Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Future of Search Engine Optimization

Facebook. Twitter. Google Instant. Social Sharing. Local search. Hyper-targeting.

It’s changing everything, right? Search engine optimization needs to be completely re-thought. Well, maybe. But, not yet. Because while tools have changed, the concept hasn’t. Google is still the world’s librarian. And people still choose Google far and above anyone else when they need help finding something. And Google still has a vested interest in helping their customers find information as easily as possible.

Actually, it doesn’t sound like anything’s changed yet. Don’t get me wrong. Things are changing. Yahoo and Bing have come out and said they’re starting to heavily incorporate social statistics in their ranking algorithms. The mobile equation is changing how people find things, and much more significantly, how advertisers can present their products to those looking for their offering.

But the basics haven’t changed. Content is still king for search engines. But now, likes have become as important as links. So get out there. Spread the link-love. Spread the like-love. And you’ll be fine.

Facebook Stops Trying to Reunite You With Your Ex

Aren’t there some days when it feels like computers are simply taking over the world? That they’re just so much smarter and reliable than humans, and that we should put them in charge of more stuff? I mean, Google has them driving cars for crying out loud!

But then you see the downfalls. Like, when Facebook keeps trying to get you socially connected with your ex.

See, here’s the problem. You and your ex are probably “tagged” together in a LOT of photos. You share a LOT of friends. And Facebook doesn’t understand why you’re not communicating anymore. So, like a nosy matchmaker, it keeps on recommending that you write on their wall, or shows you pictures of yourselves together in the “Photo Memories” box.

It’s horribly cruel. It’s by accident of course. And now, it’s officially over. Facebook’s Photo Memories will no longer show tagged photos of your friends if you were previously in a relationship with them. At least, if Facebook knew about the relationship through going “Facebook Official”.

It’s not perfect. But, it’s the best a computer can do…for now.

Yahoo’s Y Connect Looks to Splash Into Social Media Scene

Yahoo continues to search for its niche in the ever-evolving Internet space. And with a restructured leadership team, Yahoo has announced Y Connect, a similar social media offering to Facebook Connect, which allows users to log-in to a variety of other sites using their Yahoo account.

Now, Yahoo partner sites will automatically buy-in to this new venture. But, I wonder whether other major sites will jump on the bandwagon? Because the whole benefit of Facebook connect is that everyone already has a Facebook account. To start using Y Connect, many people will have to, for the first time, sign up for a Yahoo account.

And for those people, what’s the point? Now, for current users, they will be able to “like” content and easily share it with their Yahoo contacts, so they will likely welcome this addition.

Yahoo joins Twitter, Facebook and Google as the major players who now have this auto-connect service. Now, Google makes sense because of how big they are. Facebook makes sense because everyone has a Facebook account. Twitter makes sense because its entire application relies on sharing.

Yahoo’s entry in this field kind of feels like it wants to included in this next evolution of Web without actually earning it. But, to be fair, Yahoo understands that, and is offering participating websites detailed information incentives regarding their traffic in order to convince them to participate. We’ll see if it’s enough.

Will the Future of Facebook be a Phone or a Browser?

Yesterday, we talked about Google Me, the long-rumored social network that still has yet to appear.

Let’s do the same thing with the long-rumored Facebook Phone. Because the same idea is possible here. With your Facebook phone and OS, you would always be logged-in. Your mobile browsing experience would be integrated with your friends, notifications, messages and video. Plus, your Facebook credit currency would allow you to instantly buy whatever virtual good you could imagine. Social overload and integration to the extreme. And again, this would give Facebook a crazy amount of information to work with.

Or does Facebook simply go the browser route as well? Well, it depends on what you think the future of browsing is? Is it the iPad? Is it the phone? Is it the laptop? Because the first two of those are very manufacturer-based. And could people start buying devices strictly for the proprietary integration?

So, here’s the question. Not IF Facebook is going to do this. But, do they have to before Google or Apple beat them to the punch?

What if Chrome is the Real Google Me?

The rumors have been around for months. Google Me. Google’s attempt at a social network. The first idea that could finally give Facebook a real run for their money. But, it hasn’t come yet.

