Web 2.0 Tag

Getting to Know Search Engine Algorithms

Anyone looking to rank highly in the search engines needs to know a little bit about algorithms. I know, this sounds like some sort of esoteric calculus equation used exclusively by astrophysicists, but it is actually the heart of all search engines. Although there is some discrepancy as to the precise definition of an algorithm, it’s basically a method for solving problems using a precise sequence of instructions. Flowcharts provide a good analogy.

When you go through a flowchart, you are asked a series of questions and eventually led to some resolution. This is essentially of microcosm of an algorithm. Each search engine uses dozens of “signals” to comprise their algorithm, including variables such as a website’s speed, content and inbound links. As you can imagine, sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo! are constantly updating, augmenting and refining the signals used in their algorithms to ensure users are presented with the most pertinent information.

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Twitter’s Growth Slowing But Not For Long

web2009_home_header_rightEvan Williams, one of the co-founders of Twitter, was one of highlighted opening sessions at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Fransisco, Tuesday.  And Williams, revealed that he believes Twitter’s future will be bright with some of the new changes coming to the site.  

John Battelle, from Federated Media Publishing, hosted the chat and tried to get Williams to spill Twitter’s marketing revenue model to see if the site would eventually turn into a revenue-churning business.  Although Williams wouldn’t really answer the question, he did go onto say, “It’s not like we are spending our days looking under couch cushions for the elusive revenue model. Obviously, we are thinking about it.” (more…)

Check Business Makes the Right Choice with iePlexus

choice-checksEven in an age of debit cards and credit cards, checks are something that most people use on a regular basis. Whether you’re paying your rent, your utility bill, or a friend that you owe for dinner, most people dig out their checkbooks for all those purchases where plastic can’t be used. Online entrepreneur David Hamlen acknowledged this fact and built his web business, www.ChoiceChecks.biz, around this popular product line.

“I developed this site because I was writing so many personal checks myself,” said Hamlen. “I did some research and figured out how much I could save per check if they were purchased in bulk.”

After developing the basic idea that he wanted to carry personal and business checks as well as check accessories and accounting software, Hamlen recognized that there was still a great deal of work to be done before launching a fully functioning web business.

“I took a year of planning and analysis and decided what market I wanted to focus on,” said Hamlen. “I started this process in 2005, and my site didn’t launch until March 2006.”

Entering into his business with the aim of catering to his customers, Hamlen decided to differentiate himself from other check companies with his variety.
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Swine Flu Research Indicative of New Information Trends

swine-fluAlthough some of the initial swine flu hysteria has seemed to subside, search trends indicate that it’s still very much in the public consciousness. After hearing multiple stories and stats from both the local and national news, people fired up their computers and turned to the search engines.

People, of course, turned to their most trusted search engine—Google. Within that engine, queries such as “swine flu symptoms” and “swine flu” rose as quickly as the hysteria itself. The following is a list of the top ten visited websites based on these search terms.

1. CDC.gov
2. Wikipedia.com
3. News.Google.com
4. News. Yahoo.com
5. MySpace.com
6. CNN.com
7. Yahoo.com
8. PandemicFlu.gov
9. Facebook.com
10. WHO.int
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iePlexus Makes All the Difference for Online Barware Business

exclusive-barwarePeople entering into an online business are often wary of selling a product that is offered by many other sites, but Judee and Terry Koubas are proof that a sound business plan, dedication, and smart marketing can yield sales even in a high competition market.

“After we did some initial research, we found there were lots of sites that offered barware,” said Terry. “But there were still unique opportunities in this field. We decided to offer a good range of barware in order to help our customers find what they need.”

“Plus, this isn’t stuff you can find in just any store,” continued Judee. “We offer really unique items.”

That collection of unique items includes a comprehensive selection of barware products. In addition to standard glass stemware and cocktail glasses, the site is also outfitted with accessories such as coasters, decanters, wine racks, and more. Coupled with these traditional barware items, the site also deals in less conventional products such as sake sets and absinthe fountains.
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SEM Opportunities Untapped In China

In the United States we have a tendency to think we are the most technologically, politically, and socially advanced. But, as far as internet use goes, Americans aren’t logging on as often as Chinese users. With 253 million internet users, China recently surpassed the United States with the world’s largest web population. The Chinese also have another edge on American web users – they have more fun online.

