This Month in SEO & Social Media: May 2011

Welcome to another edition of Pierce Communications’ This Month in SEO and Social Media in which we’ll try to explain the latest developments in the fascinating world of SEO and Internet Marketing. It’ll make for good Friday reading! ;)


Google launches +1 button for websites
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As you may remember from the previous SEO update, Google has created a rival for the Facebook “Like” button which they called “Google +1”. Up to now this upvote button was only available on search engine results pages. But now Google has released code that allows people to implement the +1 button straight on their webpages, which makes +1 a must-have button to implement on blogs.

To see the +1 button in action, check out this blog post as an example. As you can see there’s a +1 button at the top there right below the Twitter tweet button. This +1 button allows you to upvote the blog post, which will have an impact in how this blog post appears in Google’s search results and might even positively influence that webpage’s rankings in Google.

This excellent blog post from the Digital Marketing Institute also explains the +1 button and all its caveats in detail.


Twitter launches Follow button
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Twitter is taking more control over how it is used and promoted on the web. Recently Twitter bought Tweetdeck (a 3rd party app that allows you to organise your twitter streams) and now they’ve released a Follow button that, when implemented, allows users to follow a Twitter account without having to go to that account’s Twitter page.

By implementing this Follow button on your website you can get users to follow you on Twitter with just one click. It’s different from the Tweet button that’s been in use for a while: the tweet button allows users to instantly tweet the webpage / blog post they are on, while the Follow button lets users follow that website’s Twitter account.

So Which Social Media Buttons Should We Have?
With all these new Google & Twitter buttons it’s easy to get confused about which social media buttons a website should implement. In my opinion it’s best to keep things clean & lean, focusing only on the big ones. That means websites should have the following:

  • Facebook Like for the company’s professional Facebook page
  • Facebook Like/Recommend on individual blog posts
  • Twitter Follow for the company’s official twitter account
  • Twitter tweet buttons for individual blog posts
  • Google +1 for individual blog posts
  • LinkedIn Share buttons for individual blog posts

For now I believe this is sufficient. If more buttons than these are implemented it’s easy for a webpage to get crowded, and due to button-overload users are likely not to click on anything at all.


Google and Bing announce schema.org
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Technically this is news for June as it was announced yesterday (June 2nd), but it’s such huge news I didn’t want to wait until next month to inform you all. This is a bit technical so I’ll try to keep the technobabble to a bare minimum:

It’s about the concept of the semantic web: coding up websites in such a way that computers – and search engines – don’t just see the content of a website, but also get information about what that content is about. This basically allows search engines to understand the context of a webpage, which is a big deal as historically this is where computer technology has been lacking.

Yesterday Google and Bing announced that they want to standardise this semantic web on one specific type of semantic mark-up: microdata. Before this announcement there were three standards that all competed to become the standard semantic mark-up code (RDFa and microformats being the other two), but with this announcement that rivalry is likely to end and microdata is the way forward.
If you have any questions about these latest developments, or want to talk with experienced professionals about your own SEO and social media strategies, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.