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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.


November 13, 2012

Two detours for traffic on the info superhighway

DETOUR

Every once in awhile it would be nice if there was some construction on the information superhighway.

Some road work that caused folks oblivious to our websites to detour?

We all want some traffic to take a pass through our pages, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Ideally we’d want the detour sign to read:

“Turn here for great deals on XYZ!”

…but more often than not folks go for something a bit more catchy like:

“If you like kittens and free bacon turn now before it’s too late!”

The problem with the former is that people don’t respect honesty as much as they should, after all, everyone has something for sale, tell us something we didn’t know.

The problem with the latter is that while totally successful, the traffic driven to the site won’t be on target at all, will likely bounce, and the best anyone can hope for is brand recognition. Unless the site actually has kittens and free bacon, but who would be reading this if they had all that? (Note to self, make a site with endless kitten pictures where the uploader is paid in bacon.)

Ideally we wish to find a ‘Goldilocks’ approach where we aren’t too off-putting with boring honesty, nor are we luring in people who have zero interest in the site.

So lets take a moment to look at two common approaches for traffic generation that I don’t see discussed often, one is very timely.

Unusual Approaches That Really Work!

ARGs or ( Alternate Reality Games ) are getting pretty popular online.

Google's Niantic ARG Logo

Google just launched a massive ARG called the Niantic Project and I am already 7 13 days behind on the clues/feeds..

The idea is that you become very curious about the game and subscribe to the daily clues. With luck this catches the eye of your friends, they get curious and sign on too. By the end of the game Google should have a large subscriber group waiting anxiously for their announcement.

Speaking of clues, one thing I seem to have discovered ahead of the crowd is the Interactive global Niantic XM (Exotic Matter) POI map that Google built:

If this game is an introduction to the recently released Google Field Trip app, then is it possible that Google associates have taken the time to embed ‘clues’ into major landmarks around the world that need local residents to ‘discover’ using an Android device and the Google Field Trip application.

With any luck Google will use Niantic to reach more people than they normally would, and the more people who know about field trip, the better/more interesting it will be.

Think Outside the Box

PDF Icon

In this case, the box, is the web/online and thinking outside means creating web content that people will want to print/download and share.

All of our team is doing on-page optimization training so that all of us have some skills with on-page SEO. Even if we can’t have each member doing live A B tests and such, they should know why you would run one and be familiar with the current standards.

This means that each of us has an SEO cheat sheet pinned to our cork boards and each of these has branding on them that we’re fine with. In fact I’m very tempted to promote these as something all of you should print for your daily SEO but I need to check and see if they are still available to the public.

If your company has info pages that are getting a lot of traffic, I’d look at pulling together a PDF of the content for download with a quick-reference for printing.

Getting your brand out there and helping potential clients is a win win for you if the market you are in is something that you want to be recognized for.

Giving it Away

Lending hand image

If you felt like making a resource and simply giving it away was too much for your time/budget, then you’ll be shocked by the next suggestion:

Give something substantial to a charity, preferably an example of your trade.

As an example: If you sell shoes and there’s a drive for winter shoes for the homeless, putting free footwear on people that cannot afford your product won’t cut into potential customers/sales, and it will remind people where to get shoes, and that winter is coming.

If there’s nothing you can do for charity that lines up with your company, you can always just give some money away, many sites thank donors with an ad or a link, and even micro loans are a nice way to help out with friendly options to get you started.

There’s a ton of ways to get unexpected traffic to your site in a manner that will have the visitors eager to explore, and potentially buy your product. Anything else and you risk the traffic bouncing off your site and telling Google that you aren’t offering interesting content.

Today’s Google Doodle

It’s with pride that I re-share the daily doodle for the Canadarm!

Google Doodle celebrates the 31st year of Canadarm operation

Google is celebrating 31 years of Canadarm use today with the above doodle.

