There is nothing worse for a webmaster/site owner than to wake up one day and find Google Armageddon has taken out all of their site’s rankings and traffic. This framework should help you keep your head should the unthinkable happen.
F-Secure released an infographic called “Online Shoppers Beware: What’s Lurking in Your Online Holiday Gift Purchase?”. Some interesting data: Top six online retailers – expected Amazon, but was shocked by a few others 21 Million people will shop from mobile devices 53% of smartphone users will use their device to research – I use my [...]
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I first discussed mining the results of your site’s search engine for possible keywords late last month. In that article, I mentioned that keywords entered into your site’s search engine can tell you what areas of content you might want to consider adding to your site. Clearly, if someone is searching for certain information on your site, they want and expect to find it there. Give your visitors what they want, and they’ll stick around for a while. They may even come back for more. While you’re using your site search analytics to discover new keywords, however, you need to keep your eyes open …
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A recently published “special report” by Yinka Adegoke for Reuters offers a behind-the-scenes look at the reasons why Myspace lost the battle for social media dominance to Facebook. While there is no single cause for Myspace’s fall from grace, the story itself does offer some valuable insight into how and why Facebook succeeded where Myspace failed.
On the purely technical side, it seems very clear that, early on, Facebook was more innovative and capitalized on trends more quickly than Myspace. A “major step forward for Facebook,” writes Adegoke, was that site’s news feed, which allowed friends to know news about each other, therefore encouraging repeat visits. It took Myspace 1-1/2 years to implement a similar feature.
More importantly, perhaps, was Facebook’s decision to open its platform to third-party developers in 2007. Again, Myspace missed this opportunity, opening their platform almost a year later. (Myspace was built on Microsoft’s .NET technology, which also hampered developers.) Adegoke writes that this action by Facebook was “a key turning point: Facebook quickly became the place for people to play games like FarmVille with their friends, as well as share photos and communicate.”
But there was another more insidious difference. Once Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp became enamored of Myspace and decided to purchase it six years ago, the focus of Myspace changed to revenue growth, seemingly to the exclusion of practically everything else. When Murdoch said early in 2007 that Myspace would bring in up to billion in revenue, “the forecast caused panic at Myspace,” writes Adegoke. One former Myspace executive said, “After that moment it was basically like all the tentacles of News Corp got involved in a bid to make that target, so getting anything done became near impossible.”
While Zuckerberg and friends at Facebook were continuing to innovate, “Myspace had become too concerned with revenue…” writes Adegoke.
Today, after a revamp widely considered as being too little too late, Myspace is up for sale by News Corp, possibly at a bargain price.
So what can we learn from this story?
For one thing, it’s an all too common scenario in the Internet world. Time and again, when a great new nimble company comes out with a breakthrough way of communicating, some lumbering giant conglomerate comes along to throw money at the founders. If the founders sell, more often than not, that screws everything up. Typically it’s because the big guy knows next to nothing about the little guy’s business and all the big guy really cares about (even more than the little guy’s user base) is “shareholder value.” How can we forget the Time Warner AOL merger – surely one of the sorriest examples in American corporate history of this phenomenon. Facebook has resisted selling out to a big company, maintaining its sovereignty even as it takes on investments in its firm.
For another thing, this story demonstrates that while the first mover should be the market leader, that position carries with it a responsibility to give the marketplace what it wants – innovative leadership. Any first mover who fails to innovate and stay ahead of the pack will find itself in second place pretty quickly. Witness the relative positions of Myspace and Facebook today.
As an interesting side note, Myspace Co-founder Chris DeWolfe was finally pushed out by News Corp, whereas Mark Zuckerberg remains at Facebook.
Nonetheless, News Corp has apparently learned something of a lesson from the Myspace debacle. News Corp’s Chief Digital Officer Jonathan Miller, who was brought in partially to “fix Myspace,” told Adegoke, “The digital challenge for all media companies right now is in their core businesses. It’s not about what they can bolt on, but rather how they preserve the economics of their businesses and deal with fundamental issues that affect the entirety of the business. Bolting on additional lines of businesses in areas where they don’t have expertise is hard.”
Hey, if I didn’t know better, I’d think Miller was making an apology for having acquired Myspace in the first place.
On Thursday, Google announced a major change to its search algorithm, designed to weed out shallow and low-quality content from its top search results. Content farms were seen by many as the target. Were they hit? Who was hit? Some figures are coming out. If you were expecting these figures to show…
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According to statistics recently released by the market research firm comScore traffic across the entire Internet in terms of visitors increased ten percent during the month of September. The amount of time Internet users spent on the web also increased 3.1 percent. While those numbers are positive the ones released for MySpace traffic are not as encouraging so the social networking site decided to do something about that….
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