Natural Search Blog

Google to launch ‘Friend Connect’ tonight

Google’s newest foray into social media will launch tonight in preview release at Campfire One. Google’s announcement about Friend Connect states that webmasters may use the service to easily set up social media sharing services on their sites, encouraging online communities to develop and potentially help to promote the site. Google Friend Connect functionality includes user registration, invitations, members gallery, message posting, reviews, and third-party applications provided through Google’s OpenSocial developer community. (more…)

Google’s Advice For Web 2.0 & AJAX Development

Yesterday, Google’s Webmaster Blog gave some great advice for Web 2.0 application developers in their post titled “A Spider’s View of Web 2.0“.

In that post, they recommend providing alternative navigation options on Ajaxified sites so that the Googlebot spider can index your site’s pages and also for users who may have certain dynamic functions disabled in their browsers. They also recommend designing sites with “Progressive Enhancement” — designing a site iteratively over time by beginning with the basics first. Start out with simple HTML linking navigation and then add on Javascript/Java/Flash/AJAX structures on top of that simple HTML structure.

Before the Google Webmaster team had posted those recommendations, I’d  published a little article early this week on Search Engine Land on the subject of how Web 2.0 and Map Mashup Developers neglect SEO basics. A month back, my colleague Stephan Spencer also wrote an article on how Web 2.0 is often search-engine-unfriendly and how using Progressive Enhancement can help make Web 2.0 content findable in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft Live Search.

Way earlier than both of us even, our colleague, P.J. Fusco wrote an article for ClickZ on How Web 2.0 Affects SEO Strategy back in May.

We’re not just recycling each other’s work in all this — we’re each independently convinced of how problematic Web 2.o site design can limit a site’s performance traffic-wise. If your pages don’t get indexed by the search engines, there’s a far lower chance of users finding your site. With just a mild amount of additional care and work, Web 2.0 developers can optimize their applications, and the benefits are clear. Wouldn’t you like to make a little extra money every month on ad revenue? Better yet, how about if an investment firm or a Google or Yahoo were to offer you millions for your cool mashup concept?!?

But, don’t just listen to all the experts at Netconcepts — Google’s confirming what we’ve been preaching for some time now.

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How Web 2.0 Affects SEO Strategy

My colleague, P.J. Fusco just wrote a great article over at ClickZ on How Web 2.0 Affects SEO Strategy. In it, she provides a good overview of what’s good and bad about “Web 2.0” stuff, and how some of the technology involved can challenge the goal of natural search optimization of a website. It’s well worth a read if you’re unfamiliar with these issues.

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Is Web 2.0 Bogus as a Business Model?

For all of us who survived the exuberance of the dot-bombs era, a little blog entry by my friend, Randy Weber, entitled “Business Development 2.0 is BS 1.0” could serve as a nice dose of logic amid all the hype going on.

In his post, he lists out some salient points on why some of the Web 2.0 companies’ business plans are woefully lacking. It makes some sense. After all, if you’re sharing your core content and intellectual property (in the form of free apps), anyone can replicate your site, and they might just do it better than you, and you won’t see any of the money they’re making!

Web 2.0 maybe doesn’t have a simple definition beyond “I know it when I experience it”, but at base it seems to be founded on user-generated content and syndication of that content along with application services. So, businesses based on Web 2.0 would seem to be counter-intuitive to the normal mechanics of classic biz, and those businesses founded on it might have a lot more risk associated with them.

I think there are just a few caveats to Randy’s post, though. Read on and I’ll explain.


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