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October 23, 2007

USAToday’s Widget Love, The Death of SEO Revisited & Spam Issues

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USAToday Adds More Widgets. I Hurl Myself Off Tall Building

What do you do when your audience is telling you that they don’t like the revamp you did on your traditional news site in your effort to become "hip" and "trendy" and "pretty"? You add more widgets! Yes! The widgets will save you.

901am reports that USAToday has added five new widgets to their already cluttered site and will be adding even more through November. Awesome. Today’s added widgets include CelebWatch/Lifeline Live; Most Popular Headlines; Politics; Pop Candy; and USA Today Snapshots.

USAToday says their widgets are designed to provide another way for readers to experience and share news online. That’s all well and good but haven’t their readers been pretty vocal about not liking the revamp? Why stuff more garbage in their face? I don’t get it, or maybe it’s USAToday that doesn’t get it.

If you want to read my previous thoughts on USAToday’s botched redesign, you can read them here and here.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go hit myself in the head with some large, blunt and heavy. Hmm, where’s Susan? [You think I'm fat? *cries* --Susan] – Yes, you’re ginormous. Cry about it.

Search Engine Optimization Experts to Be Out Of A Job?

That’s what Jakob Nielsen is claiming. He says opportunities for jobs in search engine optimization will remain bright through the next 5 years but will start to dim once we hit the 10 year mark. Have no fear, though. Jakob says all that experience in search engine optimization will help you "springboard to a more senior position in Internet marketing or user experience".

Zing!

Wait. Isn’t search engine optimization part of Internet marketing? And isn’t usability under that same umbrella? Why are we separating them? I’m confused again.

Semantics aside, Jakob is pessimistic that SEOs will be able to earn their keep because the basics are "fairly simple" and site owners shouldn’t need to hire someone to structure their sites for them. He says eventually it will just be a core competency. I agree with him on that last part. Search engine optimization should be a core competency. In fact, I expect in 10 years every business with a Web site will be doing search engine optimization, which will make the field harder, not easier, and will increase the need for qualified SEOs, not diminish it. Jakob missed that memo.

The problem with people, like Jakob, who like to predict the death of SEO is that they’re still looking at SEO as being just the on-page technical factors. They haven’t evolved past 5 years ago. Today’s search engine optimization is far more complex than that and it’s only going to get harder. I have no idea what SEO is going to look like in 10 years but I know it’s not going to look anything like it does now and I know it’s not going to be site owners who are trying to decode the puzzle.

As things become more crowded, more competitive and more complex, the need for experience and knowledgeable SEOs will continue to grow. Personally, I’m feeling pretty good about my job security. You?

BC’s Overaggressive Spam Filter Takes Hostages

We’re so sorry! It seems the spam filter for the blog has been feeling a little predatory lately and decided to take many of your loving, delightful and only slightly argumentative comments hostage. So, if you’ve left a comment recently and you’re thinking that we’re a bunch of jerks for waiting days to approve it, it’s not so! We’re just jerks for not realizing sooner that the filter was having a Susan moment.

Have no fear, though. We went ahead and lowered the gate for entry so that everyone’s comments should be getting through. This means I’m seeing a whole lot more Levitra ads in my inbox, but hey, what’s some performance enhancing drugs between friends?

I also have to admit that I’m kind of relieved. The lack of comments lately was making Lisa very sad! [We don't know how long the filter has been eating your comments for lunch and we don't have any comments older than 5 days unfortunately, so if you've commented and we didn't approve it, we're sorry. Blame Lisa, she's the one who was whining about it not being aggressive enough. --Susan]

Fun Finds

Dave McClure gets all deep on us discussing The Zen of Poke: A Facebook Story. It made me entirely rethink all the Facebook pokes Dave gave me last week. 

ResourceShelf tells us that Reuters is the newest addition on the Facebook application train, giving users a weekly news quiz (account required) where they can compare quiz points with their friends and declare themselves intellectually superior. Or at least better up to speed on the news.





5 responses to “USAToday’s Widget Love, The Death of SEO Revisited & Spam Issues”

  1. Kim Krause Berg writes:

    I think Dr. Jake has the whole link bait thing down pretty good, no? LOL

  2. Jill writes:

    Nielsen really had a lot of great points. It’s a shame he has to deliver them in such an offensive manner.

  3. Terry Reeves writes:

    There will always be those who preach the death of something. The Internet Marketing biz is full of those who claim to know more than the masses. I say, let them babble. We’ll not remember them in the real future anyway.

  4. Jason Rudland writes:

    Haven’t I heard what Jakob Nielsen said before? I’ve been in IT for 20 years professionally and seem to remember people predicting the end of the programmer when 4GLs first came on the scene, the end of books when CD-ROMs came about and the end of commuting to work when the Internet exploded into our lives.
    For my money, we’re here to stay.

  5. Neil Matthews writes:

    IT is constantly evolving and as IT changes, the person on the spot (in this case) the SEO picks up the new technology, and they will morph with the technology to become X

    unix admin -> webmaster -> SEO -> president of the world



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