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Google Penguin/Panda 2013

Category : Uncategorized

Google Panda logo

Another Google update is due to be launched shortly, and the big question many website owners will be asking is if, or how, their website will be affected.

Predicting Google is never easy, especially when it comes to updates in the search algorithm, but there does seem to be a trend in the elements that Google has used to move some websites down the the rankings while improving the position of others.

Common triggers that are likely to downgrade a site:

  •     Bounce rates of over 50%. (What is bounce rate?)
  •     Insufficient on-page content or content duplicated across a number of domains.
  •     Poor page speed scores on the Google Page Speed Insights Tool.
  •     Over-optimisation of page titles and descriptions.
  •     Blogs that are on sub-domains and not on the main root domain.
  •     Few social media signals into the site.
  •     Excessive use of keyword text rich navigation and content.
  •     Excessive internal links (more than 150 on a page) and/or the excessive use of footer links both internally and between owned sites.

However it’s unlikely that this will all happen at once, as Matt Cutts, Google’s search guru, said in March:

“Rather than having some huge change that happens on a given day, you’re more likely in the future to see Panda deployed gradually as we’re rebuilding the index, so you’re less likely to see these large scale sorts of changes,”

 If you find that your site falling down the rankings on Google over the coming months, the areas above would be a good place to start analysing and improving.

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Google Adwords Upgrade

Category : Uncategorized

Google Adwords are rolling out a new interface that will integrate all mobile and tablet advertising within existing campaigns. There are other changes and features, some that are receiving mixed reviews, but all Adwords campaigns will be automatically switched in June anyway.

One new, and free feature is a method of tracing phone calls from Google adverts. They do this by adding a Google telephone number to the advert which rings straight through to the advertiser but is logged in the Adwords campaign data. It’s a good way of assessing the number of calls that result from Google advertising rather than other sources.

There are other changes, most notably to the Sitelink setup and mobile keyword bidding.
So get ahead of the game by switching over now. It only takes a few minutes and will ensure that if you need help you won’t be part of next month’s rush.

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Do You Need a Google+ Profile?

Category : Google+

Google+ has been around for awhile now and I have written about it on a number occasions. It was thought to be a challenger to Facebook at one time and this may be the case in the future, but for the moment it seems to be going down a more commercial route, most notably by allowing people to G+ (i.e. recommend) website search listings and adverts on Google.

Google is now taking this a step further to ‘encourage’ people to go down the Google+ route by automatically creating a Google+ profile for anyone with a Google account – Adwords, Analytics, Blogger, etc. This reason alone should have you signing up to Google+ to create your own profile rather than have one created for you, but the G+ element looks like going further.

Google is working towards online content having an author, rather than being anonymously created. This isn’t a bad thing as it should improve the quality of website blogs and websites. How would this be authored? Through your Google+ profile of course!

So your Google+ profile should eventually tie into your web site(s) and any other online content using authorship tags.

Indications are that this will also become a ranking factor on Google searches. So if you run a business, this means that you, and your key staff need to create Google+ profiles so that when blogs and other content are published they have authorship. The implication being that anonymous authorship will be downgraded in the future.

Obviously this won’t happen overnight, but it is going to come, so best to be prepared by claiming you Google + profile now.

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Client Profile – Afumex Cables

Category : Uncategorized

Afumex are based in Eastleigh in Hampshire and produce a range of low smoke cables for the construction industry.

Low smoke cables have a sheath which, in the event of a fire, will only emit very low levels of smoke and non-toxic levels of poisonous gases.

This is very different from standard PVC cables which produce hydrogen chloride gas. If this gas comes into contact with skin or eyes it can cause extreme irritation, and if inhaled, severe choking. Also, in a fire PVC cables give off a dense black smoke that can obscure emergency exit signs and escape routes out of buildings.

The majority of fatalities in a building fire occur through gas and smoke inhalation rather than directly from the fire itself. This is why low smoke zero halogen cable is such an important part of fire safety.

Afumex Cables are all ‘LSOH’ or ‘Low Smoke Zero Halogen’ rated and have been used in some of the best known buildings in the country, such as Old Trafford Crick Ground, as well as schools and public buildings.

For more information see www.afumexcables.co.uk

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Category : pinterest , social media

Social networking sites have really taken the world by storm over the last 2-3 years with social media linking connecting millions of people from all around the world via Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

But there is a new kid on the block.

