10 more sites that stupidly try to ban you from linking to them
July 15, 2012 – 6:44 pm | One Comment

Even more sites that try to bank you from linking to them in the terms. Make it stop.

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Google preview and copyright
October 7, 2010 – 9:35 am | One Comment
Google preview and copyright

Google is trialling a new feature in its search results that lets you see a preview of the webpages without having to bother to visit them. You can see it in this screenshot (from Blogstorm's Google ...

BBC reveals digital marketing spend
October 6, 2010 – 8:11 am | 2 Comments

The BBC spends £1.6m a year on digital marketing, according to an FOI request published today at whatdotheyknow.com. The request asked: "I would like to know how much money the BBC has spent on Internet marketing from 2009-2010:

Which Internet marketing methods do the BBC currently use? (e.g SEO, PPC, etc)
How much has been spent on each of these methods between 2009 - 2010?

But what if you have greasy, dirty, thinning, quiffed hair?
October 3, 2010 – 10:58 pm | 5 Comments
But what if you have greasy, dirty, thinning, quiffed hair?

The government has a form that allows you to report a benefit thief online. I would LOVE to have been in the meeting where they came up with the options in the dropdown menus ....
Hair: ...

Google Instant keyboard navigation increases likelihood of clicking PPC ads
October 1, 2010 – 8:37 am | 9 Comments
Google Instant keyboard navigation increases likelihood of clicking PPC ads

Google has announced keyboard navigation for Google Instant results - and it's another feature that's likely to hit PPC advertisers in the pocket.

The first result now has a blue arrow next to it, which you can move up and down with your arrow keys. You can then just press enter to go to the result you want. But this means firms with PPC and natural results will find their PPC ad being clicked more.

Why would you re-design a form to make it harder to use?
September 30, 2010 – 3:23 pm | 2 Comments
Why would you re-design a form to make it harder to use?

The online flat-rate VAT return used to be hard to use as the instructions by box 6 said to enter your turnover excluding VAT. But if you're on the flat-rate scheme, you were supposed to enter your turnover including VAT - even though it said not to. The government redesigned the form to make this clear. They've done it again and removed the instructions. They are clowns.

Why Google might be showing just four results
September 29, 2010 – 9:05 pm | One Comment
Why Google might be showing just four results

I came across an example of Google showing only four results (even though it had found thousands for my search term - something a couple of other people have seen Google testing).

At first I thought it was an idiotic test. Then I decided it was genius.

Why newspapers don’t link out (part 1 million)
September 28, 2010 – 11:28 pm | No Comment
Why newspapers don’t link out (part 1 million)

A lot is written about why newspapers don't link out more (such as this post about the Guardian's approach), with clunky CMSes and problematic workflows often cited as a reason.

Jemima Kiss's tweet made me laugh though after her review of the new Channel 4 news site was published.

Boris bikes v Barclays cycles
September 16, 2010 – 8:00 am | One Comment
Boris bikes v Barclays cycles

I read a post recently called Act now Barclays, or the Boris Bike is here to stay. It argued that Barclays' sponsorship of London's casual cycle-hire scheme was "always doomed to fail" and that we all just refer to the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme as "Boris bikes". Just so, I thought. Stupid marketing people.

Turns out Barclays were right, though. We may all talk about "Boris bikes". But when we want to find the things, we Google "Barclays cycle".

How to work out what Google Instant means for your business
September 9, 2010 – 8:30 am | 4 Comments
How to work out what Google Instant means for your business

If you fo your own SEO or pay per click advertising, here's how to work out what Google Instant (where Google shows results based on what you've typed so far) means for you.

Google puts the anal in analytics
September 8, 2010 – 8:38 pm | 5 Comments
Google puts the anal in analytics

Google Instant is rolling out - where it starts serving up results as you type, to save you having to press a few more keys in. You can try it as http://www.google.com/webhp?sclient=psy (yes, psy for psychic).

Start looking for analytics, however, and Google shows up its own pages once you get to "anal". Oo-er missus.

