We use Zemanta on this blog network, I added it because it finds commercial use images based on your content. Zemanta is a great tool, with a community behind it. It’s amazing for finding free images for posts, saves a ton of time, but the really intriguing aspect is the ‘Related Articles’ feature.
Apparently, Google views this as natural linking. No official word from Google on this that I can find, but there is a pretty good recommendation for Zemanta from Rand Fishkin of Moz (formerly SEOMoz).
SEOmoz has been using them for over a year now (we started with a trial and continued on) and we’ve seen good results – we tend to get a half dozen or so links to our content (the blog and YOUmoz) each month which can be seen through their reporting system (which has some upgrades in the works).
4 Valuable Link Building Services (Zemanta, MyBlogGuest, EightfoldLogic & Whitespark) – September 16th, 2010
Moz still uses Zemanta and pays to have their posts promoted within that service. That’s how Zemanta makes money.
Links directly to content, not just the top-level domain (TLD). Why is this important? If your only links are to the main page of your website, it doesn’t look natural, it looks like you went out and built links back to your domain. Zemanta earns you links back to your blog articles, bloggers select your articles based on content.
Your articles are most likely to show up on other articles and posts that share similar topics and keywords. Relevant links from other high-authority sites add to your authority.
In a post-Penguin post-Panda view, it’s curious why Zemanta isn’t scrutinized more seriously by Google. They aren’t exactly paid links, in the sense that you pay the person who links to you, you pay Zemanta and then people using their tool will hopefully select your promoted content. Zemanta has taken the steps to comply with Google’s quality guidelines and Panda/Penguin, here’s their view on how they meet Google’s criteria for linking.
My personal view is that there is no such thing as a free link. Generating linkable content isn’t easy and building relationships online/offline is time consuming. With Zemanta it’s so much easier to get bloggers to link to your content.