After 90 missions the Discovery and Atlantis Canadarm installations will be retired with the shuttles for museum display. The Canadarm that was fitted to the Endeavour was given back to the Canadian Space Agency and it is currently on display in the Quebec headquarters.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:54 am


 

 

October 30, 2012

3 Musketeers: Google Nexus Style

We blogged about the new HD Google Nexus tablet coming from Samsung and Google in the beginning of the month as a stub to an SEO post about Google’s Exact Match Domain fallout, and it’s already official on Google’s Blog.

Google’s press-release/blog post announcement is far more than some details on the new Nexus HD tablet, indeed Google has 3 treats for us in November.

Sadly, while the digital press is unhindered, the actual NYC based Android 4.2 release event was cancelled due to some infamously bad weather.

Nexus 10

Google Nexus 10
Ooop! Ooop! Hey pretty tablet!

 
Lets start with the new HD tablet’s confirmed specs:

  • 10.1″ 300PPI 2560×1600 Resolution LCD
  • Android OS v4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (MIMO+HT40)
  • + Bluetooth and NFC (Android Beam)
  • Dual Core Cortex A15 ARM CPU
  • Mali T604 ARM GPU
  • 9000 MAh LiPo Battery
  • 9hr Battery run-time (>500hrs in Standby)
  • Front facing HQ stereo speakers (Movies!)
  • 2 GB of internal RAM
  • 16/32 GB of internal Storage
  • 603 grams (~240 Pennies)

Heck looking at this thing’s sensor list (5mpx front Camera, 2mpx rear Camera, Microphone, Accelerometer, Compass, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Barometer, GPS), all it’s missing is the ability to taste.

… and removable storage?! I find it very odd there’s not one mention of what sort of interface the tablet has for removable storage, though I’d be really shocked if it didn’t support MicroSD cards.

The price is almost as shocking, with the 16GB selling for $399US, and the 32GB version selling for $499US. Both models should be available on the 13th of November, which is also shocking because it’s a bit early for an xmas promotion, but that’s Google for you.
 

Nexus 7

Google Nexus 10

When discussing the middle device in a lineup I’m always reminded of Stealers Wheel – Stuck in the Middle with you.

In this case there’s no clowns to the left or jokers to the right, and nobody’s stuck.

In fact the Nexus 7 will be the mainstream device to buy for each of the kids, and at $199US for the 16GB version, you can afford to have a big family!

Heck the 32GB version is only $50 more at $349US, unless you wanted mobile high speed data access, which tacks on another $50 for a $299US price tag.

The specs aren’t as impressive as it’s big brother, but you do get what you pay for:

  • 7″ 216PPI 1280×800 Resolution LCD
  • Android OS v4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core CPU
  • 16/32GB Internal Storage
  • 1GB of Internal RAM
  • 8 hour 4325 mAh Battery
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n & Bluetooth/NFC

The Nexus 7 sports many of the same sensors as the Nexus 10, but it’s single 1.2Mpx camera is clearly just for web-chat/video calling.

The $299 Nexus 7 has fully unlocked HSPA+ support which I am almost certain will be used for more than just web-surfing given the available internet telephony options.
 

Nexus 4

Google Nexus 4

Last but not least is the latest cell phone from Google, the Nexus 4. In fact I seem to have saved the best for last.

This is way more than a phone at this point, we’ve really got to start looking at these devices as mini-tablets because the Nexus 4 has better features and functionality than most existing tablets.

The price gives the Nexus 4′s secret goodness away, the 8GB version goes for $299US, and the 16GB retails for $349US, both of which are unlocked/contract free. That’s not a typo, if you spent $799(CAN) on an unlocked 32GB HTC One X, which has inferior screen hardware, you might want to sell it, quickly.

According to Google’s blog:

The 16GB version will also be available through T-Mobile for $199, with a 2-year contract (check here for more details).

Sadly, I’ve really run out of space to explain the specs, but the Nexus 4 page on Google’s Play store does cover the details quite nicely.

In a nutshell it’s 4.7″ display, at 1280 x 768, has got the highest pixel density (320ppi) of any device in it’s class.

Indeed, if the world were to switch to this grade of phone and/or tablet hardware the concept of a ‘mobile version’ of your website would be pointless since this hardware has more than sufficient resolution to display a desktop style website.

