KD Web Strategies Blog

June 4, 2012

Facebook’s “Don’t Miss the Good Stuff”

Filed under: Facebook, SEO, social search — Tags: , , , — kellyduffort @ 12:58 pm
Facebook Good Stuff

Your friends won’t know you starred them, but Facebook will and they’ll use this data as they continue to work on social search.

With its new “Close Friends” feature, Facebook invites you “Don’t miss the good stuff” by starring your closest friends. What they’re asking in return is the “good stuff” you’ll provide by sharing who among your Facebook friends do you care about the most, want to hear from the most and trust the most?

Why?

Because thanks to social media, how we conduct an Internet search is changing. More importantly, what we expect to see in our search results is changing. What we see now  – and what we can expect to see much more of in the future – is “social search.” Consider it a crossroads between obviously…social media and search.

Think about it. The last time you needed a plumber, a painter or pet sitter, did you go to Google or Facebook? If the latter, did you save yourself the hassle of calling three different companies, comparing estimates and sifting online reviews by just going immediately with the one company that your friend recommended?

Facebook and Google know this and the race is on to build the Internet social search platform that we’ll all want to use and that we’ll all trust. And as a result, the platform that all companies will buy advertising from because that is where we’ll all be.

So, back to starring your friends. If you tell Facebook which 20 people you’d like to hear from most, they will make that happen. They will also keep that information and as Bing’s social search (which by the way incorporates your Facebook data) evolves, use it to push the opinions and referrals of those all-star friends to the top of your search results. You probably won’t notice this right away. If like me, you rarely go to Bing, you might not notice it all. That’s okay because Facebook still needs to collect a lot more data on you and all of its users. But take note, they’re not offering you the good stuff just to enhance your Facebook experience. They’re asking for it so they can collect and process your “good stuff”  as they build their social search.

Personally, I’m on the fence about starring my friends. Social search is coming. And I’ll probably love it once I get used to the idea of so much of who I trust and what I like floating out there for search engines to process, but … still … how much information do I want any one company to have about me?

“Don’t Miss the Good Stuff” Poll
How about you? Have you starred your friends? Has it changed your Facebook experience? How about what appears in your Bing search results? Are your all-star friends showing up in your Bing social search results?

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November 18, 2011

My Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Takeaways from Internet Summit 2011

Filed under: SEO — Tags: , , , — kellyduffort @ 11:14 pm
Binoculars

Are people finding your web content? Do you know the latest SEO trends? (Photo by doraemon, Flickr, Available via Creative Commons License)

Jessica Bowman, founder and CEO of SEOinhouse, jump started Internet Summit 2011 for me as the first speaker that I heard during Tuesday’s Pre-Conference Intensives. She was a great example of a speaker whose approach is “You’re here to learn, I’m here to teach, let’s get to it!”

In addition to her enthusiasm (an extra important quality in the 8am time slot), she had tremendous knowledge to share. According to Jessica, quality content, now more than ever, is crucial to search engine optimization. (As a content person, I thank you, Jessica Bowman. That’s what I like to hear.)

Jessica reminded us that search results are getting more and more crowded every day. You’ve got to work harder and you have to stay up-to-date on what works and what doesn’t. One point that she spoke on, which was later echoed by Bill Slawski (@bill_slawski), president of SEO by the Sea, is the impact social media has had and will continue to have on SEO.

Jessica’s tips for gaining social authority are:

  • Automate minimally
  • Associate with people who will share
  • Mix up your sharing so you aren’t too predictable
  • Do not over expose the message, repeating the same message over and over again.

Later in the day, I attended the “Advanced SEO” session with four speakers. I learned something new from each and every one of them.

Lindsay Wassell (@lindzie), partner and consultant at Keyphraseology, recommended that brick-and-mortar businesses claim their local listings (e.g., establish a presence on Yelp) and then encourage and manage reviews. She also pointed out the increasing importance of posting images. More and more, images are appearing in search results, with and without the related content due to the greater and greater weight search engines are placing on images and videos.

Michael Marshall (@michaelmarshall), lead instructor with Search Engine Academy of North Carolina, spoke about the difference between on-page and off-page optimization. On-page optimization includes the steps you take to optimize your webpage as you are building it including title tags, alt tags, header tags (H1, H2), keyword density and keyword proximity, sitemaps (XML and HTML), usability and internal linking. (Note: Some of these factors are not used appropriately today.)  Components of off-page optimization include your activity, presence and mentions on social networking sites, search engine/directory submission, social bookmarking submissions (digg.com, de.li.cious.com) and article submissions. I had not heard of that division – on-page and off-page – and I appreciated the breakdown.

Markus Renstrom (@markusrenstrom), Head of SEO at Yahoo!, said that SEO is:

  • content strategy
  • accessibility
  • relevance architecture
  • user focused

Well, I liked everything that Markus had to say since he puts such high importance on content strategy and because he had the best accent – helps break up the day when you’re listening to speakers for 9 hours straight.

The slide from Bill Slawski that made me think the most was:

Google+   >   Twitter + Facebook

I love Twitter, I enjoy Facebook, but I’ve really been dragging my heels on Google+. Looking ahead to where search and social are headed, his equation make complete sense. If you’re not on Google+ now, you better get busy and join. (Look me up when you do…I’ve got some Google+ homework to do.)

Bill closed with a recommendation that really resonated with me as I start up a couple of new projects. Something I knew, but is always good to hear the experts reinforce: Teach and coach clients how to social network instead of networking for them. They are the subject matter experts. It’s more authentic when the content comes directly from them. Authenticity is very, very good for search engine optimization.

So… what was the best search engine optimization (SEO) insight you gained from Internet Summit 2011?

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