The evolution of SEO [infographic]

Here's the evolution of SEO - Search Engine Optimization - a nice visual of the SEO historical timeline. I remember lots of these early search websites and web directories. I even remember SEO developments like metatags, keywords and link-back strategies. What do you remember? Any SEO tips you care to share?

The Evolution of Making Page 1 [INFOGRAPHIC]

UPDATED: Google FAIL. My take on Google + project and other social disasters from Google.

So, I heard all the buzz -pun fully intended- about Google's new social platform site Google + https://plus.google.com. First of all, where's my invite?! Second, why on earth am I getting a 404 error when I attempt to follow the project by clicking on the "Keep me posted" button?!  Seriously, if Google can't serve up the "Keep me posted" page, why on earth do I think they'll invest in this new toy, erm, social site? We all saw what happened with Google Buzz (yawn) and now this odd attempt at launching a new site. I am also surprised at the lack of news and information about the site. It fails to connect with me at this point. Curious what the experience will be, that is if I can ever secure a login. ;)

So, instead of experiencing the new Google + site, I only see this (#FAIL):

[caption id="attachment_1003" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Keep me posted ?!"][/caption]

I am seriously a skeptic when it comes to Google and social. It's just not in their DNA. Afterall, remember, this is a company that spends countless hours on shaving off milliseconds from server load times. Think about that for a second... that's engineering, NOT social social user interaction or design folks.

Don't even get me started on the concept of Google and "community."  That just doesn't exist. And therein lies the core of the problem. Google can't engineer its way out of this social conundrum.

This is yet another lame attempt by the search engine to grab a space in the social realm, because it knows the web is shrinking. They could hope to expand their reach, but it's too late for that. In 3 years, Google will be a tumbleweed of a brand, unless they can place their bots inside the social realm, which is quickly carving up the web as we know it. And that... is a whole other blog post!! More to come...

Disclaimer: I have not yet had the opportunity to evaluate Google + https://plus.google.com. I will try out the Google + tour link. Not sure my opinion would change much, but I could be swayed if I saw something innovative from Google; not getting my hopes up though.

Love to know your thoughts, reactions, debates and arguments on this topic. If you were Google, what would you do? Jarvis, anyone?

UPDATE: Remarkably, I now have access to the "Keep me posted" form (screenshot below). So, I've now completed that step and am waiting for the official invite to arrive.

After completing the form, you'll be presented with the option to learn more and take the tour I referenced above.

UPDATE 2:

Around 12 midnight, I downloaded the Android Google+ app to give it a shot. And lucky me, my login worked and I now have access to Google + which is really different. Google + looks terrific on my Dell Streak 5" tablet running Android 2.2.

I am still poking around and learning all the features (it's not a simple 1-2 layer deep app). There are numerous features and deep integration with Google products, which is a welcome change.

So, now I must confess, I was too hasty with my initial opinion and this blog post. Kudos to Scott Monty who first got me thinking I was being unfair, and he was right.

I just posted this on Google + here

"Just added a Google +1 button to my WordPress blog to show my support!

I have to admit, I was too hasty with my initial blog post (apologies for that). I will be sharing my updated views which are very supportive and positive... nice job Google!!

So many features, so little time!"

I will do a follow up post with more information. In the meanwhile, be sure to read Louis Gray's blog post which covers many of the features

#RIT48 Web Business Startup Competition - Final Pitches & Judging @RIT48 [Ustream VIDEO] #RIT University #ROC

The first ever RIT48 competition kicked off this weekend at RIT University where students from various majors came together and were challenged to do the following:  form a team, plan, design, develop and launch a new web startup in less than 48 hours!  There were 10 teams competing for cash prizes, awards and recognition for their efforts. I was honored to be selected as a Judge and Mentor throughout the weekend of March 19-20, 2010 for the first ever RIT48 event.  The teams all did a fantastic job of preparing Business Plans and Demoing their websites.  This was quite a treat for  me as I love to mentor and provide assistance to young startups.

"RIT48 aims to bring together RIT students from various disciplines to pitch, plan, develop and launch a startup in one weekend — or, as the name suggests, 48 hours."   - RIT48

I will be uploading more event pictures later, but in the meanwhile I thought I'd provide a link to the Ustream live feed Video that was taped during our final judging of the RIT48 competition.

