30

SYNND Review

SYNND can perhaps be described as a “collaborative social promotion” tool. It’s purpose is to drive traffic and (allegedly) increase your search engine rankings, but the way it achieves this is quite different from the way many of the well-known automated link building tools go about it.

Does SYNND really help you get more traffic to your site and is it worth the investment? Read the review to find out.

 

 

SYNND Overview

Name: SYNND
Creator: Social Media Science LLC
Medium: Social Sharing Engine
Price: Free Lite, $97/month Pro

Synnd is software combined with a collaborative network of people sharing and upvoting each other’s content. You can set up campaigns to have content of yours distributed, bookmarked, shared and upvoted on social sites. All of the SYNND members participate in this social promotion of your content and in turn, you contribute to the social promotion of other SYNND members’ content. Thanks to the software, this mostly happens automatically, so you don’t have to spend all day sharing other people’s stuff manually to get shares in return.

Another way of describing what SYNND does is to say that it attempts to automate and give you control over what tends to happen with popular pieces of content on the Internet: people tweet about it and those tweets get re-tweeted, people share it on social sites like Digg and it gets upvoted by other Digg members, people click on the facebook “Like” button and so on. These are all potentially powerful, traffic-driving mechanisms and any webmaster would love to get some of that social sharing action. With SYNND, you can theoretically make that kind of thing happen, for your content.

 

Using SYNND

Synnd comes in two parts: the first one is an online application that you log into, to create and keep track of your promotional campaigns. The second is a small application called the “remote automator”, that you download and install. The remote automator will automatically create accounts and do promotions for other SYNND members, in the background. At the same time, all the other member’s remote automators will be doing promotions for you. At least, in theory.

SYNND’s interface is not the most user-friendly I’ve ever encountered and you’ll find that almost any action requires opening new tabs and generally clicking your way through more windows and prompts than you’d expect. On the plus side, parts of the program really are completely automated, as in: you never have to touch them. SYNND will automatcially create email accounts and accounts on the 15 different social sites it submits to. It will also automatically do the promotions for other members, without you ever having to lift a finger.

For setting up your own campaigns, you’ll have to create an author profile, set up profiles for each website you want to promote and create campaigns and campaign content.

SYNND User Interface

SYNND Campaign Types

You can run different campaigns using SYNND and all of them are social in nature. As you can imagine, not every kind of content will fly in a social environment, even if you help it along with some automated upvoting. The SYNND creators are very aware of this and emphasize the need for promoting the right kind of content in the extensive training provided with the service. You can’t expect the link to a vacuum-cleaner review on a simple affiliate niche-site to go viral, just because you used SYNND. You can, however, stack the odds in your favour and give an interesting/controversial/entertaining piece of content the initial boost on social networks before a real viral effect (hopefully) takes over.

Here’s a list of the types of promotions you can run with SYNND and my thoughts on each of them:

Article Submission Campaigns

synnd-article-submissionThese are exactly what you’d expect them to be: campaigns to submit your articles to various article directories. This promotion type is completely uninteresting to me, as there are better, less expensive ways to do mass article submissions.
 

Blog Commenting Campaigns

synnd-commentsThis campaign type might just be the opposite of what you expect, because it’s not about automatically submitting comments to blogs, in order to gain backlinks. Instead, it’s about receiving comments to your blog. You can either “invite” other SYNND members to leave their own comments on your blog or you can pre-write comments that you want published on your blog (which is just a little bit sad) and have them submitted automatically. The point of this would be to increase social proof on your site. Many comments = popular site (or deactivated spam filter, as the case may be).

Personally, this campaign type is nothing for me. I’m either truly involved in a website and build a real community, or I turn off comments all together. I really don’t see the point in inflating the comment count, when you can get genuine comments relatively easily.

