New Google search results page

Google has provided more details about the recent changes to its search results page. Jon Wiley, senior user experience designer at Google, said in a blog post that the new layout is an effort to meet the “rising expectations for search” from increasingly web savvy users. “As the web has evolved over the past decade, […]

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Don’t rely on Google

A while back, Google introduced the Canonical Link Element to help site owners deal with duplicate pages getting indexed in Google (such as printer friendly pages, which have almost exactly the same content as the original article). It’s very widely used now but it’s not 100% accurate and if you make a mistake with it […]

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How to get rid of all your visitors

One of my favourite blogs is Red Cardinal and they have written a great study into how to request car insurance quotes online. With some great screenshots, they’ve shown just how awful some of the major websites make the user experience. Check it out over here: http://www.redcardinal.ie/conversion-optimisation/31-08-2009/how-to-smother-your-prospects-and-kill-your-leads

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Ask an expert

I’m now an contributor over at the excellent Ask the Expert section on the Start-up Community website. http://www.startupcommunity.co.uk/speakerscorner/speaker.asp?id=74023 So if you have any website or internet marketing questions, head on over there and ask away.  There are lots of other resources for small business owners or start-ups too.

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DMOZ – one big frustration

Dmoz is one of the more useful links to get.  Not only is it a trusted resource, since it’s hand edited, but many websites use it to build up their own link directory.  I’ve seen PR6 links from sites that get all of their data from dmoz. It’s generally accepted that dmoz is tricky to […]

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How to automatically check your rankings

In the past, I’ve often told people not to go crazy and check their website rankings every day because they’ll end up going crazy.  If you see your website drop down a couple of places then it’s natural to go and change something to try and rectify it but you might actually cause a worse […]

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New websites can drop dramatically

One of the things we’ve seen time and again is when someone has an old website that hasn’t been updated for months or even years.  They get a new website with wonderful SEO, they put it live fully expecting it to hit page 1 and it ends up lower down than it was originally! Cue […]

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Where should I put my keywords?

We’ve talked a lot about getting the right keywords and putting them in your documents but one thing I haven’t mentioned is where in your web page you should put. Google assumes that if your page is about a particular topic then you’re more likely to mention that topic nearer the start of the page, […]

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A textbook way to communicate bad news

Campaign Monitor is an excellent site for sending out newsletters.  We use it for our MMD newsletter and it works really well – lots of functions and behind the scenes works well as well.  Email servers are very jumpy about spam and newsletters can often be marked as spam, but if they come from Campaign […]

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Truly Dreadful Websites – Part 3

This is part of an occasional series looking at some of the poorer websites found on the web today. For the previous post, click here. Today we’re looking at the visual crime that is http://www.msy.com.au/ – “The Name You Can Trust”. I’m not too sure where to start with this one.  It’s a sort of minimalist […]

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Tweepi: Highly Recommended

There are a huge stack of tools out there to help you make the most of Twitter.  There are varying levels of quality but one of the tools that I’ve been playing with today is Tweepi and it’s impressed me hugely. Geeky Follow One of the problems that people have with Twitter is finding people […]

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Attracting More Traffic with TweetMeme

If you’ve ever had one of your blog posts re-tweeted by a big hitter on Twitter then you’ll know the massive amount of traffic that they can generate. That big wave of traffic can generate additional RSS subscribers and newsletter subscribers as well so it’s not just a one-off benefit. On a smaller scale I […]

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How many Twitter accounts does your business have?

Google has just published a list of all of their accounts on Twitter. There are quite a few as you can see but even for a small business, it may be worth considering having a couple of Twitter accounts. For example, if you ran a digital media company and your company produced websites, graphics, videos […]

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The Queen is now on Twitter

The Queen (well, the British Monarchy) have started using Twitter. http://twitter.com/BritishMonarchy They’re doing very well and have managed to attract over 9000 followers in a very short space of time.  However, I wonder if they’re actually managing to get the most out of Twitter.  For a start, very few of their tweets are under the […]

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PageRank – How to use it wisely

Over the past 3 or 4 months we’ve seen Google update its Toolbar PageRank at least 3 times.  That’s quite unusual because in the past it’s only been once or twice a year that we’ve seen an update. I’ve been fairly scathing of toolbar PR in the past, suggesting that it’s fairly irrelevant when looking […]

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Indented Listings on Google

Common sense would suggest that having two search results in positions 1 and 2 would be more beneficial than just having one result in the first position.  Google does this if you have two pages that are strong enough to rank for the same keyword, even if the other page is only good enough to […]

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Truly Dreadful Websites – Part 2

This is part of an occasional series looking at some of the poorer websites found on the web today. For the first post, click here. Today, we’re going to look at the navigational nightmare that is http://www.1001pens.com/ OK, it’s not as offensively bright as the last site we looked at but it’s still so bad […]

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We’re now a dofollow blog!

