Ranking with Social Media

It may come as no surprise to many people that Google uses social media in ranking websites in the search results. For example one could go the internet right now on Fiverr.com and find hundreds of social media services offering Facebook like, shares, pininterest, tweets, stumbled upon ect. And when you think about it, it makes sense right? I mean we all know Google love fresh content and if there is some content being shared by everyone on social media, then it should be very important. Lately I’ve been thinking about the value of G+ in ranking a website in the search results. I mean Google is pushing it on us and frankly I’ve got no problem with it because I think it might be very useful in SEO. For example, now you comment on YouTube through you G+ page.

I read MOZ article some time ago which reported of a scientific correlation between Google +1’s and higher search engine rankings. Based on that correlation study the number of Google +1 Pages linking to your website is beaten only by page authority. I think I read another article sometime age which said and showed an example of a Google +1 page being listed in the search engine results. Will I jump on ship? I already have my friend. Google owns Google +, don’t you think they will give their social media platform some serious juice? Currently the number of Facebook share a site receives positively affects it ranking in the search results. Google is already doing so with their platform.

I was hoping for the same with GPlus, but the word is that GPlus don’t provide any link juice to your website” Matt Cutts said so”. I was disappointed to hear that, yet I will try and see for myself.

We already know how valuable social media is in ranking you in the search results. My goal is to see how effectively Google +1 pages can help me accomplish this. Will let you know how it goes in a future post.

Link to the Article: http://moz.com/blog/google-plus-correlations

Advertising? Where? Tell me why I should!!

Tim Worstall recently wrote an interesting article on twitter which in effect summed up my thoughts on the social media platform. Here are my though on the aricle.
Tim seem to think that Twitter does not have enough real users to make it valuable to advertisers. Not valuable, whatever does he mean? Doesn’t Twitter claim a user base of approximately 281 million users? Though substantially less than Facebook’s, this is however larger than LinkedIn’s, right? So why would Mr. Worstall believe that Twitter lack monetary value?

Well according to a Forbes article, “Twitter makes 39 cents for every dollar Facebook gets out a user and 30 cents compared to a similar dollar LinkedIn makes on a user.” On this statistic alone, I can see why the author would think so. So in effect, advertisers are reluctant on using the micro blogging platform because it won’t make them enough money. They seem to think that it does not contain a big enough audience. Well in fact, they just may be correct right.

The 281 million accounts Twitter claimed to have are not individual users but accounts. So it would be more correct to say that Twitter has 281 million accounts. Out of these accounts, an individual may have more than one. Hey, don’t I have 2 twitter accounts, one for which I’ve forgotten the password? I wonder whether it is still active, Hmmmm?

Are you getting my point here? But wait, it gets more interesting. Haven’t you ever seen a Tweeter user starts following you, but when you do visit his/her profile all you can see on the timeline is a bunch of links pointing to a product or service? What are the chances that there is an actual individual sending out those tweets every 20-30 minutes? Also what are the chances that the individual running this bot have more than one account similar to this one? Even without any calculations, we can probably estimate the total Twitter user count to be a lot less than the acclaimed 281 million. So Tim Worstall’s article title that “there maybe aren’t enough real people on Twitter to make it valuable” may just be right! Why would advertisers pay to get thousands of ad impressions from a bunch bots that for sure aren’t there to buy squat?

This reminds me of MySpace in their dying days when they claimed to have millions of registered accounts, only a few of which were active. How do I know? Well it is because I attempted to run a cost per impression advertising campaign, which was discontinued by MySpace because it was just not getting enough impressions. That’s how I knew there was no one on MySpace anymore. Then again I may have not bid enough money to have my ads shown. But then again, I seriously that this was the case.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the micro blogging platform is headed down a one-way track leading to the end of their existence. I am just saying that they need to clean up their platform and find a way to increase their actual active real user count, and soon enough they may just be knocking heads and matching dollar for dollar with Facebook and LinkedIn.

