Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Twitter Scam - TwitterCut

It seems a few people have been duped today by TwitterCut - a scam claiming to raise your followers by thousands in a short space of time. The page looks fairly convincing, but none of the footer links work, making me immediately suspicious.

Twittercut - Barcelona SEO Blog

Just a short while ago, tweets began warning about the scam, and I expect that to continue into tomorrow and there after.

Twittercut Scam on Barcelona SEO Blog

While some web spammers will do anything to get spam on the go, it also seems that 12th June 2009 might be a day for all Tweeple to be concerned. Twitpocalypse is upon us!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Track Your Company & Brand Online

The rise and rise of social media and user generated content (UGC) has been taking a big place in the world of search for most of 2009 now. I've recently blogged about the ease of finding real time answers to problems and Google this week has also introduced it's own way of trying to apply a time filter to your results, in keeping with sites like twitter.

Rich Snippets from Googleblog - Barcelona SEO
However, another big move (that will obviously be gradually introduced) is the inclusion of Rich Snippets. We've already had longer snippets introduced, and this is now based on user reviews, possibly including prices, star ratings, etc. There is a html code you need to mark up pages like this so that google knows to include these rich snippets, and you can also opt in for this "experiment" which will be introduced slowly.

This also raises another issue, which is how to control what people are saying about you or your company. Or maybe not to control, but how to track it.

Social media is a big mover in reviews and comments (often unintentionally), but Twitter for example, recently removed @ replies, making it a little more difficult. I suggest you do a Twitter Search for the name of your company and subscribe to the results via RSS. Another great tool for Twitter is backtweet which can help you control the mentioning of any urls of your website - even if they've been bit.ly or tinyurl'd.
Google Alerts - Barcelona SEO
Another quality and usually relaiable source of tracking your company or personal name is to set up e-mail alerts. Google Alerts can send you details of News, Blogs, Videos, etc. on a daily, weekly, or even "as it happens" basis helping you keep right on top of things. I've been using this for over a year for my sites and some clients, and sometimes things slip though the net, but it's a great tool to combine with other things, too.

Other things such as BackType Alerts which works in the same way as Google Alerts, but seems to pick up much more on sites like digg, reddit, etc. Yahoo! alerts is another you may want to consider. All in all, it pays to keep abreast of what people are saying or tweeting about you or your company, and it's free, too.

Like what you're reading? Feel free to leave a comment and broaden the discussion.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Google's Wonder Wheel

I can't help but make the bad joke "No, it's not a poor take on the well known Oasis song" - sorry.

Google announced the Wonder wheel this week, which is an easy way to view similar search strings to that which you're already looking for. This is clearly a benefit for the end user, who might not realise different ways of searching for topics, news and other queries on the search engines. SEOs are wise to the fact and can employ keyword tool analysis and advanced features in the SERPs, but for the everyday user, this might be something that catches on.

SEO query on Google's Wonder Wheel - Barcelona SEO

I've mentioned before about real-time search coming from social media and this is Google's way of telling everyone that they're on the ball, too. The left hand column lets you choose different date ranges from "recent" (just how recent that is remains to be seen), to past 24 hours, to past week and finally to past year.

I wonder how long it'll take for the spammers to try and game the system?!

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Google Tries Yahoo! Answers

Google has recently introduced Google Friends Connect gadgets, one of which is designed by Barry Welch and is called a Get Answers Gadget which seems remarkably like Yahoo answers, but on a smaller scale.

Google Get Answers - Barcelona SEO Blog

Apparently, you can

* View questions/answers from the community
* Ask questions
* Answer questions
* Vote up answers
* Highest vote-getting answers are labeled "Best Answer"
* Sort answers by popularity/date
* View questions you've asked
* Comment moderation

Ground breaking stuff, eh?

The huge difference of course is that this is a gadget/widget that you install on your website, rather than an external page to visit (like Yahoo! answers). This is all fantastic information for Google to have access to through your own site, and I'm not exactly sure how well it would work - I haven't come across a site with it yet. What about you guys? Any input?

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