This Week in Drupal SEO News: Dries at SXSWi, DrupalConSF2010 Schedule, Google Goes Mobile, and Facebook Comes to Austin
It’s been an exhilarating week in Austin, with tons of news, ideas, startups, and friendly competition fueling the vibe around town. It’s funny to watch people get a little crazy and let loose at SXSWi. They get to Austin, the infamously ‘weird’ city of the South, and boy do some people fly the freak flag! In all seriousness, it is the kind of enthusiasm I like to see, as we all do, in the tech culture and community. Weird is just another word for creative.
With SXSWi now officially over, all of us Drupalistas are starting to feel the buzz for next month’s DrupalCon San Francisco grow. There is a lot discuss, so let’s get right to it. This week in Drupal SEO news after the jump.
Dries Buytaert’s SXSWi Session: R.I.P. Content Management System
Dries took the stage at SXSWi and showed everyone why Drupal is the best CMS and Social Publishing platform available. Joomla and Expression Engine users were ready to slink out of the room as Dries presented slide after slide of incredible sites built on Drupal.
The talk covered the advantages of using an open source platform like Drupal versus a traditional enterprise CMS. During the Q&A session, Dries addressed a concern about a lack of proficient Drupal developers. He shared the concern and indicated there will be more of a push to have Drupal taught at Universities.
DrupalCon San Francisco Sessions and Schedule Released
The list of selected sessions for DrupalCon San Francisco 2010 are now posted on http://sf2010.drupal.org. You can view all the DrupalConSF2010 accepted sessions and schedule together, or you can view the individual DrupalConSF2010 session tracks separately.
My session, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) for Drupal is from 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM on Tuesday, in the Configuration, Set-Up & Administration track. I will be co-presenting with Stephanie Pakrul from TopNotchThemes.
Any day now (hopefully today) you will be able to go to the website and design a personal conference schedule by signing up for your favorite sessions. If you want to go, but still haven’t bought tickets yet, its not too late. Register now before they raise the prices!
Drupal 6.16 and 5.22 Released
The latest maintenance releases for Drupal were recently released. Drupal 6.16 and 5.22 fixed issues reported through the bug tracking system, as well as security vulnerabilities, are now available for download.
If your site runs on Drupal 5 or 6, upgrading is strongly recommended. Although there are no new features in these releases, the patches did fix some issues. For more information on the 6.x release series, consult the Drupal 6.0 release announcement. For more information on the 5.x release series, consult Drupal 5.0 release announcement. Upon the release of Drupal 7.0, Drupal 5 will no longer receive updates.
Next Drupal.org Redesign Sprint is Today
Even Drupal’s website needs some love too. A recent post by Amazon on Drupal.org gives a redesign update for the website, as well as announcing the next redesign sprint for March 19. Well, that’s today! My apologies for not bringing this up earlier, it was buried under a thick stack of “invisible” on Volacci’s news desk. The official time for the Drupal.org sprint is Friday, March 19th (today) from 8AM PST/4PM GMT to 12 PM PST/8PM GMT. The sprint is being held on IRC in #drupal-infrastructure.
The focus of the sprint is on theming and completing the search generated blocks. The specific focus for Drupal’s SEO team will be producing “some documentation that will be published in Redesign g.d.o., and they continue to be active.”
Google Sees Mobile Ad Rates Passing PC Rates
On Monday, Google said publicly that the company expects rates for search ads on mobile phones to surpass the rates of existing PC-based ad business, according to Reuters News. Google credits the growing popularity of “smart” phones. There was no mention of when this crossover will occur, its no surprise that mobile ad rates have dramatically increased in the last few years.
Google is currently trying to acquire AdMob, a mobile advertising firm, for $750 million, but the deal is facing regulatory review. With over $23 billion of revenue in 2009, Google is making major moves in mobile efforts as more and more consumers upgrade to mobile ad-friendly phones.
Facebook Comes to Austin, Surpasses Google As Most Visited Website
It’s official. Facebook is coming to Austin! Last Friday at SXSWi, Facebook announced they are expanding their offices outside of Palo Alto, California, and Austin is their first U.S. destination. The move will bring 200 sales and operations jobs to the Austin area, with an average salary of $54,000 a year, and they are hiring immediately.
Despite the nickname of the “Silicon Valley of the South”, Austin still dangled $200,000 of economic development incentives to bring Facebook to Central Texas. Facebook has more than 400 million users worldwide and, most recently, surpassed Google as the most visited U.S. website last week. This could be seen as an indicator in how Americans are now searching for content. Facebook.com accounted for 7.07% of U.S. web traffic last week, while Google.com received 7.03%.
Twitter to be Available @Anywhere
There are some big players already on board to support @anywhere when it launches. Participating sites currently include: Amazon, AdAge, Bing, Citysearch, Digg, eBay, The Huffington Post, Meebo, MSNBC.com, The New York Times, Salesforce.com, Yahoo! and YouTube.
Twitter will be making further announcements about @anywhere during The Official Twitter Developer Conference, Chirp, being held in San Francisco on April 14th-15th of this year.
Google Adds Bike Routes to Maps
Last week, Google Maps debuted safe biking routes, trails, and directions. The picture above, courtesy of CNN, is an example of a street view and map view of a bike route in and around downtown Austin, Texas. The purpose of this new feature is to provide efficient routes, detailed bike trail data, rider-friendly routes with bike lanes, routes around big hills, and encouragement to folks to jump on their bikes and use their own energy, not gasoline, to get around.
So far, Google has over 150 cities across the country mapped out, more than 12,000 miles of trails, and are looking to add new trail information as they gain feedback from riders via the Report a Problem tool.
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