SEO is always – a changin’

When the members of the Chicago SEO Meetup arrived in downtown Chicago today and filled out their name tags, some of them were a bit confused over the marker given to them — they kept pulling what they thought was the pen cap  on one end, and they didn’t see that the tip came out at the other end. That confusion is a bit like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) itself — Google’s algorithms are always changing and growing, and you get stumped sometimes trying to keep up with them. The two dozen people who came this morning to the office of software training school Digitial Bootcamp, just north of the loop, heard Bob Tripathi, the in-house SEO/SEM manager for Sears Holding. His topic was “Managing SEO in-house at mid- to large-sized organizations.” The group, made up of SEO practitioners, learned that Google now posts Twitter material, and this is a new way to get publicity. Among lots of good information about SEO, Bob outlined five common SEO mistakes: Poor information architecture, such as bad site navigation, incorrect directory structures, and wrong naming conventions, Wrong Content Management Systems (CMS), that give poor titles, headings and meta-tags, Poor redirects, Unfriendly URL’s. Don’t name them folder1, for example, Poor SEO measurement tools. This is a more difficult task than measuring pay-per-click. Some of the current trends in SEO are: Your Twitter profile authority has SEO authority. Google will keep up your Twitter post for two to three weeks. Video is ubiquitous. Host the file on your server. Use social media in website design. Link building — don’t use link bait anymore. Incentivise,...

Airport screening protest shows power of media

You’ve heard lots about the possible stalling tactics some are planning for the Thanksgiving holiday to protest the invasive airport screening tactics.  The media have told us all about it. But what if the media had simply ignored these protests? It would be a non-issue. If you know someone who has worked with the media in publicizing events, you would find out how powerful the big media are in directing public attention to this or that issue. If the media decides it’s an issue, it’s an issue. If not, it just doesn’t exist in the public eye. The internet has allowed lots of communication between individuals, but it has not democratized the news dissemination in this country. When it comes to what the public feels is really important, they tune in to the big news networks to find out. I’ll agree that the airport screenings are too invasive, and that the wrong people are getting shaken down. But how many people are planning to use the stalling technique of demanding a pat-down over the body scan? Is this a large movement promoted via the internet, or just something put on by a few people? We aren’t told that, at least by TV or radio news — just trust us, says the media. At least this cause seems...

Social media tops search engines in U.K.

As sure as the heat in a Chicago summer, there’s a real shift toward using social media over search engines. In the U.K., social media edged out search engine traffic in May, getting 11.88% of traffic, as compared to 11.33% for search engines, for the first time in history. The trend in the U.S. is going in the same direction. You might want to point your promotion compass to social media, as well as the old standby, search engine optimization. See the Aug. 2010 Website Magazine, “Social...

Taking a stab at LinkedIn

Mover over search engines. Make way for your new rival — social media. I’ve recently picked up a book that raves about how LinkedIn can deliver professional contacts and more business. LinkedIn is similar to Facebook, which is for more general purposes, such as personal interests and causes. LinkedIn is more specific to those who want to maintain contacts with others in their field. There are not only white-collar workers, but others, in the labor field, for example. (Type in “truck drivers,” and you’ll find 4,700 persons.) The book says that LinkedIn can give you consulting work, job leads, and answers to questions from other professionals. Will it work? I decided to expand my “connections” here by uploading my Outlook email contact list from my computer. I was a bit apprehensive at first for security reasons, but decided to do it. In a few minutes, LinkedIn told me that out of the 319 persons on my Outlook list, 71 were already members of LinkedIn. Of those, I invited 46 to make a connection with me. (I could have invited non-LinkedIn members, too.) I made my requests late last night. By this morning at 9:30, six had accepted. That’s good. Five were friends or family members and one was a fellow web designer in nearby Oak Park, IL whom I’d met online and talked with on the phone. It was a good start. I’ll keep you informed as to what happens...

Short videos with a bang

We’ve recently made several short videos on religious topics that have gotten lots of views. Go to the Great Catholic Homilies blog, and scroll down to the video for “The World, the Flesh and the Devil.” That video of about a minute, launched Wednesday, was viewed 500 times in its first 24 hours.The video is part of our Facebook page, and I might add that we get a lot of mileage out of embedding the Facebook page as a blog on the Great Catholic Homilies website. In May we got 450 views for this new website, and more than 10% were from the Facebook link. Social media...