Websites which target globally many countries have usually a dropdown in the home page to select language & country. Sometimes they are configured to point visitors to localized pages by redirects or through changing the content to the user’s language. rel-alternate-hreflang annotation is a new way supported by Both Google & Yandex to specify homepages. This would look like
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://website.com/” hreflang=”x-default” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://website.com/en-us” hreflang=”en-us” /> Targetted for US
The new x-default hreflang attribute value tells the Google algorithm that website.com is the default page & doesn’t target any country or language. This helps webmasters set x-default hreflang attribute value to suit particular requirements of the country based websites. This can be done through sitemaps or through HTML coding. More info about the same can be had at official Google Webmaster Central blog
Google has introduced +1, similar to Facebook’s Like. Google has been taking the search experience more social with this +1. Google will be slowly rolling this out, however it is avaialble in experimental search site. +1 stands for “this is pretty cool”. By logging into the google accounts, you can add this feature from their experimental site. Go to google.com & search with a keyword. This +1 appears & you can click on to recommend it. All the +1′s you have made will be availble in your Google profiles. This is a smart move by Google with the increasing of Facebook’s like.
Starbucks has embraced the digital marketing & social media into its overall marketing strategy. Starbucks has a website where users can submit ideas & can be voted by others. It has also included sponsored tweets in Twitter to promote free goodies for tax day. It has also promoted deals in foursquare. Starbucks facebook promotions have also helped it increase the brand awareness. Blogs on the website helped provide a communication with the customers. Starbucks social media promotions have helped it develop good rapport with its big customer base.
Ask.com has launched its new Q&A Partner Platform. Questions are routed to members of the community based on their interest & profile. The company has partnered with the Susan G. Komen for “Answers for the Cure” program,. By answering the questions, members can help rasie money for the charity.
Ask will contribute ten cents to Komen for every question answered, from now through the end of the year. Members will receive badges for questions answered. This is a unique move by ask.com as this helps it increase the members base & also serving the charities as well. Search engines are diversifying into newer areas. Google has ventured into such areas as energy.
With Facebook being the top social networking site & also a major source of search, it is essential to optimize the facebook profile, group & fan pages. Users are looking for information in facebook & searching through various keywords. Facebook has more than 500 million members. This provides a great base of users. Hence a properly optimized page will help drive the traffic. Campaigns, offers & other special features with rich content make the pages info rich. Also the pages should be promoted to increase the fan base. All the information should be given in the pages with keyword rich text. Google is also displaying the information from Facebook in its search pages & a properly optimized fan or profile page would easily make it to the Google search results. Several companies are launching promotions through facebook only & to increase the conversion for these promotions it is very essential to have a clear strategy of how to make the pages attractive to the users & search engines. Also facebook pages should be promoted in other marketing activities as well. This helps spread the word of mouth about the pages.
Web 2.0 sites like facebook, youtube, twitter & others have become a big source of traffic. Social media analytics is growing by the day. Social Media Analytics differs from the normal website metrics. In Social media, we have to measure the ways users interact & also the conversation. These analytics helps increase the traffic & conversion for the sites. Google is also fetching the information from Twitter & Facebook for display in search results. Keywords can be tracked to understand what keywords the feeds are appearing. The analytics helps discovery of new audience & users who act as the brand ambassadors. Real time monitoring of the data is important in this analytics. Based on the findings, strategies can be made to develop a positive tone about the brand or service.
Facebook analytics involves measuring the user visits, the path they take, anonymous visits, type of conversation like whether positive or negative, clickthroughs on the ads & others. Youtube analytics involves no. of times videos viewed, subscribers, page views & others. In twitter, the measurement involves the Geo location, Sentiment of the conversation & others. Many big analytics vendors are now incorporating these measurements as well.
With the transition of yahoo US & Canada search results being powered by bing now, it sets up a fight between Google & Bing. Bing has been improving phenomenally since its launch. It recently launched a version for Verzion android platform. Bing has improved its image search & google also changed its image search recently. There are also searches like oneriot, twitter which are providing the real time search. Yandex & Baidu are also coming out with the english search. All this points at a fragmented search industry but Google still leading the race.
Sharing is the key of Social Media. To be successful in the social Space, companies need to prepare internally as well. The employees should be empowered with right skills. There should be proper social guidelines & corporate policy as well. The customers of the company should be analyzed with respect to their social behavior. This helps creating the strategy aligned with the trends. Analytic tools should be used to understand the consumer behavior. Social Media is a dynamic area & organizations should be aware of the changing social media landscape to reap benefits. Videos, Audio, Links, Content, information are some of the important sharing items in Social Space. This also helps increase the Brand visibility. Top brands are using the social space to connect with the customers.
Real Time search is one where there is no time gap between composition & publishing. Twitter was one of the first websites to have successfully used the Concept of Real time search. Social Media has taken a big leap with real Time search. With the spread of internet & people wanting more information, real time search is the future of search. Google & Microsoft have also introduced real time search into its search. However, real time search may not always mean the relevant search. Relevancy should be built into the real time search to get meaningful results. There are also niche search engines providing real time search. Real time search helps find breaking news stories, status updates from Facebook, twitter & others. Social media has resulted in intense use of real time search. It is like the breaking news of the TV. However, many doubt if real time search is the future of search.