At these prices the idea of the world switching to Nexus isn’t too far fetched either. I know I’m in the market for a better phone and I’m so glad I went with a standby device and waited for something this good of a value to come out.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:55 pm


 

 

October 29, 2012

New Webmaster Guidelines Part 3 – Quality Guidelines

This is my final installment on my overview of the New Webmaster Guidelines. My first post covered Design & Content the second part covered Technical Guidelines.

quality control image

While the topic of this post is “quality guidelines” it is perhaps the most misunderstood part of the webmaster guidelines as it is open to interpretation; however, the core of the guideline remains the same:

“Don’t engage in tactics that are questionable. If you would be hesitant to explain your actions to a competitor or to Google”

“How would you build and promote you site if there were no search engines?”

While I could go in to specifics on each point, this is an instance where it is best to get the information directly from the source. Google has not really updated anything here, but do state the following suggestions:

DOs

• Make your webpages for your readers; no for Google or other search engines
• Do not deceive your visitors
• Avoid tricks/schemes designed to improve you rankings.
• Focus on what makes your site unique, valuable, or engaging and make it stand apart from others in your field
• Actively monitor your site for hacking and remove hacked content as soon as it appears
• Prevent and removed user-generated spam from your site.

DON’Ts

The clearest recommendations that Google makes to avoid the following practices:

• Automatically generated content
• Link schemes of exchanges
• Cloaking/hidden text or links
• Suspicious redirects
• Doorway pages
• Scraped content
• Load pages with irrelevant keywords
• Abusing rich snippets markup
• Send automated queries to Google

Once you have repaired your site and corrected and errors or errors, you can submit a reconsideration request to Google:

SEO news blog post by @ 12:42 pm


 

 

October 17, 2012

New Webmaster Guidelines Part 2 – Technical Guidelines

This is part 2 of an in depth look at the newly revised Webmaster Guidelines from Google. Google has recently updated their list of best practices and suggestions for site development. To give your site the best chance of ranking well, and to keep a competitive edge, the Google guidelines should be read like the gospel.

monkey fixes computer

• Did you ever wonder how Google processes your site to determine its focus and content? Try using a text-based browser like Lynx to understand what Google is using to interpret your site.

By displaying the page without dynamic elements such as Flash, JavaScript, cookies, sessions IDs or DHMTL, you will gain a keen insight as to what is actually visible to the Google. If there is not enough content to be read, then Google is going to have a difficult time indexing your site and establishing you value in the SERPs

• Allow bots to crawl your site without session IDs or arguments that are designed to track a user activity. Disallow specific URLs that you don’t want crawled in your robots.txt file. Sessions IDs are antiquated and should not be used in any new site development. You can use cookies instead for monitoring site traffic.

• Check to see that your web server supports the “If-Modified-Since” HTTP header. This tells Google if your content has changed since it last crawled your site, saving bandwidth and overhead.

• Use the robot.txt file to exclude directories that do not need to be crawled from Google. Keep it updated in your Webmaster Tools account and ensure that you are not blocking Google bot from crawling your site by testing it in Webmaster Tools.

• Keep advertisements (such as Google’s AdSense and DoubleClick) to a minimum and ensure that they are not affecting your rankings by making sure they are excluded in your robots.txt file.

• If you use a content management system (CMS), makes sure that it support seo friendly URL structure and is easily crawled by bots.

• Test you site in several browser’s (IE, FireFox, Chrome, Lynx, Opera, Safari) at different resolutions.

• Use tools to monitor page load speeds. This is becoming an increasingly bigger factor for rankings. Use Google’s Page Speed, or Webmaster Tools Site Performance Tool to gain insights on how to boost you page loads speeds.

SYNOPSIS:

• Make use of the robots.txt file to keep your site accessible to the Google bots
• Block unneeded/irrelevant content from
• Use SEO friendly urls and move away from parameter-based urls
• Monitor your page load speed and take steps to improve it.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:09 pm


 

 

October 11, 2012

Windows 8 / IE10 and Flash Certification

Windows 8 is a tablet OS, and like any modern OS focused on tablets/touch/mobility options, there’s compatibility concerns with content not specifically written for a tablet/mobile device.

