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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Facebook login: the best comments on the readwriteweb fiasco
February 14, 2010 – 11:44 pm | 4 Comments

You may have seen the news that ReadWriteWeb posted a story about facebook's login. It appeared at the top of google for a search on "facebook login", leading to, allegedly, 000s of people turning up and trying to log in to facebook.

Here are the best of the 1,500-odd comments, to save you the trouble of ploughing through them. After the first page or so, most of the "I want to log in" comments appear to be jokes - leading to the suspicion that after the first few genuinely confused people, this massive thread is, in fact, between people pretending to be idiots, and people claiming they can't believe people are such idiots.

Information Commissioner: Sun recording private phone calls is nothing to do with us
February 11, 2010 – 11:07 am | 2 Comments

The Information Commissioner's Office says recording phone calls is nothing to do with it.

Ignore WordPress’s SEO advice
February 9, 2010 – 1:39 pm | 2 Comments

Whatever you do, don't follow the wordpress advice on SEO ...
It seems to think keywords are really important but meta descriptions aren't.

SEO revenge: analytics style
February 4, 2010 – 2:11 pm | 3 Comments

Exacting revenge on a company that secretly added links to clients' sites by targeting their analytics data ...

Downing street petitions – how many people vote in number 10 e-petitions?
February 4, 2010 – 11:05 am | 3 Comments
Downing street petitions – how many people vote in number 10 e-petitions?

Visit petitions.number10.gov.uk and you can create an electronic petition, calling on the government to take some action. Then you get a response, "usually provided there are 500 signatures or more".

So how many people sign these petitions?

Twitter adds explanations to trends
February 3, 2010 – 9:54 am | 2 Comments
Twitter adds explanations to trends

Twitter seems to be adding an explanation to some trends, sourced from whatthetrend.com. Here's an example for a search on John Terry today.

Seems a good innovation to me. Should help with some of the more mysterious trends that only carry on as people ask why is X trending.

John Terry: another nail in the superinjunction coffin?
January 30, 2010 – 3:54 pm | No Comment
John Terry: another nail in the superinjunction coffin?

John Terry's been "nobbing" Wayne Bridge's girlfriend as one of the edits on Wikipedia puts it. Terry got a superinjunction forbidding publication of this story - and of the fact that there was an injunction. ...

Church blogs: SEO and copywriting tips for the Pope
January 25, 2010 – 2:02 pm | 5 Comments
Church blogs: SEO and copywriting tips for the Pope

So, just as Search Engine Land has issued some SEO advice for Bill Gates's blog, I thought I'd help the Pope out with some SEO and copywriting tips.

UK searchers starting to prefer US spellings
January 21, 2010 – 2:02 pm | 3 Comments

Searchers in the UK are starting to prefer the US spelling of some words. Although we can still spell centre and theatre, with the following words the US spelling is now searched for more often than the UK version:

* donut vs doughnut
* yogurt vs yoghurt
* fetus vs foetus

Google autocomplete now fixes spelling problems
January 18, 2010 – 7:00 am | 3 Comments
Google autocomplete now fixes spelling problems

More evidence that Google has changed how it handles spelling errors. It is now fixing spelling in autocomplete (the list of suggestions it offers as you start to type in the web-based search form).

Unlike yesterday's example, where Google was just deciding for itself which version of alternative, correct spellings you meant, I approve of this - partly because it's helpful, and partly because the user retains control (so they can search for wrong spellings if they want to).

Search engine optimisation, optimization and SEO
January 17, 2010 – 7:00 am | 3 Comments

We've all been running round worrying about Google forcing us to search for search engine optimization when we want to search for search engine optimisation.

I think we can relax, as it turns out hardly anyone searches for either ...

Google: We spell it colouring here
January 17, 2010 – 12:16 am | One Comment
Google: We spell it colouring here

Not content with its various other spelling problems, Google is now trying to make us spell colour the US way.

Google’s spelling problems are worse than we thought
January 15, 2010 – 11:02 am | 18 Comments
Google’s spelling problems are worse than we thought

There have been various posts about how Google is returning results with the American spelling (search engine optimization) when people search for search engine optimisation.

But it's got much bigger problems with spelling than just -ise vs ize.

Sun blocks NewsNow from crawling its site
January 12, 2010 – 2:01 pm | 2 Comments
Sun blocks NewsNow from crawling its site

NewsNow revealed this morning that it's heard that News International will soon be blocking NewsNow from crawling The Sun's site - just as it has done with the Times.

This has now happened, as the Sun's robots.txt file shows.

NewsNow vs the Times: I’ve decided I’m not sympathetic
January 9, 2010 – 2:19 pm | 3 Comments

I wrote yesterday that I was sympathetic towards NewsNow and its ongoing row with newspapers, especially the Times. I've now decided that I'm not.

NewsNow crawls the Times site in order to gather information for its paid service to businesses.

NewsNow vs the Times: Right to crawl vs right to link
January 8, 2010 – 5:41 pm | 5 Comments
NewsNow vs the Times: Right to crawl vs right to link

I am sympathetic towards NewsNow over the newspapers attempts to block it linking to them. The site has been blocked from showing Times Online stories. But I think it's campaign is a little overblown:

Worst UK Serps yet?
January 5, 2010 – 1:55 pm | 9 Comments

If buying a used car, I wonder what checks you should do on the documentation? Don't bother asking Google.

Tanya Gold in the Guardian: advert #fail
January 5, 2010 – 1:10 pm | No Comment
Tanya Gold in the Guardian: advert #fail

Tanya Gold has written some anti-iPhone drivel in the Guardian. I'm not going to link to it or its 17 questions. (Nothing to say? Why not ask lots of questions? Is that a good idea?)

But wait. What's that in the advertising slots on the page? Oh, yes, an advert for the Guardian's iPhone app.

Replace suspension cost: more rubbish UK search results
January 4, 2010 – 6:00 am | 6 Comments
Replace suspension cost: more rubbish UK search results

I needed to know how much it typically cost to replace the suspension on a car (not mine, fortunately). The results are another good example of why the UK search results are often rubbish.

Website no longer hacked. Phew.
December 24, 2009 – 1:06 am | 6 Comments
Website no longer hacked. Phew.

The htaccess file on my blog - and other sites on the same shared server - was hacked. I've fixed mine now.