Get Event Listings in Google with the vEvent Microformat Code

Guest Post By: John Greer (@FogLlama)

You may have heard about Google’s rich snippets recently, where they are altering the standard blue and green listings to have a little more flair:

Google Rich Snippets on Facebook Profile Results
Google Rich Snippets on Facebook Profile Results

Notice that Facebook has a “Friends” section.  I grabbed a random “John Smith” and there’s a group of his friends included (no Pocahontas?).  Facebook made this possible by using microformat tags on their code (they are using the rel=”friend” tag.)

Here’s a different rich snippet on a Yelp listing, where they are using the aggregate review microformat tag, and Google is showing this:

Yelp's Listings Feature the Review Microformat Tag
Yelp's Listings Feature the Review Microformat Tag

(Who is reviewing Goodwill by the way? “This place is no Neiman Marcus, what a joke!”)

Those rich snippets were demonstrated last year.  A newer version though is the inclusion of events in listings.  Also on Yelp, Google has rich snippets like this:

Yelp added the vEvent Microformat code around event listings
Yelp added the vEvent Microformat code around event listings

Yelp simply added the “vEvent” microformat code around the event listings they already had, and Google began showing select events below the main URL.

With the event tag, I’ll be interested to see if Google must recrawl a page to update the event list, or will it simply drop events that have past dates?  In any event, it’s an awesome way to get 3 additional links in your listing and attract a little more attention.

You can start adding these and other microformats and RDFa tags today (here’s a little more on the difference between those).  Yahoo has been using them with SearchMonkey for a couple of years in fact.  There’s no guarantee though that Google will show them yet, Facebook , Yelp and other sites have been singled out for listings.  At some point though, these listings are likely to start rolling out to everyone. s

Get a Custom Facebook URL with Only 25 Fans!

Hey everyone. I’m a couple of weeks late on this one, but it seems that Facebook has changed their rules regarding custom URLs for fan pages. When the custom URL feature was first announced, in order to get a custom username and URL you had to have at least 1,000 fans Then about a month later, the requirement dropped to 100 fans.  But if you want a custom username URL for your Facebook fan page, now all you need is 25 fans! How about that?!?!?!

You can find the proof here, but I’ll save you the click:

I tried to secure a name for my Page but Facebook said the Page was not eligible. What are the requirements?
Your Facebook Page must meet two requirements: it must have been live …
Your Facebook Page must meet two requirements: it must have been live on Facebook prior to the May 31, 2009 cut-off date and have had a minimum 1,000 fans at that time.

This limitation is temporary. All Pages created after May 31, 2009 or that had less than 1,000 fans on that day will be eligible to claim usernames on Sunday, June 28, 2009 if they have more than 25 fans.

So there. Go forth and get your Facebook username and custom URL!

If Facebook Nails This, Twitter is Toast!

Wow. Facebook continues to take on Twitter. Mashable’s post describes the new Profile Fans feature Facebook rolled out recently. Check it out here: Facebook to Emulate Twitter’s Follower Model With Profile Fans

Notice something different? Look closely and you’ll see the new option to receive an email notification whenever another Facebook user “Connects to me as a fan.” In other words, Facebook followers, here we come.

Facebook has a long way to go, but I think they are on track to become the clear winner in the long run. I do not believe that Twitter will completely go away or throw up a white flag. I do believe that Twitter will be around for a while, but by following Twitter’s lead (no pun intended), Facebook may one day have a clear upper hand in the microblog/status feed market.

Did You Know: Search Edition

Did you know that YouTube gets more searches than Yahoo? proof

Did you know that Twitter rejected a $500 million dollar offer from Facebook? proof

Did you know that Greg Boser is credited with coining the term ‘link juice’? proof

And remember if it’s on the internet, it’s must be true.