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May 21, 2008

SEO for Web 2.0

Ever since whispers of Web 2.0 started in 2004, rumors have flown fast and furious. Within two weeks of Tim O’Reilly (founder of O’Reilly Media) coining the phrase, there were over 100 guesstimated definitions for Web 2.0. So what is it? Web 2.0 is basically the concept of using the Internet for bigger business purposes than simple Websites. It includes a wide range of areas like shared multi media, social networking, online collaboration and adding the human factor back in to the Web.

Primary tools of Web 2.0 include video sharing sites such as YouTube; Wiki sites like Wikipedia; blogs and various “live face” technologies. We’ll cover three of the fastest and easiest ways to optimize for Web 2.0, beginning with blogs.

1.) SEO for Blogs

Optimizing a blog is one of the absolute best ways to capture Google’s most coveted top spots very quickly. You can hit number 1 on Google in a matter of days. Here’s how you do it…

  1. First, find a good blogging tool. There are plenty out there. I use WordPress (http://www.WordPress.org.) I originally picked it because it was so quick and easy to setup. And soon I realized the platform does 50% of SEO by its very nature. It’s free and you can get thousands of themes, to fit any style you wish, also for free.
  2. Next, make sure your hosting provider can support your blog. I’ve never seen one that can’t. If you are starting fresh, do a Google search for “WordPress blog hosting” and you’ll find great packages that only cost $25 for a whole year. Just avoid the freebie hosts since you are almost guaranteed to be sharing server space (and likely an IP range) with sites banned by Google, which can cost you your ranking.
  3. Once your blog app is installed, turn on the “permalink” option from the control panel. This ensures each posting you enter will also get its own URL. And finally, start entering postings of 200 words or more, focusing on only one or two keywords per post. Try to begin each post title with the primary keyword for that topic.
  4. To best optimize your keywords and content follow the steps outlined in SEO cbt’s release “Google Domination” (http://www.SEOcbt.com). This is a free computer based training module for SEO do it yourselfers that works extremely well. It was not written specifically for blogs but all the information is perfectly suited to them.

Inside Tip: Register your domain name for a five year period or longer. Just extend it if needed. Google has been known to check “whois” records and assumes the longer the domain is registered in advance, the more “real” the site is.

2.) SEO for YouTube Videos

YouTube accounts for more than 60% of ALL online videos watched in the US. And your YouTube videos can be found in Google’s search results just like any normal Web page. This means they can rank number 1 in just days, with the right SEO.

If you’re looking to capitalize on SEO for Web 2.0, this is a fast and free way to do it. I won’t get into how to upload the videos and optimize the frame size, etc. That said; let’s assume you have signed up for your free account at YouTube.com and are ready to upload your first video using their easy to follow instructions. This is all the SEO you need to know…

  1. When forming your title, think in terms of “long tail” keywords, meaning keyword phrases of three or more words. Be sure these are in the same order people would search for them (eg/ “long tail keywords” not “keywords long tail.”) Also try to anticipate what the user will type in his search. “How to” is one of the most common search phrases people use in Google and YouTube to get answers quick.
  2. Think of “tags” as keywords and enter them like you would the Meta keyword tag of a web page. Select only the most likely search terms people are using and keep the words in the order people use them. Don’t just use random words separated by commas. Use full length search phrases exactly how people search for them. And don’t go too crazy here. Excessive tags tend to confuse the YouTube engine. Incidentally, if you have “how to” as a tag, also add “howto” (without the space.) If “how to” returns a bunch of unrelated junk your “howto” tag can better cut to the chase in YouTube’s search engine.
  3. The description is where you have the most freedom. It’s best to begin the description with your main keyword (and title) as close to the beginning as possible. Something like this works well… “Learn how to…” then follow up with several sentences rich in long tail keywords (the same ones from your tags.) Grammar is not the most important thing in the world but try to make it friendly for people who might read the description before they decide to watch the video. Also remember that Google uses a natural text algorithm that can spot unnatural keyword spamming a mile away.

Real Life Example: I just saw a commercial on TV for a spy movie and someone threw a knife. I went to Google and entered “how to throw a knife” (without quotes.) The top three matches include a YouTube video and Wiki entry. Wow! Welcome to Web 2.0!

3.) SEO Using “Live Face” Technology

One of the biggest reasons for the dot com crash of ’01 was that Websites became way too impersonal. One of Web 2.0’s strengths is the ability to help people relate to people once again. And one of the hottest technologies leading the way is “Live Face.”

Live Face allows a video spokesperson to meet, greet and inform your Web page visitors. As far as SEO benefits, any sort of video has usually involved heavy RealTime or Flash files that block search engine spiders and hurt rankings. Now however, there are services like Live Face for Web (http://www.LivefaceForWeb.com) that can add full length videos to your site without it interfering with onsite SEO one bit (due to the file’s location) while greatly enhancing offsite efforts such as acquiring the highest quality one way and reciprocal links.

Most sites employing this technology report conversion increases of up to 5x. This means they are converting up to five times the number of sales they did before using Live Face technology.

Real Life Example: The SEOcbt.com site mentioned earlier uses Live Face for Web and they hit number one on Google for all of their major keywords within two weeks of site launch.

That’s a good start to SEO for Web 2.0. Good luck!


Mike Small is a ten year veteran SEO specialist with thousands of top search engine rankings to his credit. He is the author of seven SEO books and founder of SEOpartner.com.

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