Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Web 2.0 Exposed (Part 1)

About the author: Dan Cannon is the Lead Web Applications Developer for Nicasio Design and Development. Nicasio provides web based solutions for both individuals and businesses. Nicasio is highly proficient in WordPress design and development. Nicasio also owns and operates the E-Commerce solution NicE-Comm.

Web 2.0 and Search Engine Optimization are two of the most used terms in web design and development today. Everyone says your website needs to be a “Web 2.0” site and needs to take advantage of search engine optimization (SEO for short), but no one is really addressing how these two aspects of modern web development work together and how they can be improved for the modern online era. I will try to shed some light on this topic in this 2 part series of articles.

What is this Web 2.0 I Keep Hearing About?

From Wikipedia:
The term “Web 2.0” describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aim to enhance creativity, communications, secure information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web culture communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies. The term first became notable after the O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004.[1][2] Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but rather to changes in the ways software developers and end-users utilize the Web. Read More Here.

In a nutshell, Web 2.0 refers to the paradigm shift in the way websites are designed and used. It puts more power in the hands of the user by allowing them to contribute content, media and their opinions quickly and easily. This can be done in the form of social networks, blogs, wikis, discussion boards and countless other methods for information dissemination on the modern web.

While the term Web 2.0 doesn’t refer to any specific technologies or protocols there are some emerging technologies which are generally thought of as ‘Web 2.0’ technologies. These include AJAX, Flash, streaming media (audio and video), podcasts, and a few others beyond the scope of our discussion today.

Web 2.0 and SEO?

This is the million dollar question. How are all of these new Web 2.0 website models and technologies changing the SEO game? What do you need to know to make sure search engines can find your new shiny Web 2.0 site?

Social Networks
There are a multitude of factors that need to be taken into account when optimizing your new Web 2.0 venture to be search engine friendly (SEF). One big issue on modern sites is that of privacy. What are you going to allow search engines to crawl? What information will be plublic? Take a social network. You may need to tell a search engine *not* to index a particular part of your site because it contains sensitive user data. So the issue has become not only trying to get good content and get it indexed, but making sure that your users are protected by making sure that only the right content is indexed. If you are going to feature user generated content you need to be careful about what information the search engines can find and who can view it. Keeping your users happy is every bit as important as driving new traffic to your site.

Blogging is quickly becoming the main news channel of the world.Through blogging people can get a multitude of opinions and perspectives right from their computer. If you have or are thinking of starting a blog you will want to make sure people can find your articles. I’m assuming the reason you are writing is because you want people to read your writing.

Many blogging platforms are now SEO ready right out of the box from a technical stand point. All you have to do is fill them with good content. Google in particular seems to love blogs. On occasion my articles will be indexed within an hour of being published. In a world where there are probably hundreds if not thousands of blog posts being published a minute you will need to make sure your blog is regularly updated with new content to ensure you remain at the top of search results.

RSS feeds are changing the way people read news and while they are directly an SEO approach you need to take RSS into account on any new Web 2.0 site, especially blogs. Many people do almost all of their blog reading through RSS feeds. Personally I browse through dozens of RSS feeds everyday and will read hundreds of headlines. However, only a small handful catch my attention enough to make me open the article. You need to make sure your blog post titles grab people’s attention and make them want to read more about what you have to say. Take a look at your RSS feed in different readers on different devices. Make sure people using mobile devices, netbooks, or desktops can all view your article in their RSS reader without incident. You are always looking to increase your audience size, and having a loyal RSS following is a great way to increase your traffic in the Web 2.0 world.

Next Steps

If you are interested in partnering with a firm that understands the elements and needs of a modern website then Nicasio Design and Development is here to help. Feel free to check out our website or contact us today to learn about how we can help you meet your goals on the web.

Make sure to look for Part 2 of this article later this week when I will continue to address Search Engine Optimization in a Web 2.0 world.

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