Sunday, May 20, 2012

Is Facebook Greedy??

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The Facebook IPO is just out & they have had a fairly good opening. And it has even trumped Google to become the second most valuable company on the Wall Street. But the news that just went viral was about the small charge Facebook is going to levy to 'highlight' post. They seem to have done a small test, but the first thought that really came up to my mind was, "Is Facebook greedy??"

We have observed now that Facebook is one of the most popular social platform with nearly 1 billion users and it earns revenues in billions from the numerous ads. With the recent design update, it gave users an option to highlight certain post, so that it does not get lost in other conversations. In one of the statement that Facebook has made, its seems that only 12% of your followers actually see your status update. But with an option to pay $1.80 fee per highlight, the update can remain at the top of your followers feed for a longer time. But was the move really necessary at a time they were going into IPO or was it just to have Facebook appear more lucrative in the run-up to IPO.

Since they have a fair earning already with the tons of ads on the platform or to say 90% of its revenue is from advertising and with enterprises trying to 'highlight' updates to ensure they stay on top of users feed, seems charging them is plain greedy. Not to say, the moves also has not gone down very well with the users.

Though they have experimented already in New Zealand, hope sense will prevail & it may not roll out in other countries. Else, I am afraid, it could benefit Google+ with user moving to its "still-free" offerings.

Your turn:

Do let me know if you think its a wise decision or should they wait for the IPO dust to settle down and then release updates or are they really greedy?? And if they do put charge to highlight an update, how will it effect your content strategies?? Are you ready to pay?? Share your views using comments below.



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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Top tips on SEO for your Blog

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Image Credit - Stuart Miles
SEO or search engine optimization is a way to increase the rankings of your content on the search engines. It helps in generating much required traffic & engagement by having your content getting listed at the top by the various search engines. Content on your blog is no different. It helps to follow certain rules while writing your blog post to have it discovered by search engines & rank it above other blog post. In addition to traffic & helps you generate $$ too.

Last week, over the #blogchat Twitter Chat, we had this interesting topic being discussed. Those 60 minutes were pure pearls of wisdom having Lee Odden (@LeeOdden) co-host it along with Mack Collier (@MackCollier). Guess, it was Lee's second time that he co-hosted #blogchat & this time especially to teach the lesser mortals about optimizing their blogs for search engines and social network. We were indeed thankful to Lee as he was away in Antwerp for a speaking event and it was 3 AM his time we started twitter chat.

Listing down few of the pearls from the event that I helped me learn on optimizing blog in addition to the Content Strategy tips:
  1. Optimization extends beyond keywords & links
  2. Blog SEO is a cycle: Plan, implement, monitor for editor opportunity & progress, measure, refine, repeat.
  3. Write on-topic, on-target - keywords will come up organically.
  4. Write blog content around a keyword.
  5. Ensure you have your keywords in the title & first paragraph
  6. 1-3 keywords for every 100 words
  7. Engage on Social Media - Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest (it drives 5% as much traffic as Twitter & Google)
  8. Share on Google+, remember they own Google Search
  9. Use "Permalink" on blog so title and keywords show up in URL
  10. Optimize to share, engage. More of each will push your search engine rankings
  11. Dish out Content regularly, ensure you have an editorial calendar

Pitfalls:
  1. Bloggers should be aware that Google is actually penalizing some forms of SEO now.
  2. Overuse of keywords in a post
  3. Search engines, Google or other, understand text - metadata, links and not images.

Tools:
  1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool 
  2. InboundWriter
  3. ScribeSEO

And do follow @LeeOdden & @MackCollier. They did a great job in driving this session.

Do you have any other interesting tip to share on SEO for blog. Share it with us using the comments section below. Would like to hear your tips.