Facebook has a new social search feature called Graph Search.  The social media giant says the new feature will allow users to search their friends’ content on the Facebook platform. The tool is meant to provide people the answers to their questions about people, photos, places, and interests.

Graph Search is going to appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. Facebook said that when people search the service, that search both determines the set of results you get and serves as a title for the page. “You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook,” according to Facebook.

The service incorporates various filters such as place type, liked by, and visited by friends to make locating things faster. You can refine search queries with more advance filters to get better answers.

“Our mission is to make the world more open,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the event which was hosted at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

The feature unlike Google is a social search tool, not a global web search engine that will allow users to search Facebook’s social graph. It is noted that users can only search content that has already been shared with them.

One example demonstrated was if a user searches for friends who live in San Francisco – it will deliver only friends that fit that search.  There needs to be an exact answer for the search to have results.

People can use the structured search tool to resurface old memories, find people in their network, and uncover connections. Apart from personal use cases, Graph Search can be used for dating and recruiting purposes, which could make the product a potential challenger to LinkedIn and some dating sites that incorporate social network profiles.

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Should you be using video on your website?  It is a question we get a lot.  Video makes sense for many businesses.  Using video on your site can be a great enhancement and an excellent tool.

Online video helps deliver viewers to a site and is a good way to keep them there.  Studies show that video increases SEO rankings significantly and thus really helps drive traffic to a site. Once at the site, video delivers a more personal interaction.  The combination of visual and sound capture the audience’s attention and boosts information retention. Video makes people stay longer on your site. When they stay longer, they are more liable to click on other links and investigate your site more deeply.

Video reinforces your brand.  As the old adage goes – A picture is worth a 1,000 words.  Video allows you to say a lot in a short time. Everything in your video sends a message to the viewer. If you are in an industry with many similar competitors and products, video can help you stand out as unique. Video gives web users information delivered fast and made simple.

Video increases a brand’s recognition. Whether it is used to describe and show the functions of a product, to introduce a company, to convey thought leadership, for online seminars and conferences or for advertisements, videos are an effective way to gain recognition of a brand.

Online video doesn’t have to be very expensive to produce.  There are many ways to produce video to use on your website.  Production costs have dropped and it can be a cost effective way to add a lot to your site for a relatively small amount

All in all, video can bring a lot of value.  More and more businesses are adding it to their sites as they realize what it is worth.  Take time out to look at your business’ site and the benefits video might bring.  The 1,000 words added by these pictures might mean thousands more in dollars.

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Broken links are links that lead to pages that do not exist.  They happen more frequently than one would like because most site owners are not focused on making sure all the links on their site work.  We know that link checking can be a chore and a lengthy one at that – but checking and fixing your site’s links although tedious can have many benefits.

Broken links make for a bad user experience. How many times have you been on a site and received an error message?  When a visitor clicks on a link and it goes to a “404 page” or “page not found” it makes your site look sloppy.  It says you aren’t paying attention to your contents. If you don’t pay attention – potential buyers may not either.  Your customers or readers may become frustrated causing them to leave much sooner than they expected and sooner than you might like.
Broken links are harmful to SEO. Working links help search engines navigate your site.  When search engine spiders crawl and can’t find their way around your site because of broken links – they can’t index it — causing it to drop in rankings.  SEO is improved when all links are working and updated.  It naturally follows that a site is more likely to get increased page views when search engines are noticing it.

Lastly, broken links can also cause pages on a site to load more slowly than they need to.  Even if the slowdown is only slightly slower – it may hamper your site’s traffic.
There are a couple of ways to find and fix broken links on your site.  Web administrators can use tools available in Google Analytics for finding broken links or work with a web development professional.  However you do it – fixing broken links will be valuable for improving your website’s 2013 performance.

 

 

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