A recent survey of 2,500 web users from 16 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, China, Korea, and Australia found that China’s users were more likely than others to describe web-based activities like blogging, posting on message boards, reading forums, and watching online videos as “fun.” Chinese web users are also more active in their internet use than users from other countries. “Web 2.0 is far more advanced in Asia, and in China, than in the U.S. and Europe,” said Bernice Klaasen, head of interactive research at TNS Media Intelligence Singapore. “In Western countries, about 1% of users create content online, about 10% participate through methods like comments or discussions, and the rest are lurkers.”
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Search News Special: Web 2.0

Search engines and Web 2.0 have an unusual marriage. Here in the social media corner of the metaphorical room, we’ve long held the belief that a successful social media and Web 2.0 marketing campaign would contribute positively to organic search engine rankings. We’ve come to this conclusion not just from hopeful thinking, but from solid statistical analysis. Do one well, and the other will follow. Search Engine Land just ran an article about this very phenomenom, citing specific examples of links from social media sites that improved ranking. But all too often these kind of results are treated as an abnormality rather than the norm. The fact of the matter is that it’s extremely difficult to get online, let alone run a marketing campaign, without incorporating a least some aspect of web 2.0 or social media. Think about your daily web activities, and I bet most if not all of them involve some component of the read/write web, whether it’s social networking, blogs, or a simple interaction beyond the passive user. Bottom line, we can’t escape social media and Web 2.0, and the same goes for the search engines and their algorithms.
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Are you Afraid of the Digg?

If you thought witches and ghouls were the scariest thing you were going to encounter this Halloween, some established companies might see it a little bit differently. For them, the most terrifying prospect is…a social networking site.

But why would anyone be afraid of a little site like Digg or Facebook? The simple answer is control. Companies fear social networking sites because they can’t pick and choose what is said about the company through these kinds of outlets. But this hesitation to move viral (and relinquish this control) shouldn’t be too shocking. Think of all the time, money, and effort that are put into carefully creating any and all company marketing campaigns. Commercials are screened by test audiences before they ever make it on the air. Heads of the company have careful speech writers and PR pros coordinating all company information before it’s divulged to the public. And with social networking sites, companies move out of this controlled environment into the wild, untamed world of everyday human interaction.
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iePlexus Company Profiles

Fingers CrossedWith the adoption of Web 2.0, no longer can a company rely solely on their own marketing to establish an online profile and create company legitimacy and credibility. The read/write web has enabled anyone with an internet connection and a keyboard to become part of the conversation, and the reader is left with the daunting task of sorting through the fiction and non-fiction to arrive at an intelligent conclusion. Needless to say, this affords anyone with an opinion the opportunity to express it, regardless of whether it is beneficial to the web community in general.

The bottom line continues to be caution. Certainly there are benefits to having anyone and everyone weigh in on a subject, increasing the collective intelligence of the web and sorting the massive flux of information. But is there anything to stop misinformation and lies, besides one’s moral obligations? (more…)

Every Day Social Media

Time Magazine Cover - Social MediaTraditional media’s days as the main source of information are numbered. Giants like newspapers, television and radio are taking a back seat to the onset of social media as the most popular way we interact and discuss the subjects that are important to us. Web 2.0 and the read/write web has made it easy for everyone to share and discuss opinions, find new information and discover those with similar ideas and interests. Without adapting and evolving, old media will find themselves playing catch-up or worse, branded insignificant and out of date. Of course the progressive outlets are embracing this shift in the fundamentals and using it to their advantage. Major newspapers, radio stations and television networks now have significant online presences and encourage the interaction that is driving our daily lives. But they find themselves in competition like never before. As social media grows, more options are available to users every day, forming a whole new basis for every aspect of how we get and share information.
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