#My7Links Challenge: Simple But Challenging All The Same!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the 7-links challenge, right? Ok, I got nominated sometime ago but because of other pressing issues I have not been able to make good use of the opportunity.

Now, if you have observed very carefully you will discovered that for some time now I’ve now published a new post. Of course, I offer my apology to all of our valuable readers. The work load is getting larger but the available time is not! 🙂

Any way since I’ve been able to attend some of the pressing duties, I’ve decided to use this opportunity to take up the challenge.

In case you’re hearing of the My 7 Links Challenge for the first time, it’s the brain-child of Tripbaseblog, with just one aim:

“To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavour to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.”

The ideas is that a blogger will be nominated by another blogger and then that blogger will make a post picking one post in the 5 categories of the challenge. At the end of the post the blogger is expected to nominate another 5 bloggers who will continue the circle.

From what I have seen others do with this challenge, getting nominated was really a privilege for me. However, choosing just seven blog posts out of about 195 that I’ve so far written on this blog (at the time of this writing) was really challenging! But after much thought and not wanting to let it go, I’ve decided to present the following as my response.

But first, let me use this opportunity to thank my friend, Christopher of TechnologyBloggers.org, for nominating me. (Hi Christopher, please accept my apologies for not responding to the challenge before now!)

Now, The Criteria for Choosing My 7 Links

The following are the criteria I used in choosing my 7 links:

1. Age:  Since one of the purpose of the 7-link challenge is to help show case forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again, I’ve decided to highlight some very old posts here that you may not have read! Do yourself some good and read them now!

2. Evergreen: Indeed there are some blog posts here that meet the challenge requirements but I think they are time sensitive having been overtaken by time and other events. I’ve therefore not considered them for this challenge. My intension is to include only the posts that will be of benefit to you no matter when you read it.

3. Personal posts: Of course you do know that I’ve guest posts on this blog. For this challenge I concentrated on those posts that are written personally by me. Despite that fact that the other posts by my guest bloggers are great, I consider it a thing of honor to leave out the guest posts.

And So, Here Are My 7 Links for Each Category

My 7 Links Challenge

The Most Beautiful Post

Please don’t ask me how I was able to pick this one since I couldn’t really know what makes a post beautiful or ugly! Is it the graphics used or is it how the post is structured? Whatever the criteria may be, check out this post: Google Search plus Your World – What is Google Up To? And let me know if that post is really beautiful! 🙂

The Most Popular Post

For this I simply had to pick the most visited posts on the blog. Using the WP Most Visited Post plugin I discovered Google New Policy: You’ll want to do this, urgently! is the most popular according to views.

The Most Controversial Post

Matter of fact is, I’m not very good at writing controversial posts but for this challenge I’m sure this one: Google Plus vs Facebook: Will This Turn out a Healthy Competition? is one you will want to read again. The battle for supremacy in the social media game between Google and Facebook is one that has created a lot of controversy and so a post on that topic should be considered to be controversial. Of course I did take sides in the post and I’m sure you will want to know which side I am on! 🙂

The Most Helpful Post

For this category, I had problems choosing one. But after some thought I’ve decided to showcase not just a post but a series on WordPress SEO I wrote some time ago. The series was really a helpful one as testified to by our esteemed readers. Read the series here: WordPress SEO Power Guide

The Post Whose Success Surprised Me

Picking this one was really easy. I’ve never written any post and was surprised with it success but my post: Seasonal Greetings to all our Esteemed Readers and Friends! Which I did as a thank you post to all our dear readers achieved astounding success so much that it became the talk of many other bloggers. Even … of .. went as far as informing her email subscribers about it! Take a look and discover why there was such a buzz about the post!

The Post That Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved

Going through some of the posts that went back to the beginning of this blog I discovered that there are many posts that fall into this category. Choosing one was a difficult one for me but after a careful thought I’m sure this post: Effective Holiday Marketing Strategies for the Home Business Entrepreneur! is just the perfect one to feature here. As the Easter holiday is fast approaching, I believe this one will be helpful to any entrepreneur who wants to make some extra cash during the holiday.

The Post I’m Most Proud Of

Ok, as a father I’m very much aware of the dangers of favoring one child above the others and so it would have gladly not tackled this one!

Well, that’s on the lighter mood. But having combed different posts I thought were appropriate for this category, I decided on this post: Implementing Google Authorship in a Multiple Author Blog – Web Income Journal as a Case Study! This post is actually a result of about 2 weeks testing and tweeking to set up Google Authorship on the Web Income Journal. For the share effort put into bringing the post to life, I’m picking it as the post I’m most proud of! If you have not implemented Google Authorship on your blog, it will do you some good to read the post.

Ok, that’s it for my 7 Links Challenge.

Now, To My 5 Nominations

I’ve discovered that everyone I had in mind for my nomination have all taken the challenge. This being so, I’ve decided to randomly nominate a few from our valuable readers having checked on their blogs and believe they have something to offer all of us. And so, here are my nominations:

1. Elena of YourLifeTube.com

2. Mahendra of Maheinfo!

3. Steven of  TheVocabularyWorkshop

4. Rizwan Sultan of CrohnsandIBSBreakThrough

5. Julie of the Dental Blog

Alright, will love to hear from you about this challenge. Take a look at the posts in each category and post your comments below.