Pinterest is the newest social media site to hit the headlines and it’s smashing previous records when it comes to growth. A beta version was launched in early 2010 and by the middle of the following year had made it onto a Time magazine list of Top 50 Websites. At the beginning of 2012 Pinterest had made it into the history books as the fastest site ever to achieve ten million unique visitors.

So what does it do?

New visitors to the site are invited to set up a free account and then create their own digital scrapbook pages on any themes of their choosing. As a user surfs the web he or she finds images that fit the theme, which they then ‘pin’ to their Pinterest page. Other users can view the images, comment on them and even ‘repin’ them on their own pages.

Website marketing managers have taken note, because this is clearly a great way of introducing a product or service directly to the people most likely to be interested in it. Each ‘pin’ also has a direct link back to the originators website, improving the link profile.

A high proportion of Pinterest users, for the moment at least, tend to be female, and this is reflected in the current content of the site. However there are indications that this is changing as more of the male population discover what Pinterest has to offer.

With customers clearly identifying their interests – from a bride creating a mood board for her upcoming wedding, to the motorcyclist pinning has favourite bikes and rides, Pinterest represents a significant opportunity to businesses, both large and small, to showcase their products and services and connect with potential customers.

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Exact Match Domains and Google Search

At the end of September Google’s head honcho, Matt Cutts, revealed that Google was rolling out a new algorithm update targeted to reduce low-quality, exact match domains in search results.

In case you’re wondering, an exact match domain is where the words in the domain match the main subject of the website, so accountants.com, yachtercharters.com, playpoker.com, etc, are possible candidates. So if your site has suddenly dropped down the page on keyword searches on Google, this may be the cause.

However the saving phrase in the Tweet is ‘low-quality’. If your site has a good quality ranking and links it will hopefully be unaffected. It might even improve it’s position.

If we can get into the Google brain we might find that one of the purposes of this update is to weed out micro-sites attached to a main website, just to target a particular keyword.

For example if you had the site organicfoods.com but were not getting ranked for ‘organic vegetables’ searches you may have been tempted to create the micro-site – organic-vegetables.com – pointing information to the main site. This may be the type of ‘low quality’ link Google are trying to mark down. But this is, of course, just me guessing.

If you are effected by this your site has fallen down the search rankings it’s a case of back to the basics through better quality incoming links, improving content quality and quantity, improving social media visibility, etc, etc . . .


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Client Spotlight – TLM Laser

Category : Uncategorized

Industrial Lasers

Founded in January 2006, TLM-Laser Ltd are a laser service company, providing sales, service and maintenanceof industrial lasers. 

Lasers have been around for a long time – anyone of a certain age will remember James Bond narrowly escaping being lasered in half by the evil Goldfinger. But lasers have come a long way since then, and are now used in a range of tasks in industry including: Laser Cutting, Laser Marking and Laser Welding.

Of all these the most interesting is probably laser marking and engraving. This involves using lasers to engrave or mark an object, but it’s the variety, speed, accuracy and the permanence of laser marking that makes it very interesting for industry.

Laser marking on medical supplies

Lasers can be used to mark medical supplies, tools, metal components, aircraft parts and packaging as well as semiconductor materials found in radios, computers, telephones, and many other electronic devices.

In the motor industry lasers are marking everything from ball bearings to crankshafts, dashboard buttons to chassis numbers and engines.

Laser marked car component

Laser marked switch

 TLM-Laser supply a wide range of laser marking, cutting and welding machines as well as safety equipment, spare parts and fume extraction systems. They also provide laser safety training, consultancy and sub-contract laser marking.

With offices in Ryde and Bromsgrove TLM operate throughout the UK.

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Client Spotlight – Solent Rib Charter

Category : Uncategorized

Rib Charter on the Solent

If you live anywhere near the Solent you are sure to have seen Rigid Inflatable Boats, or RIBs as they are commonly known, cruising or blasting around.

Ribs are fast, fun and safe boats – ideal for following fast yacht races, exploring Solent creeks and harbours or visiting famous landmarks, like the Needles on the western tip of the Isle of Wight.

Solent Rib Charter own Europe's largest rib fleet

If you are providing entertainment for a large group of people or you want a different and unique corporate event a rib charter needs to be high on your list, and Solent Rib Charter are the company to provide it.

