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’s reading level scores for UK newspapers
December 11, 2010 – 3:45 pm | One Comment
Google’s reading level scores for UK newspapers

Google's launched a new feature that analyzes reading level scores for websites. Here are the scores for national UK newspapers, plus the overall verdict Google gives on the site's reading level.
There's no right score - ...

Google’s reading level scores for UK SEO blogs
December 11, 2010 – 3:22 pm | 11 Comments
Google’s reading level scores for UK SEO blogs

Google's launched a new feature that scores websites for reading level (probably using one of these reading level assessments, I guess). Anyway, I thought it would be fun to see what it made of UK SEO blogs' reading levels. So here are the answers. Not quite sure if it's good to be basic, intermediate or advanced ...

… alternatively, the Adwords Keyword tool is spot on
November 18, 2010 – 10:58 pm | 4 Comments
… alternatively, the Adwords Keyword tool is spot on

I wrote earlier that Google's Adwords keywod tool was completely useless in the UK - no one in the comments seemed to agree with me. So maybe I was wrong.

I'm still comfortable with the logic of my argument. If the global monthly search volumes given by the tool are for searches on google.com, then the local search volumes cannot include data for google.co.uk.

But it is equally possible, as two of the commenters argued, that the data I used would be the same if the global monthly search volumes were for all versions of Google and the local data was for searches from the UK. If that was the case, the data would be good for the UK - but anyone relying on the global figures being based on google.com data would be wrong.

Final proof that the Google Adwords keywords tool is useless in the UK
November 18, 2010 – 5:11 pm | 29 Comments
Final proof that the Google Adwords keywords tool is useless in the UK

Google recently improved, supposedly, its Adwords Keywords tool - which is supposed to tell you search volumes for keywords, so you can plan your Adwords campaigns. Some SEOs use it to estimate natural search traffic as well.

I've finally proved that is of no use to anyone whatsoever in the UK - because it's not showing data that's of any use to anyone in the UK (it's fine if you're American though).

Cheryl Cole’s fart and Google News
November 15, 2010 – 3:13 pm | One Comment
Cheryl Cole’s fart and Google News

Google's autocomplete feature (where it shows you suggested search terms based on what you've typed so far) has to be up to date to be of much use in its News section.

So I was mildly amused to see that, less than two days after the incident in question on the X Factor, Google's suggesting "Cheryl Cole fart" as its number one suggested search (in News - in the web search, there's no fart shown).

Google removes helpful links. Is it messing with my head?
November 8, 2010 – 9:05 pm | No Comment
Google removes helpful links. Is it messing with my head?

Google appears to have inflicted its latest insane test on me. This time it's removed the handy links which let you swap between a web search, image search, news search etc. And also those that let you log in to your google accounts from a results page. This happened once before and it was a bug. Let's hope it is again ...

Is Google abandoning QDF and giving more weight to category pages?
October 21, 2010 – 10:36 am | 2 Comments
Is Google abandoning QDF and giving more weight to category pages?

Google is prioritising news sites' category over QDF - this looks like a big change to me.

Google Instant filters misfire on video search
October 19, 2010 – 8:24 pm | 4 Comments
Google Instant filters misfire on video search

You may remember that when Google Instant launched (which shows suggestions and results based on what you're typing) that its rude words filter was a bit off - allowing paki jokes and kiddie fiddler but banning lesbian and funbags.

Search Engine Land has pointed out that the Google Images filter is allowing soft-porn suggestions through, such as girls breastfeeding each other.

Google Video has similar problems it would seem.

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 ...

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 ...

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 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.

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.

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 ...

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.