This week’s post in the weekly “Friday Finds” series raises the questions: Do clickable Facebook hashtags raise privacy issues? Are you concerned that Google will penalize your CommentLuv enabled blogs for do-follow links? Would you buy a book to teach your toddler how to code a website in HTML?
Hashtags on Facebook
Facebook is joining other social networking sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and Instragam by supporting the use of #hashtags. You can already include hashtags but the new feature that Facebook is rolling out (over the next few weeks), makes them clickable. Mobile apps won’t support hashtag feeds yet but you will be able to insert hashtag phrases into your blog posts from mobile. (Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has said that the company is making it easier to find things on Facebook.)
The introduction of hashtags to Facebook is once again raising privacy concerns. Because status updates containing hashtags will be easier to find, they will be more visible across the network. A good article to read on this is Facebook Hashtags: Time to Go Over Those Privacy Settings Again which was posted on ABCNews.com.
An interesting article that I found on Forbes.com is 5 Reasons Businesses Should Care About Hashtags by Steve Cooper where he presents creative ways that businesses are using hashtags. After you read his article, you may want to re-think how you’re using them. To learn more about hashtags including tips on how to promote your business and which hashtags are trending, visit hashtags.org.
CommentLuv Do-Follow Links and Google
We’re approaching the final days of the CommentLuv Premium Last Chance sale that I blogged about earlier this week and Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) asked my opinion if I was concerned that Google is now penalizing sites that have do-follow links in their comments. I’ve always been concerned about having links to spammy sites which is why I love the feature (in the premium version of this plugin) that allows you to keep a comment and either remove the link or remove the do-follow tag and keep the link.
When I asked Andy Bailey (the author of CommentLuv Premium) to reply to Suzanne, Andy included a link to a Matt Cutts video where he discusses “Can having dofollow comments on my blog affect its reputation?” Granted, the video was uploaded in 2010 but I haven’t seen or read anything recently from Matt Cutts addressing Google penalizing do-follow links. (Please let me/us know if you have read or seen anything official from Google relative to this topic.)
In the video, Matt talks about using editorial discretion. There’s no substitution for being diligent about what we’re linking to. CommentLuv blogs attract more spam. That’s a fact. Many people who are trying to increase their SEO by getting links will target you. It’s up to you to try to prevent them. If you start to get a lot of comments, it can be time consuming to manage them. That’s when it may be at a point that you need to rethink your overall strategy and determine whether it’s time to discontinue using the CL plugin and switch to another commenting system.
Should Coding be Taught in Schools?
A few weeks ago, I shared the “What most schools don’t teach” video that promotes teaching children to code. This week, thanks to Jerry Silfwer (aka Doktor Spinn), I learned that there’s a children’s book about HTML coding. You can find out more about it here: Meet Cody The Coder — A Children’s Book That Teaches Kids HTML. To quote Doktor Spinn, “Even adults can learn a lot from this.”
Over to you:
What are your thoughts about hashtags on Facebook? Have you read or seen anything from Google that substantiates the concerns that have been raised over the risk of being penalized by allowing do-follow links on your CommentLuv enabled blog? I’m aware of other bloggers who are concerned. Personally, until I learn more about this, I’m continuing to allow do-follow links but I do make it a habit to frequently review the CL links and remove any that I don’t want to be associated with. As I investigate this and learn more, I’ll share.