Saturday, May 1, 2010

How's Facebook page working for you?

As I wrote a few weeks ago, I love words, keywords, etymology and just watching semantic change, both online and off.

And I really get a kick out of Web 2.0 terms...followers, following, likes or no likes. So if you have a thousands you follow and no followers, does that make you a natural follower? Or the reverse--if you have a zillion followers and follow none or 1 or 2, are you a natural born leader?

The same for "likes." If you like many but have no likes, are you unlikeable? Okay, I'll stop since I'm sounding like Andy Rooney even to me.

But since this is a post about FB, I have to talk more about their recent language change of 2 separate funtions. As you know, it's the changing of "Become a Fan" to "Like." Now, you "like" a post on the wall, and you "like" the FB page itself. While it doesn't appear that the functionality changed all that much, I'm a bit confused because with the old choice of words, I felt there was more flexibility. For instance, I'll become a fan but that doesn't mean I "like" everything on your page. So now that I have to like your page and not just an item on it,...does this assume I like EVERYthing on it? Well, maybe I'm analyzing too much. Besides how much can I really discuss FB functionality since I do not even have a page. So I have no fans, likes or dislikes. But you have to wonder why they did this? What do you think?

Maybe they want to separate themselves more from twitter and "followers" (equal fans) and hollywood celebs? Or perhaps to join more in general internet connections and (do i dare say) search/link technologies like google. Is that what this is all FB gearing up for some wild new search technology? It's facinating isn't it?

But the more important question and answer to me is --- are companies that are making a significant investment in FB, seeing any return? I certainly get FB for families, colleges and students, friends but I still don't get it for business. Can anyone enlighten me on this..or agree or want to defend FB so much because you can't live without it? Would love to hear your thoughts on anything I wrote above as well as links to any research papers out there that you might know about on how social networking has performed vs search marketing over the last year or so with regard to business. Thanks and have a great weekend.

Friday, April 23, 2010

How Does Twitter work for you?

I asked the few Twitter followers I have this question ON Twitter but didn't get many responses. I'm not sure if that's because I haven't been on it for very long or because no response confirms one of my thoughts that I'm about to share with you.

I asked them what their thoughts are about Twitter--with respect to their businesses, personal life, or search engine optimization etc. Or, if they {or you} think celebrities or the famous who need millions of followers drive it and will sustain it. I actually didn't phrase it like that because I didn't have enough space but that's what I was thinking.

Last year when someone asked me why I wasn't on Twitter, I answered that I didn't really think it was for me but rather for those posting random thoughts, rhetorical questions---perfect for politicians, celebrities or narcissists who really can accomplish a few things. They stay in touch with their fans, (customers?) and can get their message out without committing to much with only 140 characters to respond. Frankly, once you follow someone and are seeing only one-side of a post or thread, it's mind-boggling to me. How to respond to a question without the context of other participants, their responses? Who am I joining? Remember when chat room and mail lists first came out. That's really all I can compare it to but at least I knew who was who and what I was participating in. I'm just saying.

Is twittering conversing? Do business people collaborate? I see this at times where some are trying to converse by posting 3 or 4 related tweets in a row but I got lost in the shuffle.

I'm finding a mix of difference scenarios. I follow a dozen or so political comedians and celebrities, businesses and SEOs in my field and a few others.

The well-known and famous are telling us where they are, what they're doing, sharing random thoughts, anecdotes, quotes and sending us pics of their latest experience. I would imagine that others are doing the same but I don't know because if I don't care what the famous are doing, I certainly don't care what strangers are doing. (And for those I know, I choose to hear from and speak to them.) And yet others are posting with certain followers in mind and many of the business people are posting updates and the latest news.

OK, so it's real time. But what is so urgent that I need an immediate response to? This makes sense for businesses, collaborators, stock buyers and sellers. I do like the news updates but aren't these coming from news sites that people have tweeted or retweeted that I most probably have in my google reader anyway?

I've heard some say they love how they can gain knowledge so quickly about so many different topics of interest. Well, sure. But I have to say it's not much longer to go to my search engine of choice where I can laser-target my searches so I know once I click on a link it's going to be fairly close to what I'm looking for. Usually, it's exactly what I want. I'm also starting to see a lot of duplicates of news and retweets that I'm having to filter through.

I've also heard others say that once you make connections and gain trust, you can market and gain business. I wonder who's actually seeing this. Are you?

Frankly, I do think the whole thing is a gas and a lot of fun but I'm very curious what others think about the big Twitter picture. How long will it last--? Where do you think Twitter will be in 10 years? This, by no means, is a post to get down on Twitter. I just have many Twitter questions. Who knows. All I know is that at 50 million tweets a day, it's pretty powerful and probably not changing anytime soon. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Brand - PPC & Organic keywords

How many buy brand keywords for your pay-per-click ads even though you rank high for those same kws in organic search?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More Keyword Strategies

Words, crosswords, boggle, scrabble, cryptoquotes---if it has words in it and there's a strategy involved, I'm in. As I work at an seo strategy and requirements for a new website design, I wonder how they're all related. Probably not much in the real world. But you (or I) (wait, what world are we in anyway?) could argue that it's quite possible that the above games, have something to do with understanding how others use words. Okay, maybe not for the solitaire games but for those involving opponents--what would my first question be before I play. Typically, it's "who's my opponent?" And how well do I know them? Invariably, this is going to give me a good idea of my odds of winning. Some of you SEOs who are socially aware, have a background in psychology, sociology or philosophy probably know exactly where I'm going with this.

So let's talk about technique and best practices. Meta tags yada blahblah, competitive intelligence, lonnng tails, web page load time and whatever the latest that Google deems essential to add to the algorithm (for our benefit of course). We jump, no, run through that hoop and move on to our sweet SERPS showing results.

Okay, I'm a total dork and have a wall of fame where I have pinups of my best SERPs in my office. I can't resist printing them when my company is on first page for highly competitive words, in a highly competitive industry--education. I also like to look at them because they remind me of how I got there. How the heck did I get there anyway? Oh right, all the off and on-page best practices, good copy, inbound links and the many others I can fit under my white hat.

Is that all? Where did I find these keywords? Are my competitors using them? You can bet on that! And the long tails too? Probably some iteration of the same.

But what about those gold nuggets floating out in the ozone that you can't find in spyfu or any other tool? They seem to only come from fingers.

So after I've done my due diligence, including everything above and more, I sit and stare at the google search bar for about a minute or so and think about my customers, friends and opponents. Then the drum rolls.