Archive for December, 2006

SEO Tip #1 - Title Tags

Monday, December 18th, 2006

As part of an ongoing series, I’m going to post SEO strategies that may be used to increase website traffic from search engines. I truly believe that SEO is the most effective way to drive qualified traffic with no marketing budget. Therefore, I present my first post on title tags:

Simply put, title tags are very important. They are an integral part of any SEO campaign. Among other elements on a web page that can contribute to a higher SEO rank, the title tag may very well be the most important. It should be short (i.e. no more than 6-7 words at most) to maximize the keyword density ratio. The first 2-3 words MUST contain your most important keywords and phrases. This contributes to a higher keyword/phrase prominence which is also very important.

However, you may be penalized for ‘keyword spamming’ if you repeat these words more than once.

An interesting debate continues to arise with respect to page title and branding. Should a company include its brand name in the title? From a purely SEO point-of-view, the answer is absolutely not - especially if the company is very young and the brand is not very well-known. The reason is that the brand name isn’t descriptive and does not describe the content of the page. This creates an inconsistency among the theme of the page. However, some experts argue that a generic page title is easily forgettable and that branding is essential. Arguments can be made and justified for both sides. My take is that both can be incorporated if done properly. Nevertheless, as a general rule, I would say that a young company should focus on SEO, and an older company should concentrate on branding. Here is an example that incorporates both elements in a logical manner:

< title >Keywords and Phrases – Company Name< /title>

A dash is a good way to separate the keywords and phrases from the company name without confusing the user.

One final key point to note is in reference to lower-level pages. These are the pages of a website that aren’t given much attention and rank low in terms of importance. Because little effort and energy are put forth in terms of SEO, a descriptive title tag is absolutely essential when dealing with these pages.

Web 2.0 All-Star Team

Monday, December 18th, 2006

I thought this would be an interesting exercise…

So without further ado, here is a list of web 2.0 apps that I just couldn’t live without (in no particular order):

I’m sure I missed one or two, but this is where I spend most of my time. Add your list if you’d like…

PS. I don’t consider 9rules an app ;)

Jajah + Apple = iPhone with VOIP?

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Jajah logoRumours are swirling around a possible deal between VOIP up-and-comer Jajah and cultural icon Apple. News of a possible deal first spawned from a MacDailyNews article. Apparently, co-founder Daniel Mattes has been spouting about a possible partnership. The company was contacted about an announcement, but had no news to report.

An announcement may come as early as Monday.

Jajah has maintained a relatively low profile thusfar. The porn star of online VOIP, Skype, garners most of the attention. But Jajah is quickly gaining ground and some are calling it the “Skype Killer”, including myself.

Why all the fuss about a pending deal? What may come of it?

Well, as an announcement is not yet official and details are scarce at best, I think it suffice to say that the structure of such a deal is inconceivable. However, I will tell you why this deal is very important for one of the two players - Jajah.

As I previously mentioned, Jajah has flown below the radar for quite some time. This can be seen as good and bad. It is good when you are in stealth mode and want to conceal your product offering and feature set. But the company is at a time when exponential growth and mainstream penetration is essential to compete on a higher level. A deal with the king of PR, Apple, would not only raise the profile of Jajah, but also create instant credibility among those unfamiliar with this VOIP insurgent.

Apple, on the other hand, would benefit from a solid offering in an area that is not a core competency. Though I do not see this deal as being as important for Apple, I still believe it validates a push by this tech monolith toward perpetual innovation and a cutting-edge product downline.

PayPerPost - Scum Update

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

PayPerPost logoI guess all the negative press and FTC threats finally got to the core of PayPerPost. This Monday, they will announce a new policy making payment disclosure mandatory.

Although this is a step in the right direction, I still strongly disagree with many aspects of their business model. For one, payment disclosure does not need to be contained within the actual post itself (although this is encouraged), but displayed prominently somewhere on the blog.

In addition, advertisers may still require a positive write-up. Finally, advertisers pay a given price no matter the popularity (or lack thereof) of a blog, which makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Nonetheless, kudos to this bottom-feeder for trying to move toward a more ethical business model. They still have a long way to go though…

For more info on the story, visit Mathew Ingram’s blog or Scobleizer.

Web 2.0 Company of the Year

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

Well, the year is nearly over. It’s time to down the rum and egg nog and tidy up our CSS. Not in that order, mind you.

The end of the year brings a time of reflection. It’s a time to ponder the good and the bad. Having said that, I am looking for reader feedback as to who should be named the “Web 2.0 Company of the Year”. I am not going to provide suggestions, as this might create a bias.

Provide a comment with the name of the company and the reason why you think it should be considered for the honour.

Let the games begin…