Social Bookmarking Campaigns

synnd-bookmarksUsing this campaign type, you can submit a URL and have it bookmarked through other SYNND members’ accounts, on various social bookmarking sites. I don’t have the same objection to these campaigns that I had to the article submission campaigns, despite there being no shortage of cheap bookmark submitters available. The crucial difference here is that you get your site bookmarked by other people, from different IP addresses all over the world. Plus, you can get multiple submissions on each bookmarking site. This is an important factor as it makes the bookmarking appear like the real thing, rather than just automated spamming.

I still have an objection, though: SocialAdr does the same thing, incorporating more sites, at a lower price and with a nicer user interface.

Facebook Campaigns

synnd-facebookFacebook campaigns are used to generate “likes” for your pages. In theory, facebook likes are very valuable in several ways. On the one hand, they generate social proof and if you already have a number of likes, it’s much more likely that you’ll receive additional ones than if you have 0 likes. On the other hand, likes have a viral effect, because whenever a facebook user likes something, this shows up on their activity wall, where their friends might see it and then go check out the thing that was liked.

Unfortunately, there are two problems with Facebook campaigns in SYNND. The first one is that most of the likes you will be getting are probably from “fake” accounts, automatically generated by SYNND. These are accounts with zero friends, so there’s no viral effect. Still leaves the social proof factor, though. The bigger problem is that SYNND automatically creates a facebook account to be used for your promotions and there’s no way to opt out of it. It’s against the facebook TOS to have more than one account and to me, it’s highly problematic that I can’t opt out of SYNND setting up a facebook account for me. I can deactivate that account, but can’t prevent it from being created. I just don’t like that. I like facebook as a marketing platform and don’t want to give them any reason to ban me.

Twitter Campaigns

synnd-twitterWith SYNND twitter campaigns, you can have your message, including your URL, automatically retweeted by other twitter accounts plugged into SYNND. This brings three advantages with it. First up, we once again have social proof, provided by an increasing tweet count on your page’s tweet counter (if you have one of those). Second, there’s potential traffic coming in through the tweets directly and third, there’s the proven SEO value of tweets. Google takes the number of tweets a page gets into account and treats them similarly to regular backlinks.

You can plug in an existing twitter account, but I doubt many members do that, since SYNND automatically creates a new twitter account for the promotions. The problem with this is that twitter is fairly good at detecting spam, so the new accounts are bound to get banned. During my membership, SYNND created two accounts and both got banned after a few days. This makes me conclude that most of the twitter promotions you get are going to be from accounts that have no followers and are about to get banned, which negates all of the potential advantages of running twitter campaigns.

Social News Campaigns

synnd-socialThis type of promotion is for setting up campaigns that will promote a certain piece of content on various social networks, such as StumbleUpon, Digg or redditt. These social sites are based on voting systems and the more votes a submission gets, the more visibility it gains, which in turn increases the likelihood of it getting more votes. A submission that reaches the top spots of trending submissions in Digg or redditt can get a staggering amount of traffic, so this should be interesting.

As stated before, SYNND won’t help you automatically reach those top spots, but it can give your content some initial momentum. A few dozen votes will get your content seen by a lot of people on these networks and if your content is a good match for social promotion, that can be all it takes to make it go viral in a small or big way. You have to be aware that you still need to do 90% of the work, though. Your content needs to be the right kind of content for a social network. Ideally, it should be funny, cute, shocking (or a combination of those) and very easy to digest. The downside of this is that it’s rather difficult to make this work with your average affiliate/niche site.

Credit Crisis

I’m sure you detected a trend, reading through the list above: the concept is usually interesting, but there are always issues with the actual execution. To add to that, there’s one final issue with this system. SYNND is based on a credit system. You automatically earn credits through the promotions done through your remote automator and you spend those credits on promotions done for you. You can also buy additional credits to speed things up.

The problem is that there’s an imbalance between spending and earning credits. I assume it’s because there are a few members paying for extra credits and paying for the “Enterprise” level SYNND service (which doesn’t require promotions to earn credits) and the result of this is that people subscribed to the Pro account are essentially promotion-mules for the customers paying more. And it costs $97/month for the privilege to be a promotion mule. In the 30 days I was a SYNND member, my most successful campaign was a twitter promotion that got 40 tweets. The slowest one was a StumbleUpon campaign that got 21 promotions. I started with 250 credits and ended with close to 900. Clearly, my remote automator was doing far more work for others than I was getting work done for my sites, in return.