Apple’s famous for their certification process and using it for more than just the sake of ‘quality’ or ‘compatibility’ controls.

Indeed Microsoft has had certification for drivers, and applications in Windows for some time, but never to the point where something cannot be used without their certification.

If you wanted to install something that isn’t certified you’ll get a spooky warning, but I’ve never seen something completely fail to work due to a bad/missing certification on Windows.

Enter Windows 8 and IE10, a whole new ballgame, with two browser modes, one for normal use and a ‘desktop’ integration mode which has to play nice with the new Windows UI.

If you wish to publish web content that leverages the new ‘desktop mode’ you’ll want to visit Microsoft’s ‘developer guidance’ page for information on new meta tags and HTTP header codes that help flag such content.

In a nutshell they explain that either the header:

X-UA-Compatible: requiresActiveX=true

OR the meta tag:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="requiresActiveX=true" />

… work to create a handy little prompt explaining that the content on the page requires the page to be viewed in ‘desktop’ mode, and even gives a single-click shortcut to switch over:

IE10 desktop warning

The same page also deals with ‘Compatibility Verification’ and the steps to test/certify that your flash content is compatible with the extra features of a tablet OS.

Of particular interest is the option of a single registry entry that allows testing of your site for ‘debugging’ to see just how broken your flash content is.

The key is located here:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Flash\DebugDomain
.. and if you wanted to make a .reg file for easy access the contents would be:
REGEDIT4
**Blank Line/Carriage Return**
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Flash\DebugDomain] @="www.mywebsite.com"
**Blank Line/Carriage Return**

At that point you could right-click the .reg file you made and click on ‘install’ from within the pop-up menu.

Passing this .reg file to your developers would be fine, but since only one site can be specified, this is NOT a solution for your end users.

Obviously the best advice we can give, as SEOs, is to ditch your Flash content completely.

HTML5 with all it’s perks can replace almost anything you’ve done in Flash and Google’s even willing to help you make the switch by offering the Swiffy Flash -> HTML5 Conversion Tool.

If you feel your content is too sophisticated for Swiffy, or you haven’t tried the tool recently, you should!

Here’s an example of how well the tool works on a flash game with keyboard and mouse controls:

SEO news blog post by @ 12:07 pm


 

 

October 10, 2012

New Webmaster Guidelines Part 1 – Design and Content

Google recently updated their webmaster guidelines following the latest algorithm update. It is easy to feel inundated with the amount of information regarding web design dos & don’ts and the best practices for the internet. As an SEO I am frequently asked, “How can I get my site to rank?” The fact of the matter is that we follow the Google’s Webmaster Guidelines which establishes the best practices for websites to follow. Many are concerned about the Panda/Penguin updates and are worried that there site will be hit; or they have a site that has been hit. Our advice remains consistent: "Drink the Google Kool-Aid".

magician_rabbit_hat

At one time, it was exceedingly difficult to get a straight answer from Google in regards to what was considered best practice. This led to a wild-west frontier attitude and many designers and SEOs adopted many bad practices. This is lead to an inundation of webspam in the Google SERPs and made it very difficult to get quality search results.

The Panda and Penguin algorithm and subsequent updates was a very concerted effort to rid the SERPs of webspam. In the wake of these substantial updates, my advice to customers remains consistent; follow the Google established guidelines. The mantra I repeat to my customers is: "Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?"

For many of us this is old news, but I still find myself learning new things to try and better practices to adopt. Much of the messaging from Google has been very consistent regarding what makes good content. This post will looks specifically at Google’s recommended Design and Content Guidelines to help Google find, crawl and index your site.

