The term web 2.0 has been created by Tim O’Reily whose company sponsored a conference solely for this concept of Web 2.0 in the year 2004. This concept is continuously evolving and hence no standard definition has been coined for it. In simple terms, Web 2.0 incorporates the use of concepts such as blogs, social bookmarking, video sharing sites, really simple syndication (RSS) and podcasting. For the purpose of this discussion, let us break down the concept of Web 2.0 into three main categories – sites where users can create and post their own content, social bookmarking, and RSS.
Content sites allow users to easily and quickly publish any written, audio and video content on the site. These sites usually make use of a simple user interface which pretty much reflects traditional word processing software. Blogs and wikis are two of the most widely used types of Web 2.0 content sites. For those of you who are completely new to this jargon, a blog is a wimple website where users post comments that range in topics from simple diary type entries to product reviews to political opinions. While on one hand, these blogs are displayed in reverse chronological order, more recent blog sites also allow uploading images and audios to better enhance one’s blog entry. A wiki is software that helps users come up with a website in a collaborative manner. A simple markup language is used to enable creation of this website and its main features include the site’s ability to keep a track of all changes and quickly revert to past versions.
Social bookmarking is a concept in which users can store, organize, share and search public bookmarks which are usually categorized and tagged. Tags are created solely by the user and they allow the user to link a bookmark with any given word or phrase. Moving on, really simple syndication (RSS) is a set of rules that have to be followed when formatting web feeds. A feed is a summary of some content in a website wherein which a link back to the original content is also included. The extensible markup language (XML) is used to format feeds and users are requested to subscribe to RSS if they want to be regularly updated on a particular website.
The current SEO market is drastically different to that of a few years ago. This is mostly due to the dominance of one or two major search engines and the fact that 60% of search engine users take an interest in only the sites that appear on the first page of the search engine result. Therefore, there are only a handful of spots that are ‘visible’ on a search engine. With the vast network of the internet, every site tries to reach the ranking of that handful of visible spots and as a result, the awareness of SEO has increased because maintaining a top spot on search engine rankings has become number one priority for websites. However, the general rule of thumb is that using SEO for marketing purposes takes up a lot of time. When search engines design their algorithms, they usually consider the age of a website and the older your website is, the more advantage it has. Thus, using traditional SEO techniques to promote ‘hot’ items is no longer possible. But with the invention of Web 2.0 and its tools, sites are quickly able to get a high ranking on the results page of search engines. Furthermore, those using web 2.0 for SEO are able to rank themselves high on multiple search engines.
Four main steps are involved in the process of SEO using Web 2.0. Firstly, conduct extensive keyword research to see what are the most frequently searched keywords. Next, create content sites for your products by making use of blogs and wikis. The background information can be essentially the same but have some variation with pictures, audio clips and video clips. You could also include banners to direct your visitors towards your main website so that they could make a purchase. The next step is to exchange feeds between your content sites and link them using RSS. Once this is done, if you make changes to one of your content sites, all the other linked sites will automatically get updated and this is good because search engines prefer fresh content. Lastly, make use of social bookmarking sites to bookmark all the content sites on Web 2.0. You could also bookmark your own social bookmarks for more publicity.
If this procedure is followed carefully, one can obtain top rankings for multiple search engines successfully. Furthermore, with the high speed of Web 2.0 technology, there is increased flexibility in marketing efforts hence the results are seen much faster.