Facebook profiles become indexed by search engines….oh no!

Now your facebook profile will be indexed in google:

Since your search privacy settings are set to “Everyone,” you now have a public search listing. This means that friends who aren’t yet on Facebook will be able to search for you by name from our Welcome page. Public Search Listings may only include names and profile pictures.
In a few weeks, these public search listings can be found by search engines like Google. No privacy rules are changing; anyone who discovers your public search listing must register and log in to contact you via Facebook.

This means facebook will now become a social site that will have to be ‘reputation managed’ on par with services such as linkedin as they can be listed high in the search rankings for your name and company. Did you think about that when joining facebook or indeed myspace? Social connecting is becoming big business and being raped for its search engine rankings for marketing purposes. Maybe the social community do not want to be marketed at from ALL angles and the reason facebook took over as the popular choice was the fact that is was NOT a marketing tool like myspace quickly became?

Facebook will now become just one of many marketing tools for companies in the Web 2.0 bedroom.

Goodbye facebook. What we had was sweet while it lasted.

This was brought to my attention by SearchEngineWatch

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Another notch in the web 2.0 bed post – The Find and Glimpse

Mashable reported on the acquisition of Glimpse by TheFind in this article TheFind Acquires the Glimpse Fashion Search Site.

Another manic Web 2.0 spin purchase or something that will benefit the community? The fashion website Glimpse will be enhanced with advanced search options to do with colour, size, similar products and even products found on eBay. Glimpse will stay a stand alone product. Glimpse has also unleashed the power of facebook enabling users to create lists.

The social aspect of search feels as though it is spiralling but I am not sure to where. As a consumer of many many fashion items I turn away from these social shopping sites as there are just so many. My favourite still stands at Stylehive but as a new facebook addict, and watching my friends get slowly addicted to the various applications, I do think integrating with facebook and other social communities is going to bring up the profile of web 2.0 search sites.

I did have the Glimpse application on my facebook profile for a while, but the novelty wore thin quickly. I hope they prove me wrong but I think novelty is all they have at the moment.

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Surely you have a blog? Its 2007 Man!

I read though the daily links to blog posts on The 10K Marshmallows Marketing Blog and this one caught my eye
Are internet marketers lazy? Is that why they aren’t blogging? and it rings true on so many levels. I am always surprised how many UK firms just have not subscribed to the power of the blog and most say its a fad. I always suggest blogging to my customers as they are product based and they know their industry. When it comes to buying say sports footwear on-line, a blog latched on the side of your website can make sure your customers can choose the right footwear for the task at hand and make sure all the new technologies and fashions are covered.

In this post they illustrate some points to tell you WHY you should be business blogging:

1. You competitors are
2. Gives the company a voice
3. Shows depth of knowledge – this for me is the most important point as it can sort out the duffs from the good’uns

Factors that stop a business blogging:

1. Too busy. Blogging takes time, but you can get your company involved.
2. Fearful. Giving away your knowledge especially if you like people to pay for it. Companies might worry they have nothing to contribute to the blogosphere.
3. Freedom. A blog does hold your company reputation so keeping a close eye or verifying the content is essential.

There is so much content on the web sometimes it is hard to filter out the garbage. As an e-commerce consultant I refer to an ever growing list of blogs to keep myself updated with the industry, internet trends, new sites and techniques. I also love opinions from my fellows in the same industry on eBay and Paypal (which are usually the most interesting to read as they are so controversial)

As an addicted internet shopper I look to blogs for fashion finds and what to avoid. I remember back in the day when I first started wearing steel boned corsets, before blogging has really started out it was a website buying guide that made sure I ordered the right size. This site had load of buying links too (I hope they were an affiliate) and I used eBay so start my passion. Soon as the new wave of internet mobile phones dip below £100 in the UK, Google is going to be with me everywhere. Doing the crossword will never be the same, I will never have to rack your brains for the name of that guy who played whatsit in that film. I will also be able to shop on the fly.

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The mighty ‘Aggregator’ – the buzz word of the moment…

Sites that aggregate a common product or service for example marketplaces like eBay and shopping comparison sites have been going since time forgot. This technology went social with Spokeo, as reported by Techcrunch….

Spokeo wants to be your home page. They want to bring you your favourite blog feeds, MySpace updates, new YouTube videos, and friends’ photo albums all in one eyeful!

But what I would like to see is the same methodology applied to payment gateways. One system to integrate with and you can use Paypal, Paypal pro and Express, Google checkout, Amazon payments and anything that’s is worthy. This would leave payment gateway integration a breeze (and probably open to hideous fraud, but hey its just the idea) as all these new and hip payment methods are coming out and for the best conversions you need to employ all of them? What a nightmare.

The channeladvisor checkout works using this kind of methodology, as well as any heavily integrated checkout, but we are not talking large GMS businesses, its the small and many that struggle to integrate their checkouts/websites with all of these systems!

One integration, one Dashboard…..all the payment solutions……

Aggregate.

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Go Widget Box GO!

Promote your blog feed in a nifty widget from Widgetbox

Widgetbox is a directory and syndication platform for web widgets for blogs and other web pages. Our widgets work with TypePad, WordPress, Blogger, MySpace as well as most other blogs, sidebars or websites. No plug-ins are needed, and they’re free!