Site Hierarchy

  • Give your site a clear hierarchical structure and make it as easy to navigate as possible. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
  • Think of your website as a book with logical sections and headings; each with their own unique and relevant content.
    • The Title of you is your domain URL (eg. www.booktitle.com)
    • Your title tag <title> can be your topic for the page. It defines what content will be on this page (eg. <title>Book Characters</title>).
    • Your heading tag is your chapter title eg. <h1>Book Characters</h1>. Typically this is the same or very close to the page title and must be directly relevant.
    • Have only one topic per page and only one H1 tag on any page.
    • Use subsequent heading tags (h2, h3, h4) to define further related divisions of the chapter.

Site Map

  • Offer a sitemap for your visitors. Not only does this provide a valuable service to your customers, but it can help improve the indexing of your site by bots.
  • If you have an extensive number of links on your site, you may need to break your sitemap into multiple pages.
  • Remember that a website sitemap is different than the sitemap.xml that you should submit to Google’s Webmaster Tools.

Internal Linking

  • Keep the number of links on any page to the bare minimum. The guidelines used to state ‘around 100’ but this is one area where less is more.
  • In the most recent iteration of the Webmaster Guidelines, Google has only stated to ‘keep it to a reasonable amount’. Too many links leading to other internal pages or offsite is distracting to the visitor. It lowers conversion rates due to people getting lost and creates frustration.

Textual Content

  • Google has always stated that ‘content is king’. It is absolutely imperative that you create rich, useful and dynamic content that engages your audience. All textual content needs to be well written and grammatically correct. It should clearly and accurately describe your content and it must be relevant to the page that it is found on.
  • Do not write for what you think Google wants to see. Think about what searchers would type into a search engine to find your page and ensure that your content actually includes those terms.
  • Do not concern yourself with keyword densities. Inevitably the content comes across as spammy and does not read well. Google may regard this as keyword stuffing and see broken/confused grammar as potential spam or scrapped content…exactly what the Panda/Penguin updates are designed to target, and penalize for.

Page Coding

  • Use a crawler on your site such as XENU’s Link Sleuth, or Google’s Webmaster Tools to check you site for broken links.
  • Check your site with the W3C to ensure that your site has valid HTML.
  • Avoid the use of dynamic pages with cryptic URLs (e.g., the URL contains a "?" character). Try to use keyword focused URLs that reflect the page you are building. If you must use a dynamic URL structure, keep them few and the parameters short.

Images

  • You can give Google additional details about your images, and provide the URL of images we might not otherwise discover, by adding information to a web sitemap.
  • Do not embed important content into images; always use text links instead of images for links, important names etc, where possible. Google crawlers cannot determine the text displayed in an image. If you must use an image for textual content, ensure that you make use of the image ALT tag to describe the image with a few words.
  • Ensure that all image <title< and ALT attributes are descriptive (but not spammy) and accurate. Follow these guidelines for creating great ALT text for your images.
  • Give your images detailed and informative filenames.

The following areas (video and rich snippets and their usage are best described by Google themselves:

Video

View the full post here: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=156442

Rich Snippets

View the full post here: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1093493

Coming next time, I will review the newly updated Technical Guidelines and then conclude with Google’s Quality Guidelines.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:15 pm


 

 

October 2, 2012

You may need an EMT after the EMD Update!

Last Friday Matt Cutts tweeted about Google’s latest update, which focuses on penalties for ‘low-quality’ Exact Match Domain names, hence the EMD TLA.

Twitter posts from Matt Cutts on the latest EMD Update

While Google is never big on giving us the details lets digest this together!

Using a relevant keyword in a domain has been a very long-standing ranking signal.
ie: A consulting site for financial companies using ‘financial-consulting.com’ as a domain would be seen as relevant

Over the years this has lead to people grabbing up domains with keywords in them for SEO purposes.

JACOBS BY MARC JACOBS FOR MARC BY MARC JACOBS ETC..

Having your keywords in your domain name didn’t mean overnight dominance of the web, thankfully. Indeed, there was usually some trade-off between desirable keywords and a reasonably short domain name.

In fact, no organic/white-hat SEO would suggest you use something like:

‘best-value-online-financial-consulting-company-with-proven-results.com’

Why? Because the gains in SEO wouldn’t match the losses in user trust/conversions.

