Thursday, 11 October 2007

Making really soical widgets for FaceBook

Peg Davis posted this week about Widgets and social sites full of virtual swag for the social network masses on Marketing Experiments. Asking what the value of the widgets is, when popular ones are water and food fights?

This is an avenue I have been taking some time to brainstorm. I have yet to come up with something that fits the brand I work with though.

Most of the widgets I have found on facebook do nothing for social or community. And seem little way to get value from. (though I still love adding ones I like.)

Most offer the opportunity to share an image or add a flower or fish to someones page, or versions of poking (little-gamers poke with more humor) like ninja/jedi/pirate. The quizes seem to have some value and you gain information and it is interesting to learn things about friends.

They only seem to increase time on site for FaceBook, and get abandoned quickly. I have dropped the fish and flowers and other sections from my facebook account, as they require other people to actually be interested in giving me a new fish every few days.

I think there needs to be more that leverage the community and shared space. Most just enorage more messaging to talk about them. The best I have come up with is a game of "pass the parcel" (TM me when i get time) You pass the parcel to one of your friends, they have to open the next layer and there coudl be nothing, something funny, a message, an ad, a voucher and a prize or celebrity to the winner. But the key thing is it exists only on the person who has it, so people want to track it and ask that person to pass it on. Much more social, well to me its a start.

Also note here long tail and Tim O'Reily both taking about the small number of widgets with the traffic

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Get real web stats for blogs

I have been a bit fustrated with stats on, as they use Google Analytics themselves and only give you a few days limited stats. I have been thinking of writing my own stats script for image loaded on a client site to record stats. You can see the basic stats and I am sure that is enough for alot of bloggers. I want more detail of my SEO efforts and so was glad I found a package that has an image tracking option.

Clicky who claim to be web analytics 2.0 (not sure quite how 2.0 yet apart from the design) As they record actions as well as pages. They have some extra options like an API to all your data over google analytics so may check them out some more. With the Javascript version rather than the image version I am using on the wordpress site.

They have a trial option for 21 days and then a couple of paid options for upto 50,000 views so not for big sites put small personals and blogs should be good.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Test - using Yahoo search for a week

This week I am going to use Yahoo Search (mostly from in firefox, like normal) instead of Google. I'll look back at google now and then to see what difference the results are. I'll be using the version of each.

I decided to try this for a couple of reasons. One my post last week after reading how the top 10 in each tends to be different. Also working with websites with puchase parts at the moment tend to rank and be crawled better by Yahoo. As opposed to the research style of Google for text content.

My first test today resulted in -1 yahoo +1 google, for my serach for the ServerAlias directive for Apache. 'apache server alias' on Yahoo returned a top 10 on the Alias command, which is for aliasing directories not the whole server domain name. Google got it right with the first result being a page with ServerAlias on. It was resarch query so going with type.

Term | Yahoo | Google | Type(Reseach/Shopping)
'apache server alias' -1 +1 R

The test continues.

Posting your name first in title helps Google rank

I think the change I made last week posting the name of the compnay first in the url for the homepage readlly did work for Google ranking.

I changed from
About the Restaurant << The Black Rat Restaurant, Winchester
The Black Rat << The Black Rat Restaurant, Winchester

And now I get a reasonable rank on google for 'the black rat' on its own, 4th on I think that is quite respectiable as the site does not have any PR yet and there must be millions of pages about real rats, 6,300,000 to be exact.

So quite pleased with my results at the moment.

Offline is a good boost

The other boost the site stats the local county newspaper did one review and one interview and then posted them on two of their websites. So the traffic jumped to double the highest point for a day on friday when it hit the news stands. See if it drops off again this week or not.

Another quick tip:
Put the url in plain text in a post on your blog as Google News tracker seems to like that more that in an a tag when reporting on stats. Not sure if it helps more than that. But it could be why my blog ranks over the main site?