Daily Archives: May 2, 2011

OBL’s Death Causes Spike in Internet Traffic.

Source: http://t.co/uCC28AO

Not surprisingly, news of Osama Bin Laden’s death resulted in a major spike in Internet traffic as users flocked to news sites for the latest information.

Akamai’s Net Usage Index, which measures traffic to top news sites for which Akamai delivers content, registered 4.1 million page views around 11:30 p.m. ET Sunday, around the time that President Obama began his remarks.

Akamai tells us that represents a 28% increase in North America and 24% increase in global web traffic compared to the averages for that time.

Of course, since Akamai’s only measuring news sites in this index, it might be under representing how big of a surge there was on the broader web. Social media sites saw huge surges in activity as news broke, with Twitter reporting 4,000 tweets per second around the time of Obama’s speech, roughly the same amount as sent during the peak of this year’s Super Bowl.

Our own polling indicates that more than 50% of (our admittedly partial) readers first heard of the news via a social media site.

Here’s the spike represented visually:

Optimizing Social Media Pages for Search

Source: http://j.mp/m5adHD 

Successful social media marketers do a lot more than set up a profile. They invest real effort in creating and distributing content to their followers, facilitating conversations, developing contests or games, and persuading interested consumers to connect with them.

This makes Facebook pages and Twitter profiles valuable landing pages for the brand. But in many cases, those pages aren’t easy for consumers to find via search.

SEO platform BrightEdge found that less than a third of the top 200 brands in the Fortune 500 had Facebook pages that appeared in the first 20 Google results for the brand’s name. Nearly half of brands did not appear in the top 40 results.

Search Engine Rankings for the Facebook Pages of the Top 200 Brands Worldwide, April 2011

SEO for Twitter profiles was in a similar state. Only about a third of brands studied had a profile in the top 20 search results.

Search Engine Rankings for the Twitter Profiles of the Top 200 Brands Worldwide, April 2011

The same SEO best practices that apply to regular webpages can also boost search rankings for social profiles, according to BrightEdge. For example, linking to a Facebook page or Twitter profile from the company’s main site will pass along authority.

In addition, keeping the content on social media pages fresh and recent boosts SEO. Almost half of business-to-business marketers surveyed by BtoB Magazine and Business.com in July 2010 said social media had helped their search performance, most often as a way to drive inbound links, but also because they were able to build out profile pages to increase their rankings.

Those Darn Copters: Live-Tweeting the Bin Laden Attack

Source: http://on.wsj.com/jetamo

A man in Abbottabad, the town where Osama bin Laden was killed by the U.S. on Monday, inadvertently live-tweeted the attack as it started.

Screengrab of Sohaib Athar’s Twitter page.

The man, who uses the Twitter handle “ReallyVirtual”, identifies himself as Sohaib Athar, “an IT consultant taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops.”

Around 11 hours ago, according to the Twitter timeline, Mr. Athar first tweeted about a helicopter hovering above him at 1 a.m., saying it was a “rare event” for Abbottabad. That would have been at about 3.30 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday.

Still, Mr. Athar seems to have thought of it as a mere annoyance, as his next tweet was “Go away helicopter – before I take out my giant swatter :-/”

Within minutes, he tweeted: “A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S”.

After a while when the sound of the helicopter stopped following a blast, Mr. Athar tweeted “seems like my giant swatter worked !”

That was followed by a Twitter discussion about what had happened. He wrote to “@m0hcin the few people online at this time of the night are saying one of the copters was not Pakistani…”

Mr. Athar noted that “Since taliban (probably) don’t have helicpoters, and since they’re saying it was not ‘ours’, so must be a complicated situation#abbottabad

Over the next two hours, Mr. Athar exchanged messages with a few other Twitter users about what had happened, learning that there was a helicopter crash. They wondered whether it was an attack or an accident.

“And now I feel I must apologize to the pilot about the swatter tweets :-/” tweeted Mr. Athar. He retweeted “ibi2010 Ibrar Ali , who said: 1 dead and 1 injured in Abbottabad for heli crashed.”

Mr, Athar seems to have gone offline for a few hours, resurfacing this morning to tweet: “interesting rumors in the otherwise uneventful Abbottabad air today.” Shortly thereafter, Mr. Athar figured out what had happened.

He retweeted a tweet from Munzir Naqvi: “I think the helicopter crash in Abbottabad, Pakistan and the President Obama breaking news address are connected.”

Mr. Athar was clearly unhappy.

“I guess Abbottabad is going to get as crowded as the Lahore that I left behind for some peace and quiet. *sigh*”

Shortly thereafter, another Twitter user confirmed the news. Mr. Athar tweeted “RT @ISuckBigTime: Osama Bin Laden killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan.: ISI has confirmed it << Uh oh, there goes the neighborhood :-/””

As the Twitter world discovered Mr. Athar’s live tweets from last night, thousands of followers have added him in the last few hours.

Two hours ago, he wrote: “Uh oh, now I’m the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it.”

Mr. Athar has apparently also been bombarded by email and other requests. “For the people who are trying to email me to reach me, I simply can’t filter out the notifications from the emails :-( “ he wrote.

Mr. Athar opened his Twitter account in May 2007, and had only around 750 followers as of April 30, according to Web site twittercounter.com. He now has around 13,000 and counting.

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