Or has it? I’m not trying to be coy here. There has become a legitimate curiosity that Google’s Chrome browser is indeed the social layer we’ve been waiting for. Because Chrome is shot-putting up the browser charts. Still way behind IE, but catching up quickly due to its stability, speed and openness.

So, what if Chrome evolved from a browser to become THE browser? Not just an option for Web browsing. But THE only choice for pure Web integration? The ultimate social experience. You sign in once, using your Google account, and that’s it. Every site integrates with your Google account. Notifications. Instant messages. Status updates. Friends. Contacts. Blogs. Videos. All personalized to you.

Plus, with Chrome’s new Web App store offering certain paid apps that only work in Chrome itself, the idea of a browser having proprietary capabilities seems very possible. Think of it like iTunes. Account integration within the application itself.

And so, what’s Google‘s motivation besides making the Internet awesome for us? Well, they get to know exactly everything you do online. Every second. Every day. Yes, creepsville. But if it’s cool enough, it might be worth it.

Apple Records Highest Revenues Ever

Apple’s 4th quarter results are in. And with record sales in Macs, iPhones and iPads, Apple secured both its highest revenue and earnings ever.

$20.34 billion in revenue for a net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, up from $2.53 billion in the same quarter last year. 3.89 millions Mac sales were a 27% increase from last year. 14.1 million iPhones sold were a 91% increase from last year. And 4.19 million iPads were sold, a new product as of this year.

To keep these record-breaking numbers in perspective, note that we’re not even in holiday season yet. What’s to come could be simply crazy. And all this from the company that some experts believed was having its own “Vista” moment with their malfunctioning iPhone 4s. If only Microsoft’s “Vista” moment was anything like this.

Google’s In-Page Web Analytics

Web Analytics can be hard to analyze, and even harder to explain. But, Google just made things a whole lot easier with new In-Page Analytics.

Typically, a business will ask their SEO provider for metrics like page views. Maybe bounce rates. If they’re super-advanced, maybe they’ll understand the importance of tracking conversions. But in the past, your answers always required numbers. And a story via spreadsheet is never very interesting.

But now, users can view data superimposed directly over their site. And once you see it, you’ll be blown away. The technology is actually pretty easy. Google Analytics tracks the path your guests take on your site. So, with In-Page Analytics, you can see which links and pages are getting clicked on the most often. When you see that the 2nd link in your list gets 75% of the clicks, why not make it easier to give your users what they want and move it to the top? It’s little decisions like this that Google’s In-Page Analytics will make easy.

Keep in mind that In-Page Analytics is still in beta, and will improve over time.

Consumer Reports Develops Mobile Shopper iPhone App

Consumer Reports has long been a buyer’s best friend. What car to buy? What gadget has the best battery life? Which appliance offers the ultimate in reliability?

Many loyalists turn to Consumer Report’s expert ratings before making a single important purchase. And now, Consumer Reports has become a lot more convenient as well. With the new Consumer Reports Mobile Shopper iPhone app, buyers now have instant access to product ratings and reliability. Simply scan the product’s bar code, and instantly review model comparisons, user reviews, and Consumer Reports buying recommendations.

Now that Consumer Reports offers a much more convenient research tool, it will be interesting to see if Consumer Reports will start attracting a younger demographic. This Consumer Reports Mobile Shopper iPhone app is now available for a $9.99 download.

Skype 5.0 Offers Facebook Integration

Did Facebook just get a lot cooler, or did Skype just go mainstream? The answer is yes.

Skype 5.0 for Windows offers integration with Facebook’s News Feed, which instantly makes the most “social” social network in the world even more friendly. Skype users can now interact directly with their network using their Facebook News Feed. Status updates. Comments. “Likes”. All directly from Skype. And that’s not even the cool part.

Now, Skype’s “Facebook Phonebook” allows users to both call and SMS their Facebook friends, either through a free Skype-to-Skype call, or to their friend’s mobile phones and landlines as well. And with video calling now accounting for 40% of Skype-to-Skype minutes, it will be fascinating to see how many Facebook users take advantage of this new integration, and this new ability to video-chat with their Facebook friends on-demand.