Conclusion

The concept of SYNND is very promising, but I’m sorry to report that the system simply doesn’t deliver. At least not in it’s current state. There are inherent issues with almost all of the campaign types you can run and there’s a far bigger issue with the imbalance in the credit system. For $97/month, I expect a lot more.

Bottom line: your money is better spent on a SocialAdr subscription.

Do you have any questions or want to share your thoughts about this review? Let me know by leaving a comment!

0
Shares
Shane
 

I'm Shane Melaugh and I'm the guy writing most of the posts on this blog. My goal is to provide you with useful, straight-forward insights on how to grow your business by creating compelling offers, driving traffic and increasing conversions.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 30 comments
Griff - July 15, 2011

It’s a pity this isn’t recommended (‘yet’, perhaps?) because as a means to automate creating a nice ‘organic’ spread of links and endorsements it would be great if it worked properly. Using automation such as SENukeX and AMR do run the risk of creating footprints that Google could use to identify their use and penalise rankings for sites that appear to fit to footprint profile. I worry about this happening after creating lots of automated campaigns, which, for now, are actually very effective.

With SEO always being a moving target and an emphasis on premier social backlinks likely to evolve into a much more major aspect of SEO effectiveness, something to successfully automate it would be a great tool to have alongside others. And even at the price they are charging, for someone like me who is always working on commercial clients that price can be recharged across those and I’d still get the benefit of using it effectively for free on my own sites.

Hopefully they read your blog and will address the issues you have raised :)

Until then I’ll keep my cash in my pocket, and thanks, as always, for your valuable reviews.

Reply
    Shane - July 15, 2011

    Hi Griff,

    Yeah, I had high hopes for SYNND. The concept is great and even though it’s really way too slow at getting your promos out, I can imagine that for certain types of sites with a lot of “social friendly” content, it might even be worth it. At least, it would be, if you got a better speed of distribution.

    The twitter feature could be BIG, as twitter seems to be a pretty strong ranking signal, right now (mixed with other SEO signals, of course). But as it is, it seems almost less effort to get real retweets or even just pay for tweets on various twitter advertising networks…

    Reply
Destin - July 15, 2011

Hey Shane>

Do you use SocialAdr?

I signed up through your link above, but have not used it yet. Just wondering if it is worth upgrading from free, and spending time on.

Reply
    Shane - July 15, 2011

    Hi Destin,
    Yes, I use SocialAdr. I’ve been using the bookmarking component for a while. The twitter feature, which is very promising, but could also go horribly wrong, is very new. I’m not sure if they’re going to get it right or have the same problems as SYNND, but at least you can try for free, or a very reasonable price.

    Reply
Randy - July 17, 2011

Hi Shane,

Thanks for your honest assessment of the SYNND social sharing engine. I started subscribing to it, in the more original version from summer of 2009 until summer of 2010. In the beginning I was very, very excited about it! But at one point I started realizing that it was taking too much time and effort to use, with little in return. I think what kept me involved was the community of people involved with it and the possibilities discussed. It was all very exciting.

But I must agree with your review of SYNND. I hope they address some of the issues you mentioned, because I think it has awesome potential!

Reply
Tattoo Creator - July 18, 2011

Hi Shane,
I came across your blog through the Synnd forum. I’ve been using Synnd for nearly 4 months now and though it was a little slow at first, I have noticed a difference with a few sites I’ve been promoting. The system may have took a while but I do think its been worth it!

Reply
Joerg - July 19, 2011

Hi Shane,

I’m the developer of the SYNND system and also came across your review through our forum.

I just wanted to point out that the way you had tested SYNND is inappropriate to thoroughly review the system. With just 2 Twitter campaigns and one social news campaign you didn’t even scratch just the surface of the system’s potential.

