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 adds shared by number to Google news results
October 19, 2010 – 8:00 am | 8 Comments
Google adds shared by number to Google news results

Google seems to be experimenting with adding a "Shared by [number]" stat next to Google News results - so you can see how popular each story is on Twitter etc. Here's a screenshot - you ...

Websites that forbid you from pressing the refresh button
October 15, 2010 – 11:35 am | One Comment
Websites that forbid you from pressing the refresh button

You know how sometimes you want to see if a webpage has changed - and you hit the refresh button to see if it has been updated? Well that is NAUGHTY and you must stop. Here are some websites that forbid you from manually monitoring their pages for changes - which would seem to cover pressing refresh and looking.

Whisky hidden in robots.txt file
October 15, 2010 – 10:21 am | 3 Comments
Whisky hidden in robots.txt file

Following on from the Daily Mail hiding an SEO job advert in its robotx.txt file, Whyte and Mackay have hidden a competition in theirs (though I'm told it's already won).
Apparently there's another bottle to win somewhere else on the site ...

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?

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.

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".

Google Instant filters put gay and lesbian on a par with rape, racism and paedophilia
September 13, 2010 – 8:45 am | 20 Comments
Google Instant filters put gay and lesbian on a par with rape, racism and paedophilia

Google's new Instant functionality (where results start to be displayed as you type, rather than waiting for you to finish typing and press search) has filters in place to stop, for instance, results for "cock" appearing midway through typing Cockfosters.

But Google is filtering words like gay, lesbian and clitoris, putting them in the same bracket as search terms like pre-teen models, rape and nigger. Meanwhile it's allowing results to be shown when you search for coon, necrophilia, kiddie fiddler and female genital mutilation.

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.

Want an SEO job? Check out the Daily Mail’s robots.txt file …
August 24, 2010 – 9:30 am | 33 Comments
Want an SEO job? Check out the Daily Mail’s robots.txt file …

Want a job as SEO manager at the Daily Mail? Check out their robots.txt file (just don't tell them you saw it here ...) in the middle it says:

# August 12th, MailOnline are looking for a talented SEO Manager so if you found this then you're the kind of techie we need!

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).

The unbearable crapness of Google Trends
August 13, 2010 – 4:47 pm | 2 Comments
The unbearable crapness of Google Trends

Fresh from pointing out the problems with Google's keywords tool, here's why they need to sort out the list of hot UK search topics in Google Trends. Here's the top 10 at 5pm on Friday ...

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: