Daily Roundup for 2008-03-31

  • Most savvy SEOs know that Google is placing an increased weight on links from “authority” websites. Wikipedia, a free internet encyclopedia that can be edited by any user, is certainly one of the top authority websites in the eyes of Google and I´m certainly not the first SEO to observe that an awful lot of Wikipedia pages are currently ranking quite highly in the SERPS. Many of you likely have tried to place your website link on a Wikipedia page. What most probably happened is a zealous Wikipedia editor likely removed your link very quickly because the prevailing view is that appending your external link to the bottom of a previously created page adds little to the community and likely only benefits you.
  • The results are in: Wild Planet Toy Store (Shopwildplanet.com) has reported an increase of 10.4% in conversion rates since the site adopted the buySAFE Seal. Wild Planet Toy Store partnered with buySAFE, Inc. in early 2007 to test the effectiveness of the buySAFE Seal. The store has integrated the buySAFE trust solution into its ecommerce website so that all of its pages display the Seal. Its shoppers are able to guarantee their purchases with a buySAFE bond up to $25,000 . After testing for almost six months across a base of over 150,000 store transactions, Brian Almashie, CEO. of Wild Planet ssaid that “The results speak for themselves: Conversion and revenues are both up more than 10% … I can’t think of anything else I could have done so easily to have such an impact on my business.”

  • Have you ever read a blog post that had so many interesting and profound ideas, you actually re-read it several times? That’s what happened to me when I read this fascinating article by Joseph Carrabis at iMedia Connections.
  • What’s the best/preferred structure of investment money pre-VC investment. We’re in the beginnings of raising angel capital (~500k) and were wondering what, if any, considerations we should make regarding the investments to allow for VC later. Should we take convertible loans or issue straight preferred stock? What are the other options that are out there for investment structure? Is it too much of a hassle to handle future investments when there is an “angel group (say 5 doctors banded together)” versus a singular angel?
  • Lots of people laugh at Twitter, call it a waste of time and worse, and, that’s just fine with me. While they’re laughing, I’m learning, listening, meeting, and enjoying a global view of an endless flow of creative thought – 140 characters at a time. Approaching a million users, Twitter has become, says Alex Iskold at ReadWriteWeb, “a global, distributed, multi-platform communication channel, a web-wide conversation…”
  • US retail shoppers are becoming masters of self-service. They often know more than store clerks, spending lots of time online comparing prices, gathering product information and user reviews. In February, Krillion and the e-tailing group found that two-thirds of online buyers spent more than 30% of their total shopping time researching products on the Web.
  • Complaints of “cybersquatting,” where someone sets up a Web site using a trademarked name and then profits by selling the name to the owner, surged to a record high in 2007, a watchdog group says. The practice, often associated with the early days of the Internet, when cybersquatters rushed to snatch up sites with names of well-known corporations or popular celebrities, continues to plague cyberspace, with complaints up 18% to 2,156 in 2007, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.
  • Getting HD Radio off the ground isn’t easy. People are still wed to AM/FM radio. And HD Radio faces tough competition from iPods, music on mobile phones, and satellite radio. But iBiquity Digital is laboring to get HD Radio adopted. The Columbia, Md., company is in the process of raising a $15 million fourth round of venture capital, VentureBeat has learned. Investors include Grotech Partners in Timonium, Md.; J.P. Morgan in New York; New Venture Partners in Murray Hill, N.J.; and Pequot Private Equity Fund in Westport, Ct.

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