See next page for video...

At the Judges' table (seated left to right):  Aaron Newman, Liz Lawley, Susan Beebe, Lee Drake and Jon Schull.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Twitter's new RT Feature: What it means for News Industry and Influencers

As I am sure you've all seen the fairly new "retweet" (RT) feature released by Twitter, it has not been fully understood to date.  Influence on twitter was previously quite easy to track, but now with the new RT feature, it's becoming less clear who's influencing who.  For example, prior to the new RT feature a user would "RT" a tweet by simply copy/pasting the content like so: "RT @username: original content" (sometimes a comment was added too).  Then, the RT would be published out to the RTer's followers.  Some of those followers would then RT the RT, thus establishing a clear line of influence, stemming from the originating tweet and RTs (to a point, of course).

What the old RT model showed was a path of influence on twitter (and how information travels - interesting stuff for sure!).  Now comes the new RT feature and this "influence" model is completely disrupted.  No longer can we track who's RT'ing what.  It's been completely flattened out. So, folks who RT can no longer see who is RTing a post after them.  So we lose the whole influencer in the middle (middle man influencers).  Now it's all flat - just the original post and a lateral line to the RTs.  Whereas, previously we had the original post and a plethora of tangential RTs, with some fairly obvious track-backs, so to speak.

Why would twitter do this?  Two good reasons are potentially driving this decision.  First, data management and data storage optimization.  Second, establishment of twitter as an authentic news source (more on this in a bit).

Data management is a tricky proposition when a web startup takes off and begins to manage millions of records in their database(s).  The new RT feature is a smarter implementation at the database level.  Now with the new RT feature, the database could store just 1 original tweet plus a bunch of variable flags turned on/off (1 or 0) for the RT usernames versus the old RT model of originating tweet plus copies (e.g. 72 copies of that same tweet +/- variations thereof).  Thus, this is a very smart approach to shrinking the data footprint of RT content.

The whole "News industry" is currently undergoing a rapid change much akin to the industrial revolution.  Companies and jobs are folding every day as the old model of journalism is eclipsed by the new real-time web and emergent citizen-journalism model.  Twitter is a major component of this new version of "news."  Thus, it is in twitter's best interest to develop a trusted system for delivery of real-time news that is timely, reliable, authentic and trackable.  Since, the new RT feature preserves the originating author's name and content, this perfectly fits with the news model.  Now we can see who tweeted what without alteration.  That is a huge move towards authenticity on the web - a must for reliable and trusted news content.  Twitter is positioning itself to be the most trusted news source on the web and this new RT feature goes a long way to provide just that.

Originators of news on the web will feel this impact in a number of ways.  Specifically, if they are RT'ed, then their tweets will show "Retweeted by x and x others " (shows amount of RTs by users - think "reach" on the web).  For what I call the "middle man" influencers - the RTers out there - they will feel a negative impact as they no longer are associated with the originating content (and downstream RTs) as in times past.  Now, when a user sees a RT it just shows a pile of #s, so the middle man no longer benefits, i.e. their name is not associated with the originating post as it used to be (middle man influencers will see a drop in engagement levels based on RTs).

Overall, I think this is a fabulous move by twitter and applaude them for making the switch.  It's smart and disruptive.  I like it.  It shows twitter has smart folks at the helm who understand the web and the future of it very well.

For me, I will definitely  use the new RT feature anytime I want to preserve the original tweet author/content.  If I need to add something (and there's char space!) then I will add my 2 cents and RT that.  What's your take? Do you like or dislike the new RT feature?  Think of other reasons why twitter would implement this new RT feature and let me know what you see.  I'd love to hear all your feedback and ideas on this!

The Average Facebook User Views 662 Facebook Pages Per Month [chart] /via @alleyinsider

The average Facebook visitor views 661.8 pages on the social network each month, reports Website monitoring service Royal Pingdom (citing Google AdCounter). Facebook blows away the competition when it comes to this single engagement statistic.

Visitors to Facebook's nearest rival, Hi5, only view an average of 351.2 pages per month. MySpace comes in at 261.8 monthly page views per visitor.

Point is: Not only does Facebook have a huge user-base -- about 350 million people check the site at least once a month -- it has a very engaged user-base. No wonder Facebook ads are finally gaining traction.

fb chart page views daily