If you browse your site statistics (you should have these and if you don’t, why not?) after adding social media buttons, you will often find that services attached to these buttons – which aren’t always the vendor themselves – will often appear as bots indexing the content of your site.
Obviously, this is good news as this new scraped content will be aggregated somewhere and redistributed, meaning that your content is finding new channels of distribution. They are a little like self-homing ping devices that also allow your readers to share your content with their friends and followers.
The example I found, specifically, was the Tweetmeme button (as found on this site, but my discovery was actually on another site) which invites the Tweetmeme bots to your website party.
As a side note, I have found it helpful to install these buttons yourself, rather than using an all-in-one plugin that can often be found for installations such as WordPress or Movable Type. Firstly, this allows you to cherry pick the social networks that are most appropriate for your business, and secondly gives you the flexibility to position them carefully on your page templates, rather than the generic positioning (or lack of) that most plugins offer. Obviously this takes a little technical effort, but if you have a web designer, insist they install these buttons manually. It’s worth the extra effort.
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