Thanks to the Hobo Custom Link Love WordPress plug-in that I blogged about yesterday, we are now offering dofollow links from the comments field of this blog. Spammers beware though, because I’ll be deleting any comments stashed full with links, with spammy names or anything that just doesn’t quite smell right!  So if you want […]

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The Future of Blog Comments

Recently, Matt Cutts (head of webspam at Google) announced that they have changed the way that nofollow links are used.  In fact, the way that Google have treated these links changed nearly a year ago but they only got around to announcing it now. For most people, this doesn’t matter at all but for those […]

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How NOT to use Twitter

Habitat is a pretty well respected brand here in the UK but they have made the most astounding clanger with the use of Twitter and hashtags. Hashtags are words that you paste onto the end of your tweets to add to a larger conversation.  The way it works is that people will use Twitter Search […]

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Affiliate programmes

I was speaking with my good friend yesterday, the marketing guru Jim Connolly and we got onto the topic of affiliate programmes.  Jim was telling me that while affiliate programmes are very common online, they also work just as well offline.  In fact, they can be even more powerful offline simply because personal recommendations between […]

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Truly Dreadful Websites – Part 1

I’ve been on the web since 1995 and have seen websites evolve from when the default background colour was grey through to today where anything goes.  My very first website had a highly classy ‘repeating cloud’ background which I thought was fantastic at the time.  However, looking back, this may not have been the case! […]

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Top 10 SEO experts to follow on Twitter

There are thousands of self-proclaimed experts on Twitter but there are very few actual experts that are worth following for their SEO advice. However, having been very active on Twitter for over a year now, I’ve built up a list of people who use Twitter to hand out solid SEO advice (amongth other things) and […]

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Want more publicity? Get a cute animal

Take a look at this short piece on the BBC news website.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/8108319.stm At the moment it’s the fifth most popular article on the BBC news site and you can be sure that it’ll be picked up in hundreds of other websites, tweeted about, covered in many social media websites and generally talked about all […]

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Has your website been hacked?

The world of search engine optimisation has become so competitive (and lucrative) that for many years now, there have been many dodgy techniques employed to help push websites further up the rankings. Generally, these techniques are far beyond Google’s terms of service and are commonly referred to as ‘Black Hat SEO’. Instead of writing good […]

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Does blog commenting help SEO?

One old SEO technique that I still see is that of blog commenting.   Years ago, it was an easy way to generate links to your website.  All you had to do was leave a comment on a blog and either add your website to the comment or populate the URL field.  Either way, you’d […]

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China Blocks Twitter, WordPress, Hotmail….

According to Mashable and various other reports throughout the internet, China has blocked access to Twitter, Flickr, WordPress, Hotmail, YouTube, Blogger and a host of other websites. Apparently this is down to the upcoming anniversary of the Tiananment Square Massacre in 1989. The Chinese authorities obviously don’t want their people to be exposed to alternative versions […]

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Can you trust your web design company?

I’m a bit of a geek and I like to look at the search results for a variety of keywords and see who is ranking where.  I’m always interested to see why they’re ranking where they are so I often have a poke about to see what’s working for them and what isn’t. Today, I […]

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Lovely Warm Bread via Twitter

Strange title isn’t it?  But it’s about a wonderful story involving a London bakery using Twitter to inform people when they’re just baked a fresh batch of bread.  You can get the whole story here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iIgCLG0fRo40rP-hNwT54BwCTIBA It’s a fantastic example of a business looking at how it can take new technology and use it to […]

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A 300% increase in responses?

Recently, I was asked if adding a ‘presenter’ would be a good thing to have on a website. For those of you that don’t know what a presenter is (and I must admit, I didn’t know that that’s what they were called!), here’s a link to the company selling them: www.mywebpresenters.com. My personal opinion was that […]

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