As well as owning Europe’s largest fleet of Ribs they also run more Rib events than all of their competitors combined both on the Solent and in London on the River Thames.

Corporate Charters

Many companies large and small have benefited from their services and Solent Rib Charter is the official Rib charter and Rib hire provider to a number of organisations and events:

  • London 2012
  • British Olympic Sailing Team
  • Americas Cup
  • Volvo Ocean Race
  • Offshore Challenges
  • P1 Powerboats
  • BAE Systems
  • Virgin Atlantic

Private Charters

Although catering to many companies a lot of business also comes from smaller Rib charter and Rib hire bookings. Stag and hen parties regularly charter ribs for exploring, sightseeing, adrenalin blasts or waterbourne treasure hunts. There are many great venues around the Solent that are easily accessible from the sea.

Rib charter for private events

Rib Charters Worlwide

One of the company’s great assets is that they are able to deploy Ribs just about anywhere they are needed. As well as having a fleet of trailers and tow vehicles, the Ribs are designed to fit into 40’ shipping containers and have shpped ribs to:

  • Oman
  • Hong Kong
  • Venice
  • Singapore
  • Valencia

For more information contact admin@solentribcharter.co.uk or call 07887 635000 or see the website for more details Solent Rib Charter

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EU Cookie Directive Update

Deadline Day Today

Today is the ‘deadline’ for the EU Directive on the use of cookies on EU websites. So where are we as far as implementation is concerned?
At a recent press conference David Smith, deputy commissioner of the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) provided some clarification of what UK businesses need to do regarding cookies.
He also gave details of the action they will be taking over the coming months, which, in summary are:

  • The ICO will send out letters to owners of the UK’s 50 largest websites asking them to show how they are asking for user’s consent to use cookies
  • Evidence of taking action is currently the most important factor – like updating privacy statements, completing a cookie audit and making an action plan.
  • But no fines are planned at present – evidence of taking action is the important factor.
  • Sites outside the EU don’t need to comply, so Facebook, Google, etc are in the clear.

On the ICO website they also provide additional information around the issue of implied consent:

  • Implied consent is a valid form of consent and can be used in the context of compliance with the revised rules on cookies.
  • If you are relying on implied consent you need to be satisfied that your users understand that their actions will result in cookies being set. Without this understanding you do not have their informed consent.
  • You should not rely on the fact that users might have read a privacy policy that is perhaps hard to find or difficult to understand.
  • In some circumstances, for example where you are collecting sensitive personal data such as health information, you might feel that explicit consent is more appropriate.

The ICO also state:

Cookies or similar devices must not be used unless the subscriber or user of the relevant terminal equipment:

(a) is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information; and
(b) has given his or her consent.

The ICO provide information and a PDF download about the new law here.

Contact your web team if you are uncertain what you need to do and they should be able to help you.

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EU Cookie Directive

Is Your Website EU Compliant?

Probably not. But don’t panic!

On May 25th 2012, all sites within the Member States of the European Union will be required to be sure that:

“…users be provided with clear and comprehensive information when engaging in any activity which could result in such storage or gaining of access. The methods of providing information and offering the right to refuse should be as user-friendly as possible.”

What does this mean?

This means that any website that gathers visitor information should clearly state what this is and provide an ‘opt-out’. And nearly every website does gather visitor information. Do you use Google Analytics? Yes? Then there is a cookie collecting visitor information, and from May 25 you are breaking the law – in theory.

However, after much delving into this it seems that many in the industry are waiting to see what exactly the law requires. So for the moment it’s a case of what to do and how to do it.

What you need to do
It’s important to have everything in place so that you are showing a willingness to comply and are ready to modify and adjust your strategy to the directive.

  1. Update your Privacy Policy page listing the cookies your site is using and what they do.
  2. Provide a cookie opt-out system – bt.com have a good example of this on their homepage. See www.bt.com – in the footer.
  3. Ensure your web developer/designer/specialist keeps your site up to date as the new regulations are firmed up.

There are certain to be some companies out there who will try to exploit this and tell you that non-compliance will result in a £50,000 fine and you need to act NOW and buy their ‘EU Compliance Package’. All I can say is that the BBC (www.bbc.co.uk) have a Privacy and Cookies page that currently advises you to use your browser to delete any unwanted cookies on their site . . .