Social Networking-You’ve Got to Use It to Love It

I read in the Washington Post recently an article written by a writer who was just now trying out Facebook. She was bemoaning the amount of personal information that was requested and then spun the article into one on identity theft. I have to say that as I read the article it was clear to me that she just did not get it.

In fact I find it incredible to think that someone in the news media would now just be embracing Facebook – wow, talk about being behind the curve! My son and I chatted about the article and our joint perspective was we were mystified that a journalist could have “missed it” so badly and have taken this perspective.

To understand the value and how to use social networking for business you just have to use it. Dive in head first, immerse yourself in it, connect with others, search to find people you haven’t hooked up with for a while, exchange information, share freely – then you’ll get the power! In fact once you do this you will understand how really great and how interesting as well as how integral social networking has become to many people of all ages.

If you don’t share, if you don’t connect, you can have the perspective as the Washington Post writer did, that social networking wants to know too much or that it takes too much time.

From my perspective, I “get it”. I’m using it, and I love it. If you haven’t immersed yourself in it yet to “get it”, you are missing out on one of the biggest changes in our culture since the creation of the Internet.

Social networking is here to stay, so do you “get it”?

New Twitter Executive Services

Don’t flame me on this, this program is not for everyone, but for the super busy executive who wants to use Twitter and wants to outsource it, this is the perfect service.

We are now providing Twitter Executive services. What this means is if you want to jump start your Twitter account, get set up, initial followers, website and other social media integration (where allowed), personalized training, research of sites to glean interesting content from, training on how to use TweetDeck and the first week of great Twitter posts, this is for you.

For executives who totally want to farm out Twittering (okay I know it is tweets here, but the “money keywords” are twittering), we will do it. We will be very selective over what we take on, but we provide the option for executives who want to pay for premium services.

Twitter is a great platform. I really like it and think that it is fun. It provides a neat way to “go viral” by interacting with others. I’ve had wonderful success with Twitter recently in promoting one of my own mini-white papers, Twitter Demystified for Business Users. So if you are ready to take on Twitter you may just want to give this  new Twitter program your consideration.

Overriding NoFollow in Links and Comments

I had a commenter recently who brought attention to the fact that he would not comment on my blog again unless I removed the nofollow in comments and commenter links. He made a good point but created an interesting problem that I thought I would blog about today.

First, about a year ago or maybe even more, WordPress, Blogger, and Typepad inserted into their source code an automatic nofollow in the source code of all comments and links left on a blog. There was no setting in the control panels to override this option.

However I for one encourage comments and do not have problems with people linking to a legitimate site if they leave a legitimate comment on my blog. But, how to override this global setting without access to a control panel to do so. Lucia’s Linky Love WordPress plug-in takes care of this problem. You install the plugin and then configure how many times a user needs to comment to have Linky Love turn on a dofollow tag in the comments and enable dofollow in any links they post.

This is an excellent tool to encourage regular visitors to comment and for them to get something back in return for commenting as well as removing spam comments and posters.

I have enabled Lucia’s Linky Love on my blog, so I invite you to be a regular participant and receive link love as a reward!

The Canonical Issue for SEO Performance – Do You Need To Worry?

I am seeing increasing client concern on the canonical link issue of their website and how Google and other engines are indexing them become almost a level of paranoia this month. Let me take a few moments to talk about this issue to help you understand more about it and what you can do to keep your website search engine friendly.

First, for those of you who don’t know what I mean when here is an example on the way that you link within your website that is a factor for which URLs search engine should recognize in their index.

http://mccordweb.com or http://www.mccordweb.com – Note the first URL has no www and the second does. This is the whirlwind that surrounds the canonical topic.

Now, my site and the sites that I have designed have never had issues here as I am nitpickingly consistent on how I link withing sites, I always use the www. It is a standard that I never waiver on. If your website or blog has used both links you may have an issue. What is at stake is which page should the search engine index? As more engines and particularly Google want to properly index your site and remove peripheral pages, you want to help Google know which page link style to use.

To understand more on this topic you can watch the video on the new canonical link element from Google Engineer Matt Cutts. If you do not know how Matt Cutts is, he is a star in the SEO industry and the Google mouthpiece on technology and Google indexing to the professional community. We all hang on what he says!

The bottom line is that the big three engines are now recognizing a new head tag link element in the source code that allows you to control the page that Google will index. Here is the syntax:

<link rel=”canonical” href=http://www.mccordweb.com/weblogs/index.php> This relates to the home page of my blog. This appears in the source code of your site. You can even create code in your template to pull in the preferred canonical link on your page if you desire and are using header and footer includes. Although for many sites this issue is really not a make or break issue and really will not significantly impact your organic placement for sites that have URLs that contain session cookies and other dynamic elements you can now tell the search engines to index your SEO friendly URL instead of the URLs that may contain session information. Now that has importance! Especially if your URL has been well crafted to contain a product name, model number or SEO keywords.

For normal websites you simply do not need to be spun up on the topic. You can now add the link code in your head tag and you could always through the Google Webmaster control panel tell Google what canonical link to use, but for dynamic sites this is important news for optimization and potentially could be used as just another tool to get better organic placement.