Google Search plus Your World – What is Google Up To?

In yet another revolutionary move, Google has announced what it has dubbed Search Plus Your World! This is indeed a radical transformation as Google is pushing its search results to be more personal.

I’m sure you have heard of this update from Google. Well, what I want to do here is to take a look at Search plus Your World based on some of the issues arising from the update and then give a word or two of my opinion.

Search plus Your World Announced

Making the announcement on Tuesday 10th January, 2012 Amit Singhal said on the Google Official blog:

“Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. These wonderful people and this rich personal content is currently missing from your search experience. Search is still limited to a universe of webpages created publicly, mostly by people you’ve never met. Today, we’re changing that by bringing your world, rich with people and information, into search.”

That is really an interesting way to put it. All in all what Google has just done is to combine personalized results which was first introduced in June 2005  and has gone through a couple of updates and social search results which have been since October 2009.  These two seperate algorithms that have been improved over the years have now become one. Danny Sullivan writing at SearchEngineLand.com quoted Amit Singhal to have said:

“The social search algorithm, and the personal search algorithm, and the personalized search algorithm are actually one algorithm now, and we are merging it in a way that is very pleasant and useful.”

Google Search plus

But To What Use Is Google Search Plus Your World?

As a new addition to the many innovative ways Google has been fine-tuning search results, one will want to ask why Search Plus Your World?

So far, I think Google is only trying to enhance the ever growing social nature of the internet.  This is clear from the official post:

“We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features:

  1. Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
  2. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
  3. People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.

Together, these features combine to create Search plus Your World. Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started.”

But will this really help us better when searching for information on Google.com? Right now, we not fully appreciate that until we put it to full use. However, there are already issues with Facebook and Twitter, unarguably two of the biggest social media sites with the largest database of user content.  Search plus Your World does not include results from these two social media giants.

My Opinion: It is rational to reason that if Google really want to make search results social and personal then the duo of Facebook and Twitter must be considered. But do we blame Google if these social media sites decide to restrict Google from crawling their databases?I don’t think Google should be blamed.

Here’s what Danny Sullivan reported Amit Singhal as saying:

“Facebook and Twitter and other services, basically, their terms of service don’t allow us to crawl them deeply and store things. Google+ is the only [network] that provides such a persistent service. Of course, going forward, if others were willing to change, we’d look at designing things to see how it would work.”

Is Google Favoring Its Own Content?

I must say this is one area where I’ve suspected Google of playing foul since the launch of Google+. When Google Authorship was announced and every site or blog desiring to implement the update was required to provide a link back to Google+, I suspected that Google was only systematically pushing the social media platform up on the search results.

However, the accusations that Google is favoring its own content over other social media sites was rebuffed by Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt.

In a response to a statement by Twitter a few hours after the announcement of Search plus Your World, which read in part:

“We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone. We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users.”

Google issued its own statement, through a post on Google+ saying:

“We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer (http://goo.gl/chKwi), and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions.”

My Opinion: As a big fan of Google I truly believe that Google is doing more to improve the way we found information on the internet and for this, the other social media sites should find ways of working with it instead of the rivalry we have seen for some time now. If however they don’t want to work with Google then they should find ways of building their own search engines to compete with Google!

Well, as usual I will be glad to hear from you. What do you think of Search plus Your World? Do you think Google is justified in ignoring Facebook and Twitter with such a major update as this?

Meanwhile what this video introducing Search plus Your World. Do you see us doing all of these with Google very soon?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z9TTBxarbs?rel=0]Note: Though Search plus Your World is now live, it is not everyone that will see it until it fully launches over the next few days. It’s only for those signed-in to Google.com and searching in English.

How Promote Your Business With Google SEO for Local Businesses

Search engine optimization for local business starts with optimizing the geographical address of your business. Google places, city search address. The very basic SEO settings include keyword setup. Videos of your local business and city keyword optimization. The keyword phrase example ” local small business seo” may be set below your title which is the name of your local business and a tag of services. Example: “yourwebsite.com SEO services” gives a descriptive name and your company identity. SEO for local business is an affordable way to achieve search engine results without huge SEO costs or optimization. The thing to be aware of is the time factor you will need to optimize your local listings and keep them up to date, this can be a daily chore. Do you hire a local SEO consultant or try to do it yourself?

Google Search Result Latest: A PLUS or …?

A few days ago Google announced a new way of showing search results. With this new system google will be showing more results from one domain on the first page. Before now only two results can be shown from one domain.

See the example that google has for us:

In the graphic above you’ll see that for a search for “exhibitions at amnh” google returned 4 pages on www.amnh.org. According to the google team, this “will help users find deeper results from a single site, while still providing diversity on the results page”.

Already there is a great debate going on about this change. While many found this to be a great thing others see it as something that will favour only the big ‘guys’. For example, showing so many results for only one domain will push the smaller domains down the page therefore hiding them from view.

But are all these concerns by the small domains any thing to think about? Don’t you think there are still ways to overcome this?

Having read the official google blog where this announcement was made, it dawn on me that this is really a chance for sites and blogs that are focused on a particular theme. So if your blog is focused on a niche and your content are tailored towards that niche, then you have a better chance of having more results on google first page if someone searches for your target keywords.

Well, for now I’m really hoping this will work out fine for us all. Or what do you think?