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 indexes 168,000 pages of Bing’s social search results
July 14, 2010 – 4:00 am | No Comment
Google indexes 168,000 pages of Bing’s social search results

When Bing launched www.bing.com/social (Bing's combined search of Facebook and Twitter updates) back in June, it forgot (I presume) to update its robots.txt file (which had previously, and still does, disallow results from the more limited forerunner - bing.com/twitter). As a result, 154,000 pages of its search results are in Google's index.

Steven Gerrard: Google autocomplete finishes off The Sun’s work
July 4, 2010 – 11:22 pm | One Comment
Steven Gerrard: Google autocomplete finishes off The Sun’s work

The Sun decided last week to run a story about the rumours circulating about Steven Gerrard. I don't know what Gerrard's lawyers made of this story but they might want to have a word with Google. If you get as far as typing Steven Gerrard into Google News, the auto complete function throws up this list ...

Sites that ban you from linking to them. Still. In 2010
June 29, 2010 – 11:53 am | 39 Comments

The Guardian has poked some fun at the Edinburgh Fringe website for banning people linking to it in its terms and conditions. Can this still be going on, more than a year after I revealed that most newspapers banned deep links, as did brands like Apple, Royal Mail, Channel 4 and, er, the Association of Online Publishers (which culminated in the hilarity of my attempts to get the Royal Mail to post me the paper licence they insisted I needed to link to them)?

Here are some more sites that still think they can - or should - ban people linking to them. YOU ARE ALL CLOWNS.

Love Chips: what the site says about government spin and SEO
June 27, 2010 – 10:55 pm | One Comment
Love Chips: what the site says about government spin and SEO

Lovechips.co.uk: It lies about the nutritional value of potatoes. The people who commissioned it don't know or care that it's rubbish. But shutting it down won't save us a penny, even though the government claims it will.

Channel 4 goes in for some keyword stuffing
June 25, 2010 – 2:05 pm | No Comment
Channel 4 goes in for some keyword stuffing

Channel 4 is keyword stuffing the Title of its Big Brother homepage:
Home - Big Brother - Channel4.com - Big Brother, bigbrother, BB, BB11, 4oD, Live Stream, Live Streaming, Live Feed, Channel 4, Channel4, C4, housemates, house, Ben, Caoimhe, Corin, David, Govan, Ife, John James, Josie, Mario, Nathan, Rachael, Shabby, Steve, Sunshine

How to change the date in Google Analytics on an iPad
June 2, 2010 – 10:55 pm | 5 Comments
How to change the date in Google Analytics on an iPad

The iPad doesn't do Flash. This means that, if you want to look at Google Analytics on your iPad, you can't obviously change the dates you're looking at - as the date range setting, pictured, is a Flash file.

You can still change the dates manually, however

The Times paywall – some questions to mull over
May 25, 2010 – 8:47 am | 2 Comments
The Times paywall – some questions to mull over

I was invited to a preview of the Times / Sunday Times paywall tonight, which revealed some interesting things they're planning.

It also threw up a number of questions - which no doubt they'll be mulling over before the new site goes live. The most difficult one for me is why users would want to pay for two different websites covering the same subjects?

Digging behind the latest SEO answers from Google
May 24, 2010 – 10:30 am | 3 Comments
Digging behind the latest SEO answers from Google

There's a fascinating Q&A with the Google search quality team over at Digital Inspiration. Here's some analysis of what they had to say, which includes:

If you don't nofollow affiliate links, your search engine rankings will suffer.
Links in copy ARE worth more than other ones.
Rel=canonical is suggested for cross-domain redirects - 301 isn't mentioned.
Google doesn't seem to like guest blogging.
Linking out both benefits you and doesn't benefit you at the same time.

Voters being turned away: what the electoral commission rules say
May 6, 2010 – 11:44 pm | One Comment
Voters being turned away: what the electoral commission rules say

Here is some information from the Electoral Commission website that relates to the scandal of people not being able to vote. It covers the 10pm issue.
According to this popwerpoint document from the Electoral Commission, entitled ...

