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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… 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).

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 ...

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.

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 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.

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.

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!

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.

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 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 ...