Widgets are taking over the world, blog by blog! You can even add this widget on your facebook page!

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Keyword Ranking Experiment

Synopsis:

I do not profess to know or care about Google algorithms, how the page rank
works or what Google have done to devalue links this time. One constant through
all Google and similar leading search engines is ‘Good Content’

‘Good Content’ is painful, slow and you need to make sure you are
writing about something someone will read, including GoogleBot. Who is all fairness
has a very stale opinion of most content. ‘Input’ I need ‘Input’
as Short Circuits Jonnie 5 would say. ( No? Not a child of the 80’s? Oh
well)

I have been making and selling hair extensions online for a while now through
Hairfreax.co.uk. I sell to a niche market, which is not overly represented in
the internet world. The subculture is called ‘Cybergoth’. I wanted
my site to appear at the top of Google for the UK and US for the keyword ‘Cybergoth’
and the key phrase ‘cyber goth’.

I decided on various methods to achieve this, in which I will report the methods
and conclusions after 3 weeks study. Before joining the world of e-commerce
I was a research chemist, so I have conducted my experiment in a very ‘scientific
fashion’ and the reporting will show this in its structure!

Equipment:

Two Domains – Hairfreax.co.uk (established website for the UK Marketing
Campaign)

Hairfreax.net – New domain for the US Market.

An open source e-commerce script. I used ‘Cubecart’ similar success
can be achieved with something like Oscommerce.

SEF Contribution for one store. This will convert URLs from:

http://www.hairfreax.net/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=1 to this http://www.hairfreax.net/dreads/cat_1.html

This will be the only difference between these two stores apart from the main
currency.

A Blog on the main domain with a tags facility. I used WordPress with ‘Ultimate
Tag Plugin’

Google/Yahoo Sitemap Facility (Google Webmaster/Yahoo Site Exploror)

An account with technorati.com, stylehive.com, google base, crowdstorm.com,wists.com
and a relevant banner exchange ( just pick one – I used Blueblood.net
as it is relevant to the scene)

Basic PHP and HTML Knowledge for installing scripts and plugins.

Methods:

The site:

I Mirrored the settings from my hairfreax.co.uk store to the new hairfreax.net
store and I choose a set of keywords to push from these sites:

Cybergoth,cybergoth hair,cyber dreads,cyber dreadlocks,hairfreax,hair extensions,cyber,goth,anime
hair,cyber hair,custom dreads, wool dreads,cyberlox,cyber braids,braid extensions,hair
freaks,hair,freaks,hairfreaks

My main focus is going to be in reporting the keyword ‘Cybergoth’
and the key phrase ‘Cyber Goth’ These keywords were used in product
titles as well as the meta tags for both sites.

A sitemap of all the URLs was also submitted to google and yahoo.

The blog.

The blog was set up on the main domain blog.hairfreax.co.uk. For content I
reported on ‘Order processing times’ and documented every hairpiece
I made with photos making sure I used the keywords as tags on every post ( other
tags were also added) and used Cybergoth is a number of the titles. The blog
needs to be set up with the post title as part of the URL to utilise the title
keywords. A post was made 3 times a week on average.

A blog sitemap was also submitted to both Google and Yahoo.

I logged into my technorati account and ‘claimed my blog’ and when
asked for tags used the same keywords again.

Using the plugin ‘Ultimate Tag warrior’ I was also able to product
a tag cloud for the sidebar of the blog.

Using Social Shopping to boost keyword ranking:

I added around 5 different products to wists, stylehive and crowdstorm making
sure my main keywords appeared as a title and as tags. With crowdstorm there
is no direct link so I used my brand name ‘Hairfreax’ in the title
to build brand awareness.

Google Base:

Products from both sites where submitted to Google Base UK and US respectively.
There is a theory that if you used Google products your ranking is better.

Banner Advertising and Directory Submitting:

I searched using my key words and found all the relevant directories and only
one relevant banner exchange for my sites. I also looked on my competitors sites
to see how they had signed up with or submitted too.

Results:

Google (UK)

As of 7th May 2007 – Keyword Cybergoth – 11th Place

Key phrase ‘Cyber Goth’ 34th Place

Google (USA)

Keyword: Cybergoth – 34th from ‘Wists.com’

Keyword: ‘Cyber Goth’ 19th from Wists.com

So as you can see there is some way to go but in other news my ranking for
‘Cyber Dreads’ is a second in the USA and first for the UK.

Now this will be an on going experiment, as for the two sites I have a different
URL structure. According to blog and things this should make a difference to
keyword ranking which to me, you can stuff page rank, it’s my keyword
ranking I worry about!

These are the results after 3 weeks. I will also report my results around every
month to see if the rankings are getting better or worse.

One thing I did fail to mention is that I have an ebay shop and around 5 items
up at any one time. Those listings were ranking higher for the main keywords
as ebay listings.

Conclusion

Using various techniques, focusing on a few keywords and patience are all part
of getting your website at the top of the search. Don’t forget to keep
adding content to your blog, with hairfreax the customers want to see pictures
of the latest creations
!

I will continue to make the effort to get on the first page (Google does vary
and some days I have checked I have been on the front page!) for my keyword
and keyprase.

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