Posts Tagged Twitter

New Twitter… pretty cool

Today was the first day that I’ve been able to access the “New Twitter” layout and I am really liking it. There is much fanfare out there with people believing this move has been solely driven by Twitter’s need to generate an income from their much loved service.

For me, although it is a massive improvement on the old interface, I find it hard to see people moving away from using third party software such as Tweet Deck and Twhirl as a means of interacting with Twitter. The problem with using Twitter through a browser is that you’d need to keep an instant eye on it. Facebook didn’t have this problem as from the start it was a very image orientated social network.

Not every has been given access to the new Twitter just yet – but it’s definitely coming your way soon!

Here’s a screenshot of my Twitter Timeline:

New Twitter Timeline Screenshot
New Twitter Image

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Getting your website listed on Google

Another common question we are asked on a regular basis is, “How do I get my website listed on Google??

Getting your website listed on Google, is probably one of the easiest things to do when it comes to marketing your website online. It takes only one of a few small steps to make Google’s search bots aware of your website. But just how quickly these search bots come crawling your website to include your website in their search results page depends on which route you take to try get it listed.

When you do eventually get your website listed on Google, remember that this is only half the battle. If you haven’t taken other steps to optimise your website, the likelyhood is that that your website will only be found if someone is looking for your brand or company name.

When 75-80% of people looking for a product or service they require, you can quickly establish that being found only for your business or brand isn’t going to be enough to get the kind of traffic you want.

Here are 4 simple ways of getting your website listed on Google:

  1. Use the Google Add URL page
    Google allows you to add your website address to Google using the following page http://www.google.com/addurl/. This is probably one of the slowest methods of achieving a listing on Google but it works none-the-less.

  2. Get links from other websites
    This method is by far the best way in which you can use to get listed on Google. Links from third party websites are the cornerstone of search engine optimisation, so if you have another website or know someone else who has one, ask them to put a link on their most popular page back to your website.

    It’s not enough to get a link from a page hidden deep down in someone else’s website. The trick is to find a page with a high Google PageRank*. Pages with a higer PageRank are generally crawled by Search Engines more regaularly than those with lower PageRank.

    *The PAGE (and not website) that you receive the link from should ideally have a Google PageRank of 4 or more. You can check a web pages Google PageRank, by downloading and installing the Google Toolbar (www.google.com/toolbar). You will need to edit the settings in order to turn it on.

  3. Socialise
    What I mean by this is that you should start letting people know about your website. Whether that be through posting your link on Twitter, Facebook or even commenting on your favourite blog or discussion forum it all helps to generate links back to your website.

    What I don’t mean is that you should go spamming the world with links back to your website. Using Twitter for example, you post a link to your website and ask your followers to the visit the website. Or when commenting on a blog article, include your website address as part of the posting process.

  4. Add your site to Search Directories
    If all else fails and you are finding it hard to get links back to your website, you can always look at getting links from web directories. There are thousands of search directories that allow you to add your link for free. The same methodology for getting links from other websites applies, look for PAGES with a PageRank of 4 or more.

    Here are a few Irish directories you could add your website to:
    www.search.ie
    www.armchair.ie
    www.browseireland.com

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The Twitter Distraction

A pie chart created in Excel 2007 showing the ...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been just over a year now since I’ve been using Twitter as part of my daily routine. For the initial few months I was regularly updating Twitter with some interesting and some not so interesting tweets.I would set aside at least 15 mins a day to network with people on Twitter or at least post about an article I’ve found or written.

Now however, things have changed quite drastically. I can’t remember the last time I posted a decent tweet or one at all! I know it was sometime last week and it was more of a demonstration to a client as to the power of posting a link on Twitter. Although I want to tweet, I’m increasingly finding it hard to find the time or the will to post something on Twitter. It’s not that I don’t believe in the hype surrounding Twitter, it’s more that I don’t have the time to work at networking through this medium. Sometimes it’s just easier to ring someone and ask them to go for a coffee rather than spend time looking for an opportunity to network with people you know, whether that’s through Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.

Clearly, I’m not the only one feeling this way. In October 2009, the Irish Twitter community was devasted when it appeared that the much loved (and hated) Damien Mulley was no longer using Twitter. How could this be? they asked… One of the most respected online marketing experts in the country had simply given up on Twitter and disappeared into oblivion. It didn’t help of course when he didn’t post on his blog for weeks either. But the reality was, that this wasn’t really the case as he explains on his blog (read here). Damien brings up other things such as privacy in his post which opens up another a whole new can of worms. It’s sad to think that someone can’t just disappear for a couple of says because of their popularity on Twitter!

I read James Forbairts blog today, who too has decided to take a look at the time he spends on Twitter. He takes a more frightening reality on how much time he has “wasted” on Twitter over the past couple of years (read here). To see the amount of time he has spent on Twitter really begs the question as to how worthwhile it really is.

The biggest problem with Twitter is, like every other form of networking, it’s extremely difficult to quantify the value of the work you put into it. One thing is for definite, you will get some sort of return. The problem is you just don’t know how much of it was worth it.

It’s so easy to get distracted by Twitter – I personally use Twhirl to receive all the tweets from people I am following. Most of the time, I completely ignore the pop up messages that appear on my screen each time Twhirl collects the latest tweets for me. But every now and again something does grab my attention and I’m hooked.

Has it been worthwhile for my business – well I guess so, I have got work from it. All of us in business network so people get to know us and hopefully recommend us to someone when they encountered someone looking for our services. The more people you know, the more people are promoting your business and vice versa. Was my conversion ratio high? Not at all, the reality is I’m probably in minus figures at this stage! But that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t me in the long run.

Twitter has now become more spammy than email in terms of my inbox. Most spam emails to my account are filtered out before they even reach my inbox, but the new 5 odd followers my account gets a day go straight into my inbox! Out of courtesy I check out these peoples profiles. The majority are spammers.

Does this mean Tom Doyle now thinks Twitter is dead? Not at all – it’s a new medium and I need to understand it more to enable me to get the most out of it. You need to find the right strategy for your business in order to maximise it’s capabilities. There are numerous examples of how Twitter can help a business promote themselves or “engage” with their clients. But on the flip-side – you can see how quickly people will begin to bore with it.

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What’s the Buzz with Google Buzz??

Google have yet again started rolling out a new application with stealth for the last couple of days. Users of Gmail are gradually being presented with a new screen when they login to Gmail. Rather than being brought directly to their inbox, they are shown a page promoting their new “Buzz” service. “No sign up required” the message happily proclaims.

But what is it and why would I want it?

Basically, Google Buzz is Google’s take on a Twitter styled system. I guess you could say it has everything that Twitter doesn’t. Do we really need another system like this? I’d have to say no, but it is a great way to get people engaging online. For example, Facebook brought in a similar system last year and it’s use grew substantially. Twitter still lags way behind Facebook in terms of users, but it’s simple system is appealing to a lot of people. People new to Twitter will probably feel that Google is trying to rip off Facebook, but that is not the case.

So where does this leave Twitter? For months there were rumours that Google was on the verge of buying Twitter – but it never it just never materialised. Most people within the online community expected it as a fact, rather than something that was about to happen. Personally, I can’t see Google buying Twitter now that it has built it’s own system that is very similar (or a complete rip!) with a lot more features.

It will be interesting to see if this has an effect on Twitter if any at all! One things for sure, Twitter will have to start working extra hard at trying to build a revenue model for the site as it doesn’t look like anyone will be interested in buying them now… unless of course Microsoft want a piece of this! :)

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