Google added several new sources into its real time search results this week. Those looking for opportunities to increase exposure need look no further than towards sites such as Quora, GoWalla and Plixi. Google’s list of sources has expanded gradually over the past few months but what many Web professionals might be missing are the personal connections needed to truly drive traffic and engagement to receive the many benefits (traffic, exposure, conversion). Outside of Facebook and Twitter, what other sites should you consider adding to your list of key “personal networking” sites?
Many of the sites in the “personal networking” space will be unfamiliar to the majority. That does not mean however that they do not carry some value in their ability to drive traffic to your website, improve the general perception of your products and brand, and establish a deeper level of engagement with existing user and prospective buyers.
Compete.com estimates that the "personal networking" category generates nearly 150 million unique visitors a month, nearly five billion visits, and nearly 100 billion page views. And don’t think for a minute that the time spent on these sites isn’t significant either. Compete again estimates that the time spent in minutes is nearly 100 billion in April alone - a 6% increase from March 2011. If these statistics aren’t whetting your online marketing appetite nothing will.
Keep in mind that the definition of "personal networking" will vary for everyone based on their experience level, demographic, experience, location and a number of other factors. The list of destinations in this category is extensive (to say the least) but the sites that we should ultimately pursue are those which offer the best opportunity for a genuine degree of participation.
So where should you look for networking opportunities on the Web, outside of those you may already know such as Facebook and Twitter? Here are several sites Website Magazine has identified as those which perhaps present the best chance of shoring up personal and professional connections and yes, driving more traffic.