SEO Weekend Update 05/12/2008
The Social Networks Get More Social
Something must have been in the water this past weekend because Google and the social networks have decided to be just a little bit sweeter to their users.
Both Facebook and MySpace revealed portability options that will allow members to take their information off the site and use it in conjunction with other trusted sites. MySpace’s program is called the Data Availability initiative and will allow users to share their public photos, videos and text on sites like Yahoo, eBay, Twitter, Photobucket and beyond. Similarly, Facebook announced Facebook Connect, a program which will allow members to take their Facebook identity and use it across the Web.
Google isn’t making user information portable, but they did launch Friend Connect to help site owners add social features to their Web site with just a small snippet of code. Google thinks of Friend Connect as a “shortcut to connections you’ve built up somewhere else”. It will work with OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, as well as with APIs from Facebook, Google, and MySpace. Good stuff.
Looks like the future of the Web and social applications will be all about letting people create one Web identity and then giving them the ability to take it wherever they go. We like.
10 Percent of People Say Design Is Part of SEO
A frightening article over at Web Designer Wall signals that only 1 out of 10 Web designers think design should be a consideration to search engine optimization. I suppose that’s actually not too surprising considering that 24 percent of people didn’t even know what search engine optimization was. Oye.
The article, geared towards design professionals, goes on to explain what search engine optimization is, why it’s important, and how certain design and architectural elements may impact the spiderability of your Web site. It’s one of those posts you want to bookmark and then send to clients when they get mouthy. I mean, confused.
Seriously though, it’s a bit frustrating to see that so many in a related field have no idea what SEO is and continue to make it an afterthought. Search engine optimization should be a part of your site design process from the very beginning. We actually believe that you should know your keywords before you even begin designing. For a good rundown of how we look at SEO design, you can take a read through our How To: SEO Web Design post from a few months back. It explains how knowing what terms you’ll need to target is going to determine how your site is structured, how your navigation will come together, how deep it will be, and will influence nearly every design decision you make.
Third Annual SEM Scholarship Contest Launches
Andy Beal has revealed that the 3rd annual SEM Scholarship Contest has officially kicked off and it’s promising a prize package worth more than $10,000. Yowsa!
To enter, simply submit an article on your favorite Internet marketing topic between the deadline of May 23rd. From there, the finalists will posted on the Marketing Pilgrim and the five that receive the most traffic will go before an expert panel of judges. Have I mentioned I’m on that fine panel? Yeah, I don’t know how my name got there either.
It’s a great chance to give back to the community and help some new search marketing faces find some recognition. We hope to kick off the third edition of our SEO Charity Contest soon, as well. Good to see so many people fighting for SEO education. Kudos, Andy!
Matt Cutts tells us what Google knows about spam and says, on the record, that search engine optimization is NOT spam. All hail, Matt Cutts!
The always smart Kim Krause-Berg says the key ingredient for SEO and Web Design is true passion.