Google: cleverer than you think
September 8, 2010 – 12:11 pm | 2 Comments
Google: cleverer than you think

I read this post on After The XX five more bands who maybe should have thought a little bit more about SEO (especially funny due to the Radio Five Live mixup). Anyway, Google is cleverer than you might think with these searches - although as that post says, it won't manage this in your band's / films early days.

Here are the search results for The The (band), Nine (film) and The XX - all correctly finding what you'd expect.

Google and Apple eat each others spelling corrections
September 2, 2010 – 9:00 am | One Comment
Google and Apple eat each others spelling corrections

My iPad and iPhone autocorrect "Van Persie" to "Van Perdue". Clearly Arsenal's striker isn't well known enough at Apple HQ. If as a result you end up searching for Van Perdie, Google asks if you mean Van Persie. Auto spelling has eaten itself.

BBC follows through on promise of dofollowed links to bloggers
September 1, 2010 – 9:00 am | 8 Comments
BBC follows through on promise of dofollowed links to bloggers

If you add "nofollow" to a link (in the HTML code), it tells search engines to ignore the link - so the site you link to gets no benefit from the link. Last December, the BBC replied to a blog post of mine promising to link to bloggers without using dofollow as part of its new Buzz tool. They've now apparently kept that promise.

Google treating brand names in search terms as site: searches?
August 18, 2010 – 11:51 pm | 54 Comments
Google treating brand names in search terms as site: searches?

It looks to me at the moment that if you do a search for some term (EG football) and the name of a big brand, Google will treat most of the first page as if you had searched for that term and done a site:bigbrand.com search (the site: operator will make google show results only from that site).

So before, if you searched for Guardian football I'm fairly sure you only saw a couple of results from the Guardian. Now if I do that search, all 10 of the first page of results are Guardian pages.

Yahoo trending – better than Google Trends UK
August 17, 2010 – 10:00 am | One Comment
Yahoo trending – better than Google Trends UK

I pointed out last week how awful Google Trends UK was - because it was full of American results. In some good news, Yahoo's trending list seems a lot better (although it doesn't give much in the way of explanation of how it's put together).

What does this Google Webmaster Tools data mean?
July 29, 2010 – 9:00 am | 8 Comments
What does this Google Webmaster Tools data mean?

Here's a screenshot showing "impressions" for my blog - that's the number of times my blog appeared in search results for any queries - from June 18 to July 18. as you can see, I was trundling along at nearly 50,000 a day, nearly wholly driven by people searching for "Youtube UK" and my post on the demographics of UK Youtube users appearing in position 6 to 10. Then the number of impressions falls off a cliff:

Why you shouldn’t use Google’s keyword tool for SEO
July 28, 2010 – 10:00 am | 66 Comments
Why you shouldn’t use Google’s keyword tool for SEO

The internet is full of advice that, if you want to work out what terms to optimise for, you should use Google's keyword tool. I'm going to explain why you shouldn't do this - and what you can use instead.

Dragons’ Den’s one-sided Twitter ‘conversation’
July 21, 2010 – 11:06 pm | No Comment
Dragons’ Den’s one-sided Twitter ‘conversation’

There was a curious end to yesterday's Dragon's Den when Evan Davis turned to the camera and said: "Why not tell us what you think of today's programme by joining the conversation on Twitter."
But then, although someone is clearly running the account, they haven't actually replied to anyone's tweets. Odd.

Google testing Adwords sitelink formats?
July 21, 2010 – 1:12 pm | One Comment
Google testing Adwords sitelink formats?

Google's extended its Adwords sitelinks recently. And they also appear to be allowing advertisers to play around with formatting - it seems you can now have funny pointy arrows (first one) or even ticks (bottom one) before each one ...

Silver fish hand catch: the domain’s gone already
July 15, 2010 – 11:09 pm | One Comment
Silver fish hand catch: the domain’s gone already

Having enjoyed the genius that is the Old Spice social media / YouTube campaign, I idly wondered how quickly it would take someone to grab the silverfishhandcatch.com domain - apparently very quickly.

The link to the video below was tweeted by @oldspice at about 8am UK time. Silverfishhandcatch.com was registered at 7.30am - so about 2.30pm UK time, or a mere 6.5 hours later.