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July 2, 2007

Weekend Update: Search Engine Milestones

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Map It!

Have you tried out Google’s now “map it” feature yet? The Official Google Blog let us know on Friday that if you say “map it” while using their GOOG-411 service, Google will map out your location and send you a text messages with directions, plus a link to a map.

If the feature actually works that sounds pretty sweet. I never quite trust speech recognition systems but that’s probably because I am completely unable to use them. Michael Gray tried it out and apparently Google isn’t Long Island-friendly (another reason to move to Smithtown, Michael) and the link to his map turned out to be unclickable. Sweet. Hopefully Google won’t leave too many users stranded or send them in the wrong direction. For now, I’ll just stick to printing my directions out ahead of time. Or calling one of my male friends who isn’t navigationally retarded. [Way more exciting than that is that you can drag and drop to change your route. You have no idea happy this makes me.–Susan] – I think I just don’t find maps as exciting as you do. Probably because I have a life.

SEOmoz Hits Million Link Milestone

Over in Mozzland, Rand shares his secret for obtaining a Yahoo-reported million+ links in just under three years. You’ve got to hand it to those Mozzers; they’ve been suckering us all into linking to them a whole bunch. I say we stop. Permanently. Huzzah!

(Just kidding, Rand.)

Rand breaks down his secret link building sauce into three parts: Content, community and timing. The most impressive thing about SEOmoz has always been the level of engagement present in their community, especially when participating with the Mozzers means you have to deal with Rebecca. Yikes.

Congrats to Rand and his team (minus Rebecca). Now if we could only get you guys to stop using that horrid “linkerati” term. Oh, and I hope Jane gets a cookie for all her Web 2.0 work.

Do People Trust You?

With all the talk about community, I thought it might be fun to remind everyone about Stanford’s Guidelines for Web Credibility. The Top 10 list is a few years old now and is mostly common sense, but it’s important stuff that’s often overlooked by site owners. All the number one Google rankings on the Web won’t help you if users get to your site and decide you’re not trustworthy.

How do you create a trustworthy site? By showing users who you are and what you’re about. Build site credibility by letting users see real faces exist behind your Web site. Include an About page, make it easy for users to contact you, update content, avoid typos, don’t oversell, etc. It’s common sense but a lot of it gets forgotten while you’re focusing on your search engine optimization campaign. The little stuff matters; don’t forget it.

If you haven’t read Stanford’s guide, check it out.
If you have, give yourself a refresher and make sure you’re not doing yourself a disservice by optimizing a site that users aren’t inclined to trust.

Fun Finds

Wikipedia puts search engine optimization on the home page. A sign of the apocalypse? Their Say Anything moment to the optimization community? I don’t know but it makes me itchy.

How to use StumbleUpon to promote your Web site. An excellent read.

Danny Sullivan’s kids don’t know what Internet Explorer is. It’s both beautiful and totally not fair. To fully appreciate Firefox, you really need to know what it’s like to have IE crash on you every 5 minutes. The mini-Sullivans are so spoiled.

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