Would a good organic SEO/White Hat tell you NOT to purchase those types of domains for 301s to your main site?

I’d like to think so, but this was clearly a strategy for a lot of sites competing for top rankings.

Regardless of your SEO ethics, the practice of domain parking/selling because of search ranking signals is clearly an unnecessary burden on the internet.

While the ‘domains for sale’ issue would still exist without search engines, search engines honestly should be making your choice of domain name MUCH less relevant.

Ideally fresh internet traffic should occur as match between the searchers needs and the services/information that your site provides.

And with this latest update it’d appear that Google agrees with the idea that book should found by more than what’s on the cover.

As of this last update you can expect sites with nothing but some keyword dense 301′d domains to now face a penalty instead of a positive ranking signal.

We didn’t see this coming!

EMD Update Results

I’m already seeing people post sad tales of the deep impact this update is having on certain sites, and I’ve had a laugh at a few ‘professionals’ claiming they never felt this day would come.

Personally, while I’ve watched some very good presentations on SEO and web ranking strategies, the one thing that helps me most as an SEO is Matt Cutts’ breakdown of the real philosophy behind ‘good SEO’ which boils down to:

Never do something for the sake of search engine rankings alone.

If you like ‘Lord of the Rings’ then look at this as:

‘One Rule to Lead them all, one Rule to be found by…’

..and you should never have to fear a Google update!

In fact you should look at each Google update as a chance for your rankings to improve as other sites are punished for their ‘clever’ attempts to game the system.

Another Google Easter Egg?

And finally, to end the post with a chuckle, here’s a Google search phrase for you to test out:

I was hoping this was more than just an ‘Easter Egg‘ in Google’s search, but alas Google hasn’t yet licked mathematical artificial intelligence. :p

SEO news blog post by @ 12:01 pm


 

 

September 18, 2012

Google-a-gram? Insta-oogle? Google-Shop?

Do you like pictures? Pretty pictures?

Google just purchased an online graphics startup called ‘Snapseed‘, adding the outstanding features of it’s tools to Google’s already growing list of image editing options.
A photo of Blueberries with the Google logo hidden in the middle
While we like to get people’s attention, this news does not require Snapseed to suddenly be elevated to the status of ‘Instagram rival‘ just for the sake of writing an article.

In fact Snapseed was popular with photographers, not just ‘people taking pictures of their cats’; Something which already declassifies it from comparison to Instagram; Above and beyond the fact that photographers actually paid for Snapseed’s services.

In fact I don’t even need to pretend that:

Google and Facebook Inc are locked in a battle for social network followers

..to bolster this article either, but thanks for your attempt at ‘journalism’ Reuters.

The truth is that G+ isn’t for the MySpace holdouts, nor has it been designed to force people off of FB.

Heck I’m sure there’s users of both systems who will never make the switch and I’m just as sure that the developers working on G+ are fine with that.

You heard it here folks:

  • Google+ is not Facebook.
  • Does Facebook allow me to video chat with my GMail contacts?
  • Can anyone guarantee efforts on Facebook will always be favored by Google?
  • Do FB business pages give me the same professional exposure that a company page on G+ would provide?
  • Would it be worth it to setup rel=author links for employees FB profiles when G+ is far more business worthy?
  • Etc.. etc..

People keep saying things like, “Google is playing catch up in social…“, which is true if you completely ignore the innovations and ways that they are leading social tech.

Google already has some great graphics options like SketchUp:

.. and SVG Edit which is great for HTML5 authoring:

(This is a 3kb SVG script)SVG Edit Logo in SVG Format

.. and Picasa for photos:

Picasa logo

Oreo the Cat - Politely explaining his deepening interest in eating some of his owner's food.
(Which in version 3.9 has a lot of image filters already!)

Heck, speaking of Picasa and Google+, with Picasa installed locally I can organize/edit photos on my desktop and have that organization flow seamlessly to email contacts/friends/public.

With multiple PCs at my disposal, having my efforts tied to a single online sharing point is ‘huge’ to say the least.

In fact, some tools, like SVG Edit, are directly available online, making it a very accessible tool for quick web design work on-the-fly.

If Nik Software’s Snapseed adds even more options to the process then I’m super happy to be a G+ user.

Thanks for all the free love Google!

SEO news blog post by @ 12:43 pm


 

 

July 4, 2012

Understanding Open Graph Protocol

I have been asked several times recently about "what is an Open Graph?" and "How do I use it?" Not having a clear answer, I decided to educate myself so I could share the knowledge.

facebook social graph

The Open Graph protocol is widely implemented by Google and Facebook and in use on large websites such as IMDb, Microsoft, NHL, Time, Yelp and an increasing multitude of other sites. The Open Graph protocol was originally created at Facebook and is inspired by Dublin Core, link-rel canonical, Microformats, and RDFa.

The Open Graph is a protocol that enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. At the center of Facebook’s core is a technology called the Social Graph, which Facebook uses to allow any web page to have the same functionality as any other object on Facebook.

Although there are many other technologies, protocols and schemas that exist that could have been adopted to accomplish a similar technique, there is no single technology that provides enough information to richly represent any web page within the social graph. The Open Graph protocol effectively brings these existing technologies together to offer a unified, simple and powerful way to turn web pages into graph objects.

Facebook’s Graph API allows web sites to draw information from a variety of sources including photos, events, pages and even their relationship between each other. This allows the social graph concept to envelop more than just relationships between individuals to include virtual non-human objects between individual as well.

Making use of the open graph requires the developer to place four basic meta data in the section of the webpage’s html source code:

  • og:title – The title of your object as it should appear within the graph, e.g., “The Rock”.
  • og:type – The type of your object, e.g., “video.movie”. Depending on the type you specify, other properties may also be required.
  • og:image – An image URL which should represent your object within the graph.
  • og:url – The canonical URL of your object that will be used as its permanent ID in the graph, e.g., “http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117500/”.

As an example, the following code is used by IMDB.com for the movie "The Rock"



<html prefix="og: http://ogp.me/ns#">
<head>
<title>The Rock (1996)</title>
<meta property="og:title" content="The Rock" />
<meta property="og:type" content="video.movie" />
<meta property="og:url" content="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117500/" />
<meta property="og:image" content="http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/rock.jpg" />
...
</head>
...
</html>

The Open Graph protocol enables you to integrate your web pages into the social graph. It is currently designed for web pages representing profiles of real-world things — things like movies, sports teams, celebrities, and restaurants. Once your pages become objects in the graph, users can establish connections to your pages as they do with Facebook Pages. Based on the structured data you provide via the Open Graph protocol, your pages show up richly across Facebook: in user profiles, within search results and in News Feed.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:22 pm

Categories:Facebook,web design

 

 

June 28, 2012

Chrome on iOS: Your move Apple

We know that Apple has been making a break from Google, I even blogged about it last week in my ‘Apple: On the Charge!‘ post discussing the switch away from Google Maps and Google Search.

Now, almost as if they were holding back a sucker punch, Google has released a version of Chrome for iOS. This means that you can stay logged into Chrome on almost any device you can connect to the internet with, and that’s some pretty big bragging rights!
 

Google logo with d20 dice
If this was DnD Google just landed a 19 on a d20 attack roll and with Google’s attack bonus Apple is going to either get a critical head shot or get lucky with a dodge roll.

 
Here’s the video Google put out to tease us (this is also a great round up of the Chrome profile option):

 
Now don’t get too excited.. Even with a video demonstration from Google, word is that the App isn’t available yet and common opinion is that Apple is going to stall or veto the option to use Chrome on iOS.

Keep in mind that the browser demo is using the Safari Webkit engine, not Google’s modified engine or rendering improvements. You won’t get flash support from this, and you also won’t be able to make this your default browser even if Apple allows it, which is still dicey. ;)

We’ve been a bit light on the blog this week due to end of month madness but we’ll be back to regular soon, and just in case we don’t manage a Friday post, Happy Canada Day!
A Canadian mountie holding a domokun and a flag

SEO news blog post by @ 1:27 pm


 

 

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