Monthly Archives: May 2014

72 Social Bookmarking Sites Live! 250 Free Credits For Everyone :-)

After making the decision to discontinue our Article & RSS tools, we’ve been able to really concentrate on Social Bookmarking sites and today we have 72 sites live! This is more than we’ve ever had before, and we’ve got a great mix of sites including 2 PR8 sites, 6 PR7 sites, 13 PR4 sites and a whole bunch PR1-3!

As a little celebration, we want to give everyone the chance to try out all of these great new sites that we’ve been adding and so here is a credit code worth 250 credits, more than enough to submit to every single site!

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How to Redeem Your Credit Code

1) Login to IMAutomator at http://www.imautomator.com
2) Scroll to the bottom of the Members page to ‘Enter a Credit Code’
3) Paste the code in the box and press the ‘Submit Code’ button

You’ll get a message saying the code was accepted. To check the credits were allocated correctly, click on the Members page again and this time, in the section “Generate a Credit Transaction Report”, click the ‘Generate Report’ button and you’ll see all the credits allocated and spent.

No IMAutomator Account? Get One Free!

If you are new to IMAutomator, you can sign up to one of our monthly membership plans which offer the best value submission credits, but if you’d rather try before you buy you can go ahead and create a free account, then use the credit code above to get you started 🙂 Later on you can buy credit packs as and when you need them or sign up to a monthly plan.

If you’ve never used IMAutomator before, check out our 60 second intro video.

How to Spend Your Credits!

The most basic way to spend your credits is of course to submit a new job and these 250 credits will be more than enough to cover a job submission to EVERY site in the system if you wish but you don’t have to do it that way.

Firstly, you could split up the credits on several jobs, or try submitting a site with the Directory submitter instead.

Another way is to resubmit some of your old jobs. We’ve recently revamped the jobs list to more clearly show the number of ‘Submissions Available’ for every single job. Your older jobs will have more submissions available as more new sites will have been added since they were last submitted.

Simply click on the job ID of any job you’d like to resubmit, select the sites you would like to submit to just as you would in a new submission, and then submit it. You can also edit the job if you like at this point.

You can do this for as many jobs as you like, as often as you like. Every time we add new sites to the system the number of Submissions Available for each job is updated.

More Free Credits Coming Soon!

We are heading for 100 social bookmark sites; that has been our goal for a long time. When we hit that number we’re going to be running a HUGE promotion!

But in the meantime, we’re also really excited to be getting closer so we are going to be giving away free credits when we hit 80 & 90 sites so keep an eye on your email, this blog and on Facebook!

Duplication Errors Now Fully Fixed

Last week I wrote about a duplication error we’d found that was causing jobs to fail with an (incorrect) “Duplicate URL” error. To summarise the problem… if a submission timed out after the actual post had been made but before the success check had been completed then the job would be rescheduled to be retried a few hours later but woud then fail on the second attempt with a duplication error because the original post had in fact succeeded.

We implemented a fix for that and if a duplication error is found, we now just skip ahead to the part where we pull out the URL of the new bookmark that was created. However, we hit a snag there… we use a large pool of accounts for submissions and we use them at random for each job so when a job was retried there was no guarantee that the same account would be used the second time and in this case we wouldn’t be able to pull out the Bookmark URL as it would be on somebody else’s account.

So the solution for that was to start tracking which account is used with each submission job and then in the case of a retry (which happens on server errors) it will use the same account for any subsequent retries of that particular job to ensure we can correctly grab the Bookmark URL that was created.

We have implemented this fix today but please note that it is not retroactive. Meaning, we cannot go back into past jobs and figure out what account was used so we can only start recording this information from this moment onward so for any jobs that were submitted into the system prior to this fix, it’s still possible that you will get some jobs that are not correctly reporting the Bookmark URL that was created.

All new jobs going forward though should now be working fully as intended!

All New Jobs Now Default To Spintax Format

Today we have streamlined the job submission process to default to the spintax option when submitting new jobs. Previously you had two options (it would default to no spinning) and you’d have to manually click the spintax button to submit a job that had spintax in it.

This was actually a little awkward because if you submitted a regular job you could not later go back and add spintax to it due to the way in which the job types were stored in our database. However a spintax-ready job doesn’t actually need to contain spintax in it meaning that it can support regular jobs as well. So we simply decided to get rid of the two options and just default to spintax!

A Spintax Recap

Spintax is a method of creating multiple versions of your text that mean the same thing but use different words. For example:

IMAutomator is the {easiest|quickest|most user friendly} {social bookmarking|link building} software {around|available|on the market} today!

The phrase above has three spintax clauses {|}, a 3-word clause, a 2-word clause and a final 3-word clause. This means that this particular sentence can be combined in 3x2x3 ways which is a total of 18 different combinations.

When you use spintax in the text fields of your jobs, IMAutomator will automatically generate all the different versions for each individual field and then rotate around them for each of the individual site submissions.

Why Use Spintax?

The idea of spun content first came about a few years ago when article submission was popular as Google started to get more sophisticated it could recognise that multiple articles contained the same text and it would choose to show only a handful of results on the search page and add a message that additional similar results had been hidden. By creatively spinning your text in this way you can create a huge number of unique versions of your text so that it doesn’t get caught by this ‘duplicate content’ filter.

