Facebook’s Guide to Viral Marketing

A .pdf from Facebook about how to use their tools to promote yourself virally.

Fishing for new activists to add to email file

I had to highlight an online flash game I found that was developed for Conserve our Oceans, called the Ocean Survivor Game.

It’s a great way of creating activist and adding their emails to Conserve our Ocean’s email file, but unfortunately, you’re not going to find the game though search, only through the organization’s website (I tried to find it).

A search for “blue fin tuna” displays the Environmental Defense Fund’s activism page, and the World Wildlife Fund’s activism page – because it’s filled with the word “blue fin tuna” (in the title and page text, though it could use a description tag).

How could Conserve our Ocean get more traffic? First, they should add keywords to the text of their page and in their meta tags. Second they should try to get prominent bloggers to mention their game (like Treehugger.com who has 510,336 visitors per month vs. Conserve Our Ocean’s site with 4,123 – based on compete.com data).

Third, they should partner with places like the Monterey Bay Aquarium and see if they would post a link to the game. Put it on their facebook page, or even better, turn it into a Facebook Application. I would play it if a friend sent me along or if I could compete with my friends for higher scores. They could even buy a Facebook ad related to the game and have it display on profiles that use keywords related to the ocean or fishing.

They should also get NOAA’s educational page to link to the game. Not only does the NOAA site get over 4 million visitors a month, but it also would be a quality inbound link coming from a .gov site.

It’s a great tool, and a fun game. I hope that Conserve our Ocean gets a chance to promote it more broadly.

Nonprofit Best Practices: Use of Flash

I like to spread the news of innovative online strategies to engage activists, and Amnesty International has one that I’d like to share called tearitdown.org.

Visitors get to sign their online petition and get to “own” a pixel of a picture of prisoners at Guantanam. It’s taking action to “tear down” the prison.

The site is very well done and worth interacting with.

Website Audits

If you’ve attended one of my search marketing trainings, you’ve probably seen me conduct a site audit where I take a look at the code of the page to evaluate how well the site is optimized for search engines. I’ve discovered a site where the author (Scott Hendison) conducts videos of website audits. I think it’s a great place to review everything I cover in my trainings.

Google can now read forms

There has been yet another change in the Google algorithm – this time in a positive direction for web designers and for searchers.  For years it has been impossible for Google to read and execute forms, which means that content behind the form (a great example is McDonald’s site, where the spider would not be able to get to local country content without selecting a country from a drop down box). However, in most cases a drop down form like the one used on the McDonald’s site is a good option from a usability perspective.

Google is now filling out the forms and indexing the content behind the forms. Here’s the response from Google about how it fills out the forms: “For text boxes, our computers automatically choose words from the site that has the form; for select menus, check boxes, and radio buttons on the form, we choose from among the values of the HTML.”

Google won’t access the form if it’s blocked by the robots.txt or meta robots instructions, and they are avoiding forms that require any kind of user information like a password, login, etc.

So designers now don’t need to worry about creating a design that relies on form completion to access some of the content. The article on Search Engine Land by Danny Sullivan doesn’t mention if Yahoo and Live are also planning on indexing the content, but you have to assume that once Google starts indexing that content, the others will follow.

Change in Google’s Search Algorithm

Saw this on article about a change in Google’s search algorithm on Search Engine Land, and thought it was big enough to share with my blog readers. Google has been testing and will roll out this change soon a new way of displaying results based on the previous query made.

Like the article suggests, if you searched for “Spain” and then did a new search for “travel” your results  (paid and organic) for “travel” would focus on travel to Spain.

You can read more about it here.

Top 25 Blog List from Time Magazine

The list is categorized by content and online voting, so make of it what you will, though most also have a decent amount of traffic.

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