Search Engine Optimization :: Lyndsay Walker :: Toronto, Ontario

Twitter Now Has Local Trending Options

When Twitter started, an unofficial trending tagging system started up. Known as “hash-tagging”, Twitter users could tag their tweets by using the hash symbol (#, also known as number sign or pound symbol). This was useful for following events like conferences (eg. #ces09) or for silly use, like a follow up thought (eg. #awesome). Sometime last year, trending (with or without hashtags) became an official feature of Twitter’s home page. Users could see the top ten words/hashtags/phrases being chatted about worldwide. Popular topics that came up over the past year include the Iranian election, the death of Michael Jackson and even new fads like #FollowFriday (suggestions of Twitter users to follow) and #MusicMonday (music suggestions).

This week, Twitter has taken it one step further. Now you can choose your trending topics by location.

Twitter Local Trending by Lyndsay Walker at Canada's Web Shop

Right now, there are only a handful of major cities and countries. But, as you can see, Twitter insists that they are working on it. Since the rollout of this feature took a couple days anyway, it’s not surprising that the locale choices will also increase over time.

Twitter Local Trending by Lyndsay Walker at Canada's Web Shop

Since I’m in Canada, I naturally chose the Canadian Twitter Trending Topics (say that ten times fast). Now, as you can see below, I have a new set of trending topics based on users who have identified themselves as being in Canada.

Twitter Local Trending by Lyndsay Walker at Canada's Web Shop

Here are some of my observations based on the topics from Canada and the topics trending worldwide:

  • The Canadian list makes no mention of the State of the Union (SOTU)
  • Canada may be a bit behind with yesterday’s big trending topics about the iPad – many related topics are trending today in CAnada, but no longer tops on the worldwide list (#iTampon, Apple iPad, MadTV)
  • Both lists have Haiti as trending (but it looks like Canadians prefer their Haiti with a hashtag)
  • Olympics is on the Canadian list – the Olympics are in Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • #yeg is the airport code for the Edmonton International Airport but like many cities, they abbreviate their city name to the airport code. I guess people in Edmonton were really busy on Twitter today.

Since I took these screencaps earlier today, the trending topics have already changed. It’s a powerful feature to let you know what’s happening and what’s being most talked about. Now it’s even better with the ability for you to chose the location you want your information on. Watch for this feature to grow with more countries, regions and cities.

URL Planning for SEO

Ann Smart of Search Engine Journal posted a great article today about how to make sure your URLs are SEO friendly.

Given that all pieces of your URL contribute to your organic ranking, this is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Most people realize that the domain name is important (www.domainname.tld). Less people realize that the top level domain (www.domainname.tld) has an impact on your geo rankings. Other people realize that directory and page names are important (www.domainname.tld/directory/pagename.html) but don’t take the time to properly plan this.

A lot of this comes from SEO being left too late in the process, but that’s a whole other blog post. So, make sure you’re choosing proper URL structures for your SEO efforts.

I karate chopped a ninja on your car because that's how I roll.

Funny, pointless and a waste of time – does it get better than this?


Begin! Make sure you leave your statement in the comments.

Pick the month you were born:
January … I kicked
February … I loved
March … I karate chopped
April … I licked
May … I jumped on
June … I smelled
July … I did the Macarena With
August … I had lunch with
September … I danced with
October … I sang to
November … I yelled at
December … I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1 … a birdbath
2 … a monster
3 … a phone
4 … a fork
5 … a snowman
6 … a gangster
7 … my mobile phone
8 … my dog
9 … my best friends’ boyfriend
10 … my neighbour
11 … my science teacher
12 … a banana
13 … a fireman
14 … a stuffed animal
15 … a goat
16 … a pickle
17 … your mom
18 … a spoon
19 … a smurf
20 … a baseball bat
21 … a ninja
22 … Chuck Norris
23 … a noodle
24 … a squirrel
25 … a football player
26 … my sister
27 … my brother
28 … an iPod
29 … a surfer
30 … a homeless guy
31 … a llama

What is the last number of the year you were born:
1 … In my car
2 … On your car
3 … In a hole
4 … Under your bed
5 … Riding a Motorcycle
6 … sliding down a hill
7 … in an elevator
8 … at the dinner table
9 … In line at the bank
0 … in your bathroom

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White … because I’m cool like that
Black … because that’s how I roll.
Pink … -because I’m NOT crazy.
Red … because the voices told me to.
Blue … because I’m sexy and I do what I want
Green … because I think I need some serious help.
Purple … because I’m AWESOME!
Gray … because Big Bird said to and he’s my leader.
Yellow … because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange … because my family thinks I’m stupid anyway.
Brown … because I can.
Other … because I’m a Ninja!
None … because I can’t control myself!

Helping Haiti With Your Cell Phone

The massive earthquake that struck Haiti yesterday reminds me a lot of the tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean in 2004. I remember searching online to find a way to contribute to the relief fund. I ended up donating through the Red Cross and thinking that was pretty fantastic.

Five years later, in the midst of devastation in one of the poorest countries in the west, the options for donating have certainly improved. Today, tweets started flooding in encouraging people to send an SMS message (text message) with the word “Haiti” to short code 90999. This will automatically make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross. I can only assume the $10 is placed on your cell phone bill.

Tonight, Bell and Rogers also came through with a way for Canadians to donate just a simply. Text “Haiti” (without quotes) to short code 45678 to make a $5 donation to the disaster relief fund.

It really doesn’t get easier than that. Please remember those who’ve lost their lives, families and homes and consider this simple and affordable method of helping out.

Social Stealth – Cancer Awareness

Yesterday as I was perusing Facebook, I noticed people (mostly female) were posting a colour as their status. I wasn’t sure what this was about, so I asked on Twitter.

Apparently, a meme started somewhere online encouraging women to update their Facebook statuses with the colour of the bra they are currently wearing. The point? Cancer awareness.

What’s most interesting is that no one knows for sure where on the web this originated from. But someone started it and it spread like wildfire.

And that’s why you can never under estimate the power of social media.