Shane McDonald Facebook pixel

Facebook Down & Offline, Facebook users need their fix…

Is Facebook Down? As of 1pm today, Facebook has been offline. For some it is very slow loading for others it just shows en error like …

Server not found
Firefox can’t find the server at www.facebook.com.

Twitter usage is up as a result with 20-50 tweets per minute about Facebook.

We will just have to wait for Facebook to come back on-line – I’m sure its nothing serious but is certainly unexpected as Facebook haven’t had too many outages in recent times.

Solution

However if you need your fix http://m.facebook.com/ does work !!

I Saw a very funny twitter post from @ Nathan4791 “With Facebook Down I give it 3 hours before people start eating each other.”

Google Trends for SEO Keyword Research

Google Trends for SEO Keyword Research

Its been a while since I posted a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) post and this is quite a useful one for choosing your SEO Keywords or Key-Phrases for you TITLE, DESCRIPTION and BODY content. This tool from Google is called “Google Trends” and it allows you to view relative search volumes and seasonal keyword search trends between two or more keyword phrases. For example if you want to see how people are searching on the web, you can include these keywords into Google Trends and leave it do its work. Below, I have done a search for Golf Course, Golf Club and Golf Links for the past 12 months using the Irish Datacentres.  Golf Club and Golf Course are usually the same thing in reality, but what do people search for?

Google Trends for SEO Keyword Research - SEO Tool This can show that Golf Club is used more than Golf Course. This is important when choosing your SEO Keywords. So if you are a Golf Course you can choose to go for the most searched term “Golf Club” or the less competitive term “Golf Course”. Selecting a less competitive search term can help you when you setup a website. If you are promoting a very competitive keyword, e.g. “music download” which is the second most competitive keyword term, you can try combine this into a niche 3 word phrase, e.g. “classical music download” , “free music download” or “irish music download”. You can then use Google Trends to see which keyword combination would be best for you. If you were to search for something like “Festival” or “Mothers Day” you would be able to see the annual trends for these terms, which may be interesting for you when selecting keywords for your business website. This is only one use for Google trends and there is much more that this system offers. For a bit of fun, take a look at this Google Trend : LINK It shows how talk of Recession is going down and Cheating is going up. Especially a huge spike , dated November 19th, when Theirry “Le Cheat” Henry decided he wanted to take up Gaelic Football for a few seconds. Play around with Google trends and you should find some uses to assist your SEO Keyword Research.

PhotoSketch can Montage a Photo Automatically

Students in China have proposed that a technology called PhotoSketch can create an Internet image montage from other photos. The project from 5 Chinese Computer Science and Technology students at the Tsinghua University and the National University of Singapore say that their PhotoSketch research paper can create a unique photo using other photos.

All you have to do to create your PhotoSketch is:

1) Create an outline of the figures you want in your photo, e.g. an Airplane, Bird and a Sunset

2) Create and add labels for each of the outlined items in step 1, as well as for the photo background.

3) The PhotoSketch system will then search for web images which match your outline. PhotoSketch will then complie them into a Photo Montage.

Apparently the initial results for PhotoSketch Demo are something beyond what any current automated tool can provide.

The Abstract of the system reads as follows;
We present a system that composes a realistic picture from a simple freehand sketch annotated with text labels. The composed picture is generated by seamlessly stitching several photographs in agreement with the sketch and text labels; these are found by searching the Internet. ” – Tao Chen, Ming-Ming Cheng, Ping Tan, Ariel Shamir, Shi-Min Hu, (Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University & National University of Singapore)

The students at T.U and N.U.S have results from a PhotoSketch Demo:
Visit http://cg.cs.tsinghua.edu.cn/montage/main.htm for details

Optimizing your Website : Organic SEO #2

This is the second post regarding tips and tricks you can use to improve your organic SEO or search engine optimization.

1 – Creating a Useful Web Presence
If you can create a useful web presence then you will be default get some good traffic. More and More, Google is moving towards natural searching patterns, so if an article is written for the audience (people) rather thank being stuffed with keywords aimed at search engines, keeping visitors in mind, then it should do well.

2 – Update your site often
Keep the site well updated, don’t let any content go out of date – this will ensure that your site will not be ignored by the search engines. One trick is to update your site with relevant breaking news or related topics as soon as possible – for example, one email company used Google alerts and on a day when GMail went down, their site was updated within minutes saying “Fed up with GMail Outages – Buy our Email Solution” – this was reflected in their Google AdWords campaigns and showed how an opportunity in their business field was taken advantage of.

3 – The Right Content
Wherever possible try to create sticky content. Sticky Content, or having a sticky site, refers to how longe people will stay on your site. If you can write articles greater than 250 words (some people say 600 words), but which are relevant, well written and “solve the search” for the visitor, then you have ticked off another box for your SEO.
For Example, if you have a Spa website and you are trying to sell Facials, you could list all the facials you currently provide, on your products page. However you could write some articles on why facials are good for the skin, what facials suit certain skin types and perhaps even how to make a homemade facial scrub with oatmeal …. none of this will earn you money though. What you are trying to do is to bring in visitors, this leads to brand awareness and ultimately conversions.
Articles are a great way to supplement your website and enhance what people know about your business.

4 – Making the Site Social
Social Media is a buzzword we now all know. One way to get your website out there is to provide a widget (or button) on your site, which allows people to share your websites link or content. This means your website address, blog post or a snippet of your content, can be sent by email, posted on Facebook or Tweeted on Twitter all for free … and you don’t have to do anything. Just place a button on each page of your site and this can all happen. There are a few major providers, but I found that Add This (www.addthis.com) is best. Visit the site for more information.

5 – Most Important – Don’t try anything stupid
People often try stupid tricks – these are called Black Hat SEO Tricks. These include;
– Keyword stuffing : placing lots of keywords in the text and meta data
– Cloaking : a script which trys to trick the search engines
– Invisible Text : Making the text the same as the background color
– Doorway pages : Invisible pages which try to get the site indexed

SEO requires patience, planning, and monitoring. If you use some SEO keywords and descriptions which bring you a large increase in traffic, you may try to improve on this but changing them further, but a good tip is to retain the old files incase the SEO changes backfire, you can always revert to the last most successful campaign. Try to record your visitor levels and your levels of sales (if you are a business site), in that way you can choose the best SEO combination which produces the best sales from your website.