Google brand links: organic results to head further south?
April 29, 2010 – 12:20 pm | 13 Comments
Google brand links: organic results to head further south?

Google appears to be trialling some new related-search links over at Google.com - a list of "brands for ..." when you search for products. (Update: official confirmation).
So search for digital cameras at google.com (NB not ...

Daily Express and OK hit with PageRank penalty
April 23, 2010 – 9:14 am | 13 Comments
Daily Express and OK hit with PageRank penalty

There was a story yesterday that the Express has been emailing SEOs selling links. I went over to the Express home page. And was fairly shocked to see it has a toolbar pagerank of just 4, which seems incredibly low for a newspaper site (er, it puts it on a par with my homepage toolbar pagerank!).

It definitely used to be higher than this.

“Cam winning battle for mums” says News of the World. Figures show the opposite.
April 19, 2010 – 9:38 am | No Comment
“Cam winning battle for mums” says News of the World. Figures show the opposite.

The News of the World has trumpeted a poll of mums claiming Cameron is "storming" into the lead. The figures show the opposite of this - read my dissection of the stats over at The Media Blog.

Let’s keep the airports shut – the ash means it’s nice and quiet everywhere
April 19, 2010 – 9:34 am | No Comment

It's so quiet in the south of England - and probably the rest of it too. So once everyone's home and the ash has cleared up, how about we keep the airports shut?

Join my Facebook group: Let's keep the airports shut - the ash means it's nice and quiet everywhere.

Labour beat Conservatives and Lib Dems in online manifesto campaign
April 13, 2010 – 12:55 pm | 2 Comments
Labour beat Conservatives and Lib Dems in online manifesto campaign

As with their party leaders' websites, the parties' online approaches to their manifestos leave a lot to be desired - although Labour has a clear victory over the Conservatives.

Bitly Pro verification
April 1, 2010 – 10:25 am | 4 Comments
Bitly Pro verification

Having trouble verifying your Bitly Pro account? So am I. Here's what I've learned.

Johnston Press dropping its paywall says nothing about the Times’s plans
March 31, 2010 – 11:49 pm | 3 Comments
Johnston Press dropping its paywall says nothing about the Times’s plans

Johnston Press is dropping the paywall on its local papers, with the number of subscribers said to be in single figures. People have already started to draw conclusions from this.

However, my view is that the Johnston Press experiment tells us precisely nothing about anything. The reason? Johnston Press had implemented its paywall in the worst way possible. All you can learn from this is that a paywall that makes no attempt to sell the content won't sell any subscriptions.

The demographic of Youtube’s UK audience
March 30, 2010 – 10:56 am | One Comment
The demographic of Youtube’s UK audience

YouTube has a tool - YouTube Insights for Audience - that lets you check out which sorts of people use YouTube, and what sorts of videos particular subsections watch.

So by checking UK viewers only, we can see their age ranges (40% are aged 18-24, for instance) and gender split (72.7% of UK viewers are male).

Cash Gordon: some SEO advice
March 23, 2010 – 11:12 am | No Comment
Cash Gordon: some SEO advice

Following on from yesterday's Cash Gordon debacle, the site is now live again. I thought I'd offer some SEO tips as they seem to be floundering about the place .

Cash Gordon: Do people REALLY not know the dangers of unfiltered twitter streams?
March 22, 2010 – 1:18 pm | One Comment
Cash Gordon: Do people REALLY not know the dangers of unfiltered twitter streams?

You'd have thought people would realise the folly of unmoderated hashtag-based twitter streams by now (see Skittles etc). But not the Conservatives. Their new Cash Gordon site displays the latest tweets using the #cashgordon tag - with no filtering or moderation, as these screenshots show.

You need a paper licence to link to the Royal Mail website
March 9, 2010 – 11:11 am | 43 Comments

I can think of a way to save the Royal Mail some money - abolish their mad scheme for controlling who links to them - which involves being posted a paper licence to do so.
This is the saga of my trying to link to the Royal Mail site.