Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on March 19th, 2010

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 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 Redesign Sprint is Today

Even Drupal’s website needs some love too. A recent post by Amazon on 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 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. accounted for 7.07% of U.S. web traffic last week, while received 7.03%.

Twitter to be Available @Anywhere

On Monday, Twitter announced a new set of frameworks for adding Twitter experience anywhere on the web. Soon, sites that you visit everyday will be able to recreate Twitter interactions on their sites, rather than sending you to So when you want to retweet a story, you can do it directly from the web page, rather than being sent to Twitter to do so. How is this possible? Rather than implementing APIs, site owners will only need to drop in some javascript to create this new set of frameworks, called @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,, The New York Times,, 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.

If you are a “javascript guru” and want to help build @anywhere and work with publishers, tweet to @jointheflock to get involved.

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.

Thanks For Reading!

Did you find this post entertaining, useful, or interesting? Please repost, retweet, or redistribute to any of the social sites of your choice, and please subscribe to our RSS feed for daily fodder. For every RSS subscription Volacci gets, a kitten earns its whiskers. You like kittens, don’t you? Do the right thing, then. Subscribe.

We also are very interested in what you have to say in response to this blog post. As always we are very grateful for you, our reader, and greatly value your input. Please start a conversation with a comment below.