You really should go into your account again and create some 30-40 campaigns (i.e. 10 different campaigns on 4 of your URLs), this really just takes about 10 minutes to setup per URL.
Then watch the results and especially your rankings for the main keywords of your URLs.

I’m sure you review will look very much different afterwards.

Thanks
– Joerg

Reply
    Shane - July 19, 2011

    Hello Joerg,

    Thanks for leaving a comment. I know that my review turned out pretty unfavourable and I know that that’s unpleasant for you. Please know that this is absolutely nothing personal.

    Yes, it’s true that I only ran and watched three campaigns before making my verdict about SYNND and that might seem unfair, at first glance. However, as stated in the review, most of the modules in SYNND are simply not useful to me, to begin with, so there was no need for me to run campaigns or count links.

    As a quick recap:

    Article Submissions
    Don’t see the point since I can get a software that does tons of those for a low one-time fee.

    Blog Commenting
    Don’t need this for any of my sites and it’s not worth the time investment, IMO. Also: if I want to submit comments I created myself to increase social proof and pretend that it’s other people commenting, I can use scrapebox and some scraped proxies (also a one-time fee).

    Social Bookmarking
    It looks like SYNND submits to 10 social bookmarking networks. I can use a one-time fee bookmarking tool to get far more or use the free version of SocialAdr to get “crowdsourced” bookmarks on 21 bookmarking sites.

    Facebook
    Don’t like likes from zombie accounts and, more importantly, don’t like to give fb any reason to believe I have more than one personal account, which would be a reason for banning.

    Would I see results if I started 10x of each of the campaign types above? Well, I hope so! But I can get the same or better results using the tools I already have.

    This leaves twitter and the social news campaigns. That’s what I put my hopes into, for the rest of the review.
    Apart from the further problems mentioned in the review, my next problem was that I can only create one campaign per URL and one promotion of each type at any one time, per campaign. In other words, I can have only one twitter campaign running for one URL, at a time. That’s why the distribution rate is crucial to me. I don’t want to run 10 slow campaigns for 10 different URLs. I want to get a strong push of tweets or stumbles/diggs/whatever for one URL.

    That’s how social media works: there’s a surge that can then start to gain traction. This is especially true for the social news promotions such as StumbleUpon and Digg. A slow, steady stream of upvotes is not nearly as effective as a concentrated push, that puts my piece of content on the front page of it’s sub-category page in Digg, for instance.

    Everything mentioned in the review and everything mentioned in this comment combined was more than enough evidence for me, that SYNND could not deliver the results I am looking for and that I would not recommend anyone spend $97/month on it.

    SYNND has a great concept and I don’t doubt that you’ll “get there”, i.e. to a point where it becomes an extremely valuable marketing tool (for Pro members). In my opinion, this is just not yet the case.

    Reply
      Joerg - July 21, 2011

      Hello Shane,

      well, I must say, I’m a bit confused, as your review is mainly based on your opinion and not real experience or testing.

      How can you predict results without really testing things ? That’s a rather biased review based solely upon your opinion. Just because you do not need something doesn’t mean that this is true for others as well.

      Article Submission:
      has indeed low priority at the moment, especially after Google’s recent updates article directories have lost a lot in value. But still, we are working on a large distribution list of around 500 to 1,000 networks and as a fully automated solution you cannot compare it to other softwares which may have a low one-time fee, but still need a lot of manual work to be done.

      Blog Commenting:
      There is no service out there that offer this kind of promotions and for many blogs this is an excellent way to get the conversation started.

      Social Bookmarking:
      SYNND got 64 networks in the system and a service like this is not offered anywhere else.

      Facebook:
      You can add your own Facebook account to the system and switch it to non-automated usage, this way you have full control over what you want to Like or not. Your worries about your account getting banned are baseless.

      There is a reason why we only allow one campaign per URL and this is to avoid duplicated promotions, Twitter doesn’t like duplicated Tweets and so do a lot of the social news networks as well. An action that just leads to a duplicated error message is just wasting system performance.