Spintax has become even more important since the Penguin update of 2012. In that update Google began to penalise websites that had ‘over-optimized’ anchor text and it is now recommended that you vary your anchor text as much as possible and only use your primary keywords for about 5% of your backlinks.

When using social bookmarks for backlinks, the title of the bookmark is the anchor text. If you blast out 50+ bookmarks using the exact same title Google is going to pick that up. So make sure you add some spintax to the title field especially to avoid this problem!

Spintax Too Time Consuming?

Creating spintax content is not difficult but it can be time consuming. If you want to create it more quickly, I can recommend The Best Spinner (aff link) which allows you to quickly create spintax clauses from their massive dictionary. It even has a fully automated option which will spin your entire text at the click of a button!

 

Much Improved Success Rates

Yesterday we posted about increased performance issues since we started adding new sites and whilst investigating that problem we also fixed a duplication error that had been around for a while.

We also took the first steps towards alleviating the performance issues and that has also had a major impact; success rates are much improved today! There are still some other performance tweaks we are going to implement and over the longer term we are also looking at modifying our server infrastructure so that it can scale better as we add new customers or new sites to the system.

We’ll continue to keep you posted on the progress but in the meantime we won’t add any new sites until we can be sure the performance is where it should be.

Duplication Error Partial Fix

As well as working on the high server errors that we have been experiencing since we started to add a lot more social bookmarking sites, we have also been working on another issue which is related to this one.

The submission process works in several steps – it logs into the website, submits the job data, in some cases there is a confirmation step and then we check for success and pull out the URL of the created bookmark where available.

The earlier problem of the server timing out and causing the job to fail can actually happen at any point in the submission process. Sometimes the job has been successfully submitted and then the timeout occurs on the final step where we are checking for success. If this happens the job will fail even though the submission did actually succeed. What happens next is that we have an internal retry system that will retry a submission that failed due to a server error several times over a 24-48 hour period. Sites with higher PR are given a higher number of retries.

The problem is that when the job is retried, it is already there (because it was successfully submitted the first time) but now it fails with the error “Duplicate URL”! This is actually an oversight on our part and a bug that has been in the system since the beginning but we didn’t notice it before because the number of failures due to a duplication error was very small.

But since we started adding more sites and started to experience general performance issues, more and more submissions have been failing due to timeouts and this in turn also raised the number of duplication errors. A true duplication error should be very rare, so as these numbers increased it raised a red flag.

So we have now investigated the issue and fixed it – partially. If a duplication error is found then the submission process will now skip ahead to the final step and look for the posted Bookmark URL. However, this will only work if the account that is being used to submit this job is the same account as the one used to submit it earlier when it did indeed succeed because we login to that users account, look at the submission history and pull out the Bookmark URL that was created.

We use a pool of accounts for submission and we rotate around them randomly for all jobs so it may well be a different account that is used on a subsequent retry which means the URL cannot be extracted.

The proper fix for this is to keep track of which account is used for every submission and in the case of a failure, to use the same account when performing any retries. However this is not a trivial fix and it cannot be applied retroactively.

What all of this means is that from now on you will see less failures due to a duplication error (they should now be very rare) but until we can implement the full fix keeping track of the account, the reporting of the created URL will not work in all cases so that field will be blank.

I’ll post again when the next phase of the fix has been implemented and also on the progress of the underlying server timeout errors.

New Social Bookmarking Sites & Performance Issues

Since we removed the Article & RSS submission tools we have been hard at work bringing more social bookmarking sites into the system. Last week we hit 70 sites. However, this seems to have also had an adverse effect on overall system performance.

We monitor the success rates of all sites and monitor the failures carefully and we have noticed that we are starting to see a high number of server errors across the board since we really began to increase the number of sites. At first we thought that the issue was simply that some of the sites were just poor performers in general. This is something we don’t know until we put them into the live system and test them with large volumes of submissions.

So we have been removing those that have very high failure rates but this seems to be just part of the problem. These server errors are almost all time-outs or empty replies from the server which basically means the same thing – we site we are trying to submit to simply is not responding. But what has happened is that the failure rates are increasing across all sites in our system – even those that usually have 100% success rates which means that it appears to be an issue with our own server and not just individual sites.

Right now we’re not sure exactly what the problem is. I don’t think it is related to high volumes as our engine used to process around 8 times more jobs per day than it does now when we had an active free service a couple of years ago. We have the server tech guys looking into it and we are also looking more closely at the log files to try and figure out what is going on.

When a job fails the credits that were spent on that job are refunded so if you have a look at your credit activity log (from the members page) you are likely to see lots of activity there with refunds being given. Also, if a submission to a site fails due to a server error, that site becomes available for submission again. So you will also see the ‘SA’ (Submissions Available) column increasing as the jobs are processed.

You can go into any job that has a SA above 0 and re-select sites for submission to retry them. We also have an internal retry system which will automatically retry a submission a number of times before it fails permanently but this is done over a short period – around 24 hours but you may select these sites for resubmission at any point so please do make use of that feature in order to get more working submissions and in the meantime we shall keep working on the issue and keep you posted!

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