Web 2.0

A lot has been written about Web 2.0 but not everyone quite understands what it is, its implications, or how it can benefit their web site.

In simple terms, Web 2.0 leverages web technologies to provide more user interaction on web sites. Another term often used for this is “Social Media”. Successful examples of social media are MySpace, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Wikipedia and of course the entire blogosphere. What makes Web 2.0 different from “Web 1.0” is that it allows users to interact directly with the web site and each other, either by being able to post comments about what has been written, being able to post their own content, and even in some cases edit and update content directly on a site (think Wikipedia).

One of the most common Web 2.0 uses are blogs. Many sites have them now, but they are also conspicuously absent from some sites where you might actually want to see them. Large corporations have been slower to adopt the use of blogs, and for those that do (like IBM), the links to those blogs tend to be buried so deep that unless you actually searched for them, they are difficult to find.

However users, especially of those that are under the age of 30, are coming to expect blogs on web sites. They want to be able to interact in some way, not content to just be observers anymore. Web 2.0 does bring another advantages other than attracting a younger audience as well – they can help with search engine rankings.

Search engines use complicated algorithms to determine where to rank web sites in their results. Some factors that help influence this are the frequency of content updates. Of course it isn’t feasible to change the content on your site 2-3 times per week. However a blog should be updated on a regular and frequent basis. And once users start commenting and contributing as well, you start having nearly daily content updates. This will draw more users and elevate search engine rankings in the process. This is generally the most important reason to consider incorporating Web 2.0 into your web sites.

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