Facebook Vanity URLs for SEO | The Stampede has begun

So this morning i got an email from my CNET subscription about Facebook’s recent announcement that you can set up a keyword rich Facebook vanity URL to be used instead of (or in addition to) your alphanumeric web address for Facebook. SEO companies are running faster than the angriest bulls in Pamplona to build portfolios of Facebook accounts with keyword rich URLs.

Here’s the post I got:
Facebook’s 200-plus million members can now customize the URLs to their profiles. This is a move that will help Facebook profiles get better traction in search engines, potentially upping traffic–and give people-search sites a run for their money in the process. For brands whose “fan pages” are a crucial part of Facebook’s marketing and advertising strategy, it’ll make their pages easier for people to access without needing to click around much. But there’s fine print! “Think carefully about the user name you choose. Once it’s been selected, you won’t be able to change or transfer it,” a blog post by Facebook’s Blaise DiPersia read. Need help figuring out what to do?

So i visited my Facebook account and lo and behold there was an invitation to add a vanity URL. So i chose www.facebook.com/jasonciment. Now though i run a web agency, where I offer through our Los Angeles office web site design, search engine optimization and web software services for a CMS and an ecommerce shopping cart software platform, PLUS I still have a magazine subscription service, i still chose to make my vanity name my personal name instead of a keyword rich vanity URL like www.facebook.com/magazinesubscriptions (which by now probably someone just snatched).

here’s my recommendation to Facebook. Stop the insanity. PROHIBIT keyword rich vanity URLs. Don’t allow common names to be registered. Since when does someone’s personal name sound like a noun. Next time I meet someone who says his name is web design, I’m checking my shot glass for some milky residue because I must be drinking something funny.

Here’s my second recommendation to Facebook. if you want to allow the registration of common nouns, then setup a separate directory just for “business” use and call it www.facebook.com/business and put all the common nouns in that directory. this way people will be able to distinguish a real PERSONAL facebook account from a company’s account.

Now since Fcebook is probably not going to follow these recommendations right now – though let it be recorded forever in the web sphere that i am the first one writing this idea on a Sunday morning in 2009 – if you are interested in taking advantage of the fantastic opportunity this presents for search engine optimization purposes, then find someone who has registrered their facebook accoutn befpre May 31st and have them give it to you so that you can get the keyword rich vanity name before it is taken.

Hey! maybe Google, Yahoo and MSN will do the right thing and absolutely ignore the keywords in the URL’s and really screw with the SEO companies who don’t miss a beat (me included).

WordPress shortcuts related to blogging for search engine optimization

Though I sell my own ecommerce shopping cart platform called WebCart, I still use another platform now for my personal blog. It’s called WordPress and for now it is a great blogging platform for search engine optimization purposes. The first rule of on-page optimization for SEO is fresh, update content, and wordpress is a great tool for taking content out of your head and putting it online. Time though is a big killer and any chance I have to speed up the process of transfering mind thoughts into matter makes me really happy. Below is a list of shortcuts that will make your days of web publishing that much easier.

A short note that Windows and Linux use Ctrl + letter. Macintosh uses Command + letter.

Letter Action

aSelect all
1Header 1
2Header 2
3Header 3
4Header 4
5Header 5
6Header 6

The following shortcuts use these keys: Alt + Shift + letter.

Letter Action

nCheck Spelling
lAlign Left
jJustify Text
cAlign Center
rAlign Right
u• List {bullet list}
o1. List {numbered list}
aInsert link
sRemove link
mInsert Image
gFull Screen
tInsert More Tag
pInsert Page Break tag
eSwitch to HTML mode

Hope these shortcuts help you blog and format your post faster. The more you try them out the more you will ask yourself how you did it before?

EvePearl.com Beautician to the Stars Web Site Redesign

EvePearl.com has that interesting business combination of a products AND services shopping cart / ecommerce platform like WebCart© that could deliver a customized look and feel for each of her product sets. But at the same time she needed a content platform to offer up information related to her makeover services.

Eve – otherwise known as the Makeup Artist to the Stars – was recommended by the visionary Eisenberg brothers at that newly public web conversion and analytics consulting company FutureNow. A good part about the project was that though it complex in scope, she basically knew what she wanted and that made the core of the project relatively simple. First, Eve wanted a new look and feel for her site. Second is she wanted to introduce a whole new level of functionality for her customers to offer them video casts, interviews, an updated high end photo gallery and lots of other web content she could not easily manage with her prior Content Management Solution (CMS) software. Besides adding in all this brand spanking new function set, she also wanted to be able to manage updating the content on her own.

So the short story is that my angry web designer delivered a first draft in 9 days I think and at it’s core, he made it happen. Just to give you an idea of the process. We reviewed over 500 web sites for keywords like cosmetics, beauty supplies, makeup, beautician and makeovers. We built a spreadsheet of best practices in terms of what links were common between most of the closely competitive sites. We looked for common icons that would give her new site the credibility the customers expected. And finally, we looked at color schemes to see what we could efficiently create without requiring customers to learn a whole new site comprehension.

If you review the Case Studies section of my site, you should find a more comprehensive review of the steps we took to redesign her site and then integrate the old content into the new platform. I am very proud of this site because it took a lot of effort from all parties involved and everyone delivered a noteworthy effort. This does not always happen and that is why I am mentioning it now.