Whilst wading through my ever growing “Need to Read” folder, I came across an interesting article by Brandon Hall on the SEO News website. The basics of the article are that webmasters need to understand the full extent of Web 2.0 technology and how it’s going to affect the future of not only web design companies but anyone who is looking to make money online. Web2.0 is no longer just a buzzword. It’s here to stay and unless you get with the plan you’re on your way out!
So let’s start with the basics. Web 2.0 – the Wikipedia definition. I’ve read a lot of crap about Web 2.0 over the last few months and I think the Wikipedia definition is pretty much as good as it gets although Jack Humphrey’s article is also a good reference point for any web marketer. Web 2.0 is nothing more than progress dressed up with a nice new tag (pardon the obvious and deliberate pun). At the moment, as Jack says, it’s in a complete and utter mess with any and everything being labelled as Web 2.0 as people jump on the bandwagon and try to make a quick buck out of it. Social networking sites are springing up quicker than Zebedee on speed.
As Web 2.0 progresses, webmasters need to understand that static content sites are going to go the way of the dodo. Customers will want and expect an interactive experience when they view your site whether it’s RSS, wiki, tags, clouds or whatever. It’ll no longer be good enough to put together a dozen or so pages in Blogger and CMS applications like WordPress are a good example of how things are going to change. Anyone can pick them up and use them to create a revenue generating site overnight. Sure I understand how to hardcode sites but why bother when I can create a site without having to get my hands too dirty? Pick up a Web 2.0 WYSIWYG application, a domain name, get some cheap hosting and away I go.
The key points from Brandon Hall’s article are that you need to create an authority website. Something that people will read, respect and, more importantly, link to. This forms a key part of Google’s Page Rank system. The more sites that link to you, the better the PR. OK. Let me rephrase that. The better QUALITY sites that link to you, the better PR. No point getting a thousand PR0 sites linking to you, we’re talking the big boys here.
To quote Brandon, here is his suggestion on how to create an authority site.
Dynamic: You should have as many RSS feeds as you can muster to incorporate throughout your site. Your visitors need to be able to receive RSS feeds for any keyword, category or archive as well as create their own. One feed is no longer enough to satisfy your visitors.
Interactive: You should be engaging the minds of your visitors at all times using surveys, commenting and feedback. Make these features easy for your visitors and your site will grow exponentially. Why? Because they feel like you actually care about them. Interaction is a powerful tool and creates a sense of community on your site.
Consistent: You should post to your blog often and you should always provide quality and original content. That doesn’t mean you need to produce 800 word articles three times a week. Your goal should be to become a news master. You need to be an “authority” on the news happening in your niche.
So there you have it. Cartman was right. We need to respect his authoritah. Authoritah is the new black.