SEOBookStack.png

We have been exploring all kinds of exciting futuristic uses for Twitter Annotations. We have never had a real time web message bus before. This opens up so many game-changing opportunities.

But many of them are complex and have multiple moving parts. These can take time to get traction. Often the first app to get traction helps with one simple task in a measurable way.

That simple immediate use case maybe SEO.

Photo courtesy Flickr and Marcio Okabe.
SEOBookStack.png

We have been exploring all kinds of exciting futuristic uses for Twitter Annotations. We have never had a real time web message bus before. This opens up so many game-changing opportunities.

But many of them are complex and have multiple moving parts. These can take time to get traction. Often the first app to get traction helps with one simple task in a measurable way.

That simple immediate use case maybe SEO.

Photo courtesy Flickr and Marcio Okabe.

Why Is This Different From URL Shorteners?

The Twitter SEO game so far has been:

1. Create content on your site

2. Tweet about it, with a shortened link within the 140 characters

3. Hope to get some Retweet action

4. Hope some who see the Tweet in the timeline will see the link and click on it.

Google’s announcement of Rich Snippets on May 12, 2009 changed the search game. Historians may create a footnote that Yahoo pioneered this with Search Monkey, but it was the move by the dominant search engine that changed the landscape.

Suddenly RDFa became something that webmasters needed to understand. Then both Twitter and Facebook joined the RDFa momentum. Now it is a mandatory part of SEO 101.

From Click Quantity To Click Quality

The game before rich snippets was mostly about raw traffic. Whether you measured clicks or page views was a question of whether you sold CPC or CPM ads. But this was never the game for the marketers. They look for conversion. And they pay the bills, so conversion is what sites have to focus on.

That is where metadata changes the game. It used to be:

1. Somebody clicks to your site.

2. They hunt around for the right information.

3. When they find the right information, they take an action that is monetizable.

If you are selling CPM ads, that step 2 is valuable (it creates a page view). For users and marketers it is a waste. And users and marketers call the shots.

Rich Snippets can cut out step 2. So can any other search engine that can parse RDFa metadata. And the number of search engines that can parse metadata is increasing.

Metadata Makes It Easier For Other Search Engines

The emerging search stack – using distributed crawlers and open source tools such as Lucene/Solr – makes it easier for niche search engines. More metadata makes it even easier within a niche. Consider Stocktwits which makes use of the convention that adding $ in front of a stock symbol is a form of metadata. So the Stocktwits search engine can look for $AAPL in a tweet and know the tweet is about Apple’s stock price. Now add some really structured content in Annotations.

With the emerging search stack and metadata, any site can create their own vertical search.

It is not just Google and Bing searching the Twitter firehose. It is lots of start-ups. But they need help parsing the chatter to get to meaningful data. Annotations helps them to do that and they will deliver those relevant clicks to your site.

So, Mr. SEO expert, how are you planning on marking your site so that you can embed Annotations that bring traffic back to your site?

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CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

Why Is This Different From URL Shorteners?

The Twitter SEO game so far has been:

1. Create content on your site

2. Tweet about it, with a shortened link within the 140 characters

3. Hope to get some Retweet action

4. Hope some who see the Tweet in the timeline will see the link and click on it.

Google’s announcement of Rich Snippets on May 12, 2009 changed the search game. Historians may create a footnote that Yahoo pioneered this with Search Monkey, but it was the move by the dominant search engine that changed the landscape.

Suddenly RDFa became something that webmasters needed to understand. Then both Twitter and Facebook joined the RDFa momentum. Now it is a mandatory part of SEO 101.

From Click Quantity To Click Quality

The game before rich snippets was mostly about raw traffic. Whether you measured clicks or page views was a question of whether you sold CPC or CPM ads. But this was never the game for the marketers. They look for conversion. And they pay the bills, so conversion is what sites have to focus on.

That is where metadata changes the game. It used to be:

1. Somebody clicks to your site.

2. They hunt around for the right information.

3. When they find the right information, they take an action that is monetizable.

If you are selling CPM ads, that step 2 is valuable (it creates a page view). For users and marketers it is a waste. And users and marketers call the shots.

Rich Snippets can cut out step 2. So can any other search engine that can parse RDFa metadata. And the number of search engines that can parse metadata is increasing.

Metadata Makes It Easier For Other Search Engines

The emerging search stack – using distributed crawlers and open source tools such as Lucene/Solr – makes it easier for niche search engines. More metadata makes it even easier within a niche. Consider Stocktwits which makes use of the convention that adding $ in front of a stock symbol is a form of metadata. So the Stocktwits search engine can look for $AAPL in a tweet and know the tweet is about Apple’s stock price. Now add some really structured content in Annotations.

With the emerging search stack and metadata, any site can create their own vertical search.

It is not just Google and Bing searching the Twitter firehose. It is lots of start-ups. But they need help parsing the chatter to get to meaningful data. Annotations helps them to do that and they will deliver those relevant clicks to your site.

So, Mr. SEO expert, how are you planning on marking your site so that you can embed Annotations that bring traffic back to your site?

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• Don’t forget to propose your startup for our Semantic Web Impact Awards. The deadline is Sept. 15.

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