Interesting Blog 4: Top Aligned Labels

Whenever I am prompted to fill out my credit card information in order to purchase a product, I immediately check for a pay through PayPal option. I opt to use PayPal not because I don’t trust the website, but because I hate filling out forms. Filling forms take too much of my time and I know many other user feel just like I do.  Is there a way that website owners can make filling out form less of a hassle for customers?

In this post the author argues that aligning labels at the top of form fields can make it easier for users to fill out the form. He argues that top aligned labels require half the fixation that left or right aligned labels ask of viewers. It allows the user to move in one visual direction rather than two.

It is a very interesting blog indeed and is definitely something to think about if you plan on getting information from your website visitors. Here is link to the blog post if you decide to learn more about it. http://uxmovement.com/forms/faster-with-top-aligned-labels/

Image:  http://uxmovement.com/forms/faster-with-top-aligned-labels/

Interesting Blog post 4: The Obvious, the Easy, and the Possible

The Obvious, the Easy, and the Possible, three important elements one should keep in mind when developing a product for the market. How can we balance them and make a wonderful and usable product? Here is a link to a blog post telling you how to balance it out and achieve your goal of creating a beautiful product.

http://37signals.com/svn/posts/3047-the-obvious-the-easy-and-the-possible

Interesting Blog 3: Colors Colors Colors

Let’s face it; usability is indeed the most important factor when creating a user interface. After all end-users will be put off by a computer system or interface if they have difficulty using it. Therefore we take great care in creating a system that will help users easily achieve their goals. But what about design and its appeal to our low level visual system? Research has shown that aesthetics can give a perceived ease-of-use and increase acceptability. Through the correct use of colors can give our interface that look that will give users an amazing experience. In the end, we don’t just want our website to be usable but also enjoyed.

But how do we go about achieving this? Do we just choose the colors we love and hope that users will also find it appealing?  Remember a wrong color scheme or combination can send people running away from your website like a cat running from a pack of dogs. So what can you do then? I stumbled across an interesting blog with a series of articles title “Creating Consistently Colorful User Experiences”. It was written by Andrew Maier who designs interactions and user experiences for a wide variety of clients.  Why don’t you visit his blog and learn how to make colors work in your favor.

http://www.uxbooth.com/blog/creating-consistently-colorful-user-experiences-part-1-theory/

red fireorks

Source: Express Monorail

Interesting Blog 2: Fun Can Improve Your Design

I came across a blog post written by Frank Spillers titled: “The Science of Fun: How Fun Helps Improve Your Design”. He is a professional usability consultant who has worked with a number of large firms such as: Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Four Seasons, Logitech, and Microsoft just to name a few. In this blog post he shows how fun and a pleasant user experience can be used as a great usability tool.  He outlines how you can design to the users’ emotions to make them more acceptable of your products. Why don’t you visit this blog post to see what I’m talking about?

http://www.demystifyingusability.com/2010/01/the-science-of-fun-how-fun-helps-improve-your-design.html

An Interesting Blog I Stumbled Upon

I subscribed to a blog called “A List Apart” which I think gives invaluable advice to those of us who build website particularly for business purposes. On 6th September 2011, Kristin Smaby wrote an article called “Being Human is Good Business” in which she outlined the major errors people make when dealing with customers. Upon reading this article one may realize that the principles of good customer service fall under the category of what we’ve been discussing on this blog all along: User Centered Design. As she stated, customers are not shy to voice their feedback on your level of service, which could very well mean the success of failure of your business. She also noted that too often we focus too much on resolving the issue and end up forgetting the individual behind the issue. In many cases those people resolving the issue know nothing about the person who had this issue and deceives themselves into thinking that they have provided good customer service. It is not truly possible to satisfy the customer when he or she has been disconnected from the issue. This concept which is called Issue-Centric Customer Service focuses on how swiftly an issue can be closed instead of how best the customer can be served. I invite you to read through this article, there is so much to learn. The information provided is suitable for anyone who is involved in a line of work where they deal will other people, which include almost every one of us.


Here is a link to this blog: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/being-human-is-good-business/