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October 16, 2009

Friday Recap: Doom Defying Edition

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Hooray! It’s Friday and the weekend is about to begin! Some weekends are just right for curling up with a good read. And if you’re looking for a read that’s full of the month’s search industry news as well as content and conversion funnel recommendations, look no further than the fresh new SEO Newsletter hitting inboxes right now.

Of course, you may have come here for something similar — so here are my handpicked search, tech, marketing and miscellaneous highlights for the week.

Google removed the PageRank indicator from Webmaster Tools. A Google employee explained that it was a move that made sense considering their recommendation that webmasters not be concerned with the PageRank metric. Now PageRank is only reported through the Google Toolbar.

Yahoo!, meanwhile, squashed its paid inclusion program Search Submit. Both Search Submit Pro and Search Submit Basic will no longer be available at the end of the year.

Twitter, on the other hand, grew its feature set with the launch of Lists. Users can categorize the accounts they are following. The lists are easy to view and share and may make reading streams easier through the additional focus provided. For a good example of Twitter Lists at its best, check out @dannysullivan’s setup. In other Twitter news, another DM phishing scam made the rounds this week.

Did you know that yesterday was Global Handwashing Day? Japan made a special effort to promote awareness of hand washing and hygiene, including a video of one of the country’s leading choreographers singing a catchy little diddy and performing a kooky little dance.

The SEO community once again rallied to evangelize to the Web on behalf of beneficial search engine optimization. Talk about passion for your craft. Go team!

As it happens, it’s up to the community to come to its own defense at times. Too bad there’s no band of superheroes to protect us. But wait! Maybe there is! Welcome to the neighborhood the League of Awesome Optimizers! If I weren’t blue, I’d be blushing right now. ;)

Social media monitor and analytics provider Sysomos evaluated brand mentions across the Web and ranked the brands mentioned most as well as those with the highest and lowest overall sentiment ratings. Congrats to the companies with the highest sentiment ratings, which are all (coincidentally?) in the computer hardware and services sector.

A couple kids may be in need of a reputation boost after almost giving their parents heart attacks this week. A six-year-old Colorado boy thought to have vanished after flying away from home in a balloon was found hiding in a box in the attic. And a baby in a stroller defied death when he was run over by a train in Australia. While both are any parent’s worst nightmare, thankfully both stories had happy endings.

Speaking of Australia, the smartphone market has witnessed explosive growth thanks to the popular iPhone. In the first half of this year, smartphone shipments Down Under have shot up 29 percent. I guess Aussies like to cruise the mobile Web while barbequing all that shrimp!

The GOP has eagerly jumped on the online bandwagon with rather shaky legs. Hours after this week’s launch, GOP.com was the victim of numerous bugs, glitches and crashes, in stark contrast to the message of the GOP chairman’s blog “What Up.”

Things I learned from Boing Boing:

  • The origin story of gummi bears is juicier than I ever imagined!
  • Those things that are too small for the eye to see? They can just stay that way, thank you very much.
  • Look at me! I’m a scary dinosaur and I can bite your head off with my hugs! (They need to make these in adult sizes already.)

  • The country of Finland has declared that access to broadband Internet access is a legal right. Power to the people!
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