lots of links extremely easily and one danger of that is that it can encourage the creation of poor quality links. That tendency should now be greatly lessened by our new usage-based membership system that we are implementing but still the temptation is there and of course there are many other ways of building lots of links very quickly.

Building lots of links to low quality content is no longer going to provide much benefit with Google. Yes Matt Cutts has said that links are not going away anytime soon, but they are far more concerned now with the content behind those links. I’m not going to go into detail about what constitutes good content, but I will give one guideline – it should provide some kind of value to the consumer.

Tweak your content, THEN build links to it

Another danger with a service like ours if you have an established site is that it can be very tempting to just use the social bookmark submitter to systematically go through every single page of your site and submit it. But have you taken any time to look at the actual pages you’re submitting? Are they of any value or are you simply looking at each individual URL as a source of another 40-50 backlinks for your domain?

Another hot topic from the show was the idea of making content shareable through social media – getting people to like it on Facebook, tweet it on Twitter, pin it on Pinterest and so on. When you are trying to create content that you want people to share, it has to be exceptionally good. People simply do not share average content. However, when it comes to link building, more content = more opportunities for links when you distribute that content widely and so this leads us into the trap of trying to create more content just to be able to get more links which is a mistake.

If your site is full of low quality content and the only backlinks are coming from a single source such as social bookmarks and nothing is being shared socially, nobody else is linking to it, nobody is commenting on it then Google is going to view that content as inferior, despite the backlinks! Links are only one measure of authority and if you build tons of them to poor quality content, it is not going to do your rankings very much good.

If you have an established site with a lot of old content that you want to build links to, spend some time tweaking it first before you build those links. Make sure it adds some value to the consumer, make sure you have crafted your titles and copy to both entice the readers in and also to provide SEO benefit. Do the simple stuff such as running it through a spell checker, maybe even add an image or two (I should take my own advice on this one!) and so on. In short – make the content better. Then build backlinks.

So next time you come to IMAutomator (or anywhere else for that matter) to submit some content to get links, ask yourself the question – “is this content any good?”

 

 

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