      I understand that you want to push your social news promotions quickly and this is something we’re currently working on. I expect that by the beginning of August we’ll be able to at least quadruple the promotional power of the SYNND system and as a result promotional levels will be achieved much faster then.

      Thanks
      – Joerg

      Reply
      Shane - July 30, 2011

      Hi Joerg,
      Sorry, this comment was spam-boxed and after I un-spammed it, it was really far down in the comment queue. I almost missed it.

      It’s great that you have 64 bookmarking sites in the system. I wasn’t sure about this, since only a handful of bookmarking accounts were created for me.

      As a sidenote, there is a blog commenting system similar to the one in SYNND in Free Traffic System 2. Just as an option for readers looking to receive incentivized blog comments.

      It sounds like you have some interesting features in development. As for the current state, I’ve already stated several times why I tested the service the way I did and why I came to the conclusion I did. Also note that I was in contact with one of the SYNND creators/owners (Charles), who at one point agreed to give me review access, but that never happened. Even after following up several times, I didn’t get a response anymore. So I simply purchased a license and did my own testing.
      I’m just mentioning this because you could have had a chance to work together with me on the review and discuss these matters as I was going through the system. I doubt it would have made a big difference to the end-result, but still.

      I’d be open to re-testing the system in a few months, when some new features have been rolled out.

      Reply
Chris - July 20, 2011

Hi Shane, thanks for the review. I share your concerns, though, despite all of your concerns, I think one important question to ask is, does it work? You seemed to focus on features and didn’t really get to the point of knowing it works or not. That’s what I’m interest to find out…

Reply
Joerg - July 21, 2011

Hello Shane,

I’ve posted a reply, but it’s not showing for some reason, can you please check.

Thanks
– Joerg

Reply
Joerg - July 26, 2011

My response of 7/21 is still “awaiting moderation”. Would be great if you’d finally publish my response.

Thanks
– Joerg

Reply
Andrew Murray - August 5, 2011

Shane,

What do you think of TribePro which would potentially get viral traffic from real FB accounts, real twitter accounts, etc.

Reply
    Shane - August 6, 2011

    Hadn’t heard of that before.
    It looks like a similar principle, from what I can tell. Although I don’t see why people wouldn’t be using fake accounts there as well…

    Reply
Gabrielle Blanca - August 25, 2011

I am a new Synnd member, this is my first impression so far :

You left out in your review that automated “remote automator” thing you have to install on your computer. They ask you to have your computer on from 8am to 10pm. Now… what ?? I was almost offended by that, it doesn’t really say upfront. You need a whole extra computer to do that. That’s a HUGE deal.

You can’t pay with Paypal. Another problem cause you don’t even get a receipt. That’s almost suspicious.

I am still going through the training, but no. No way I am keeping my subscription.

Reply
    Shane - August 25, 2011

    Hello Gabrielle,

    Thanks for your comment! I did mention the remote automator. Check the first paragraph under “Using SYNND”.

    The remote automator wasn’t a huge issue for me, since it doesn’t use up much in the way of system resources. What I don’t like is the idea that it’s doing tasks for other members while I’m paying 100 bucks a month and get very slow promotions myself. Like I’m paying plus feeding into the system, but get very little back.

    I also wonder if in response to this, Joerg or someone else from the SYNND crew will step back in and comment again. I find it interesting that there were comments as long as I was being negative, but the moment I turn a more positive note and offer cooperation (for the second time), it’s radio silence again…

    Reply
Martin - February 2, 2012

Shane,

They have supposedly updated their engine and added more sites. Have you ever gone back to look at this product again?

Getting Facebook likes, Digg, Delicious, and other social site approval has been a real nightmare for me.

Articles, backlinks and all the other “old stuff” was easy. But getting all of this social approval working is a real pain in the .. I was hoping this was the answer. Any ideas?

Reply
    Shane - February 2, 2012

    Hi Martin,

    No, I haven’t checked back on SYNND. I do hope they manage to improve the service, because in principle, it’s pretty good.

