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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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.

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.

Google’s bizarre and rubbish celebrity boyfriend / girlfriend feature
July 14, 2010 – 10:10 am | 3 Comments
Google’s bizarre and rubbish celebrity boyfriend / girlfriend feature

Google has a series of things it will tell you if you search for them, such as how many horns a unicorn has. More usefully, it can tell you stuff like how many metres are in a yard or when sunrise is in London.

It also seems willing to try to tell you celebrities' dating status, although it appears to be quite rubbish at it ...

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.

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

Google acts to improve UK search results
June 1, 2010 – 7:05 am | 3 Comments
Google acts to improve UK search results

Google's Matt Cutts says that the search engine has taken action to improve search results for people searching in the UK - the "UK SERPS" problem.

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.

Bing xRank – it’s rubbish as it can’t distinguise volcanos from 90s bands
May 19, 2010 – 8:00 am | No Comment
Bing xRank – it’s rubbish as it can’t distinguise volcanos from 90s bands

Bing says xRank is "an insightful ranking formula that tells you who the world is searching for most. The result is a cultural snapshot of who's hot and who's not!"
Er, no. It currently thinks Ash is the hottest band around right now because people are searching for volcanos.

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 ...

Dog bumps other dog. News.
April 27, 2010 – 11:11 pm | No Comment
Dog bumps other dog. News.

The Salisbury Journal has revealed that its "dog bumps nose" story (no, I'm not making this up) has received 130,000 page views. You'll realise how extraordinary this is when your read the story ...

Sun readers defy Murdoch over hung Parliament and election debates
April 26, 2010 – 1:50 pm | No Comment
Sun readers defy Murdoch over hung Parliament and election debates

According to the Sun, a hung Parliament would be a disaster for Britain, while David Cameron "left his opponents reeling" in the second election debate.

The Sun's online polls tell a different story.

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.

The Clegg bounce illustrated by the volume of newspaper stories
April 22, 2010 – 11:08 am | No Comment
The Clegg bounce illustrated by the volume of newspaper stories

Since the first TV election debate, Nick Clegg has started to be taken seriously by the newspapers (or else has been the victim of a series of hatchet jobs, depending on your point of view).

The charts how the number of stories about Nick Clegg has soared in The Sun, The Daily Mail and The Guardian - even allowing for the fact general election is on.

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.