Tag Archive for SEO

Building and Sustaining Online Communities

Pope Francis said an interesting and insightful commentary on online social media: “The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity… The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression. … The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful, but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests.” In other words, communities have the power to limit the range of views to only those that they seems culturally appropriate — a small subset of active users can completely change the group dynamics of a community. The responsibility of the managers to find their way to create and sustain healthy communities. I’ve been building and supporting communities for a while. It happened organically — I needed to help a client start a project and build a following around it; then another client needed something similar; after a dozen years (or more), I’ve found myself creating guidelines for communities and the people who help manage them. Below is some of my “wisdoms” from…

Explaining SEO to Clients

I’ve been in meetings where SEO was thrown around like some magic power word — feel like you need to make your arguments stronger? Just say the word! So it’s good that Google made a nice, unthreatening video (note the pink tee-shirt) explaining its position on SEO — “It’s not spam!” — (good to know), that can be shown to clients. Google’s authority on this matter helps alleviate some of the clients’ fears and makes developers’ job a bit easier… Enjoy:

The Value of Trust in Search

There was an interesting article published on the New York Times the other day: “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search.” The article documented the use of Black Hat SEO strategies on behalf of J. C. Penny, leading J. C. Penny to be at the top of multiple Google search results for months. While J. C. Penny didn’t disclose the boost in revenues that the number one placement on Google search produced during the 2010 Christmas shopping season, we can assume it was substantial. The article raises several alarms: How prevalent is the use of “Black Hat” CEO techniques among large commercial companies selling their services online? Since J. C. Penny is a customer worth several million of ad dollars to Google, did Google (for a time) look the other way? [30-11-2010, BBC News: “EU launches antitrust probe into alleged Google abuses,” last visited on 02-14-2011.] Google administers “Google Hell” punishment to the companies that use “Black Hat” strategies to beat its search ranking algorithms. There’s no court, no arbitration, no negotiation. The company simply vanishes from Google search results. These are all about trust. We—the average online citizens—rely on search results for so many needs now. We research our medical…