    Reply
John - February 3, 2012

I used Synnd for about 6 months. It was the biggest waste of my time. I had no results from it and things were broken all the time. When I asked when things were getting fixed, they basically told me “we’re looking into it.”. They repeated that for 6 months. Then I cancelled and got an abusive message from Charles because I was cancelling.

Reply
Rob - February 5, 2012

Hi Shane,
Just saw a video on this and the pitch was ” social signals” would replace backlinking, creating fear in IM’s. The method is another form of gaming google. They will siphon $ from their subs until google makes a patch to stop this game. Btw, love secockpit, kicks ass on everything in the market and your honest reviews. Hope things are going well in your new place!

Reply
Emmanuel - March 17, 2012

Hi Shane,

I’m not sure if his is the right place to post this, but as you mentionned SocialAdr in your review, as a best alternative to SYNND, I decided to give it a try.

Fact is SocialAdr doesn’t allow non-english submission.

I know you are not an english-only speaker, and I can reasonnably suppose you hanve some WebSites in other(s) language(s) : may I suggest that you just sistematically drop one line in your reviews to say if the tool that you are reviewing is usable for non english websites promotions ?
I am sure many of your readers would find this info usefull !

Thanking you again for your great website, advices, honesty, and the quality of your work,

Emmanuel

Reply
kiki - March 22, 2012

Hi, thks for the detailed info on Synnd review. I understand that currently Synnd offer 15k credit to Pro member. I kinda confuse is that, must I leave PC on, if I need the next 15k to be credited to my account for the next month or will it be automatic reset to 15k once one mth period over?
Also for 15k credit, how many social bookmarking can I create?
Thks

Reply
Blogger24 - May 4, 2012

Although I do think SYNND is a well thought out solution, that is clearly ahead of its rivals, I still believe it is intentionally and knowingly circumventing Google’s best practice policy. I would be astounded if Google are not aware or have not already thought out the processes that SYNND is using. I therefore think it is only a matter of time before this problem as Google would see it is addressed. My concern would be that any sites linked to or using the SYNND system would be penalised beyond repair. I feel that the only true way ahead is to carry out above board SEO tactics. I know that goes against the grain for some, but hard work and natural linking will pay dividends in the end.

Reply
Sunshine SEO - June 1, 2012

Great resource, thank you.

Just got burned using socialadr and now trying out synnd.

I had a PR4 website that tanked in just a week after i started to use socialadr. I was doing the same SEO on about 5 sites. Only one that took a dive is the one i was using socialadr on.

Terrible footprint of that site.

Regards,

Reply
Rick - August 20, 2012

Synnd will absolutely hurt your rankings. I have been using for about 12 months. Tested across multiple domains and servers using varying strategies.

At first things look great but lately it appears that Google is able to recognize artificial patterns in social signals and then discount them and subsequently penalize the page/domain.

IMHO … STAY AWAY!!!

Reply
    Blogger24 - August 20, 2012

    Hi Rick.
    Do you have any more specific details on how you believe Synnd has had a negative effect on any of your sites? Just trying to gin info for post on my blog of a Synnd review.

    Reply
Chuck - September 18, 2012

Thanks for a honest review, but I’m going to give it a try anyway. Seems like Synnd has more features than Social ADR, don’t you think?

There is this 31% off coupon if people search on the web, which basically gives you the $97 package for $67 – which is 15,000 credits/month.

Let’s see what this baby can do,

Thanks Rick!
Chuck

Reply
Paul - October 31, 2012

Hey guys,

so what, how does the situation about being penalized for using SYNND look like? Does it really leave some ugly footprints or is it still kinda safe?

Thanks

Reply
    Shane - October 31, 2012

    Hi Paul,
    That depends a lot on the users. For example, if users keep adding “empty” twitter accounts and throwaway social accounts, then that’s a footprint: you’ll get social signals, but only from junk sources.

    Reply

Leave a Reply:

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.