The Cookie Law In The UK – Part I

The ongoing debate about Internet privacy and protection, promoted EU policy makers to introduce a law last year (May 26th 2011) governing the use of Internet cookies. The EU Cookie Directive is amended legislation, which requires that websites obtain consent from users before using or placing cookies on that user’s computer or device. While the law aims to protect users by allowing them to make an informed decision about the data that is gathered by cookies from websites they visit, it has wide reaching implications for webmasters and internet marketers.

EU Cookie Law | SEO Jo Blogs

In the UK, the governing body responsible for the enforcement of this law, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), granted UK websites a yearlong grace period before the law would fully come into effect.

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Facebook IPO – Happy Friday For Many

After years of saying they were not going to sell, the Facebook IPO is happening today.

According to the Times “Facebook will make one of the most ambitious stockmarket debuts in history today after valuing the networking site at over $100 billion”.   It certainly is a happy Friday for many as Mark Zuckerberg will become a multibillionaire and 1,000 employees (past and present) will be millionaires once the launch takes place on the NY Nasdaq at lunch time.  Mr Zuckerberg will become the 23rd richest person in the world – quite impressive for a Harvard drop out.

Facebook IPO - Happy Friday

Last night the Facebook share price was set at $38 USD valuing the company at $104 billion. But is the company really worth this much? Will Facebook continue to grow as fast it has done over the past 5 years?  Facebook made $3.7 billion in revenue last year and $1 billion in profit. But will the advertising revenue increase or have we seen a peak of the activity.  Is there a Facebook bubble and will it burst like FriendsReunited?

The IPO will affect users, there will be even more changes to personal profiles, (I just got an update today), privacy settings will be changed and potentially the way Facebook is being used will alter in the future.  The social networking site already acts like a business tool, delivering targeted adverts to its users (who often are not interested). The cash raised from the IPO will be used to buy rival companies and build new products.

It will be interesting to see how the future of Future of Facebook pans out from today, it is history in the making.

How To Get Your First Job Out Of Uni

The middle of May every year signals the end of the University term and for those students at Uni , it means their time as a student is up and they need to start of looking for a job.

It is hard to find the perfect job, even harder to find it in a field you have studied in. I studied International Management and Business Administration with French and it was very difficult to find a job in this field.  I really wanted to work in Marketing and even though there was no financial crisis, it was nearly impossible.  I am now in the field that I want to work in, but I had to go through a lot of different jobs to get there.  Here are some tips:

Work Experience

Yes it is a bit tiring and can be annoying working for free, but it is important for the CV.  I did try and get work experience while I was at Uni and unfortunately as I did not have a degree, I could not get work experience.  Do not want until after you graduate otherwise you will be in the vicious circle of “if you not have experience, you cannot work at a company”.  Get your foot in the door before you finish Uni. The National Council For Work Experience has a list of useful sites for students.

Graduate Roles

Scour the internet for graduate roles .  They are few and far between but if you are lucky enough to get one, they fantastic jobs as you can training and development and such a young age.  When I worked at MEC, I met a graduate who set up her own blog recording her life as a grad at MEC.  It is a fantastic blog, all her posts are very detailed about her life at MEC.

Expand Your Skills

I wanted to go into marketing and then was attracted to online, now I do SEO and set up the website SEO Jo Blogs. I have worked with graphic designers who studied only offline print design working in brochure design but they could not get enough work in this field.  Therefore they branched out to online (with little experience, just what they read in books) and are now web designers as well as the ability to work offline. Print design and web design are not the same thing and from experience it is important to know both, especially if you want to increase your chances of getting a job. There are many print

Don’t Give Up

Most important part of this post.  Do not become despondent or depressed, you will get a job.  If you cannot find a job in the field you want to go in, try going it alone.  For example, if you want to get work as a web designer, why not design your own webiste.  You have time and can do this for little cost.  I wanted to work in SEO but it was very competitive and therefore I set up my own site. If you want to get into fashion, making the lastest collections, start making clothese for yourself and wear them to Uni or out and about.

Penguin and 52 Updates Later

This past week, everyone has been talking about the 52 Updates from Google.  Late last Friday, after I had just updated my blog about the Google Algorithm update, Matt Cutts wrote his latest post on inside search blog.

Penguin and 52 Updates

Penguin was officially released on April 24th, (again the day after I published a blog post on seojoblogs.com).  People saw their rankings drop when Panda was realeased, some saw their rankings increase (but you don’t get to hear about these ones). Now everyone is talking about Penguin, but what is it?  Well some people have said it is an update of Panda while others are calling it a separate name, Penguin.  The  name not is as important as the actual update which focuses on 2 areas of a site: keyword stuffing and unnatural linking.

Some people have been using copyspinning tools to produce poor quality content such as this example. (taken from the Google blog)

Example of Content Affected By Penguin

 

You can blatantly see the links for loans have nothing to do with getting fit, and for a long time this has been a black hat technique.  Those sites that practice the above techniques which includes keyword stuffing and unnatural linking (and spammy links like exact match anchor text and guest posts on bad sites) will lose rankings.  So it is important when you are doing blogger outreach to target high quality blogs, no spam otherwise you will be affected.

What are the 52 updates?

There were 52 updates in April and  some of the other most important changes included Penguin.  There was also an update regarding more authorative results, no freshness boost for low quality sites, sub-sitelinks in expanded sitelinks and smoother ranking, for fresh results.  Content is king, and as Google loves fresh content, your site will have a higher chance of ranking if you update it regularly than if you do not.  Matt Cutts has said that if you feel your site has been unfairly targetted, to contact Google.

Google vs Spam

Google are constantly fighting spam, as there is apparently still a lot on the internet which is the complete opposite of a what the cofounder of Google, Sergey Brin said in 1999. I saw the quote from Danny Sullivan’s post on <a href=http://marketingland.com/is-googles-over-optimization-penalty-its-jump-the-shark-moment-in-web-search-8633″> “Google’s Over Optimisation Penalty”</a> where he refers to the fact that Sergey Brin, said there is no spam and that they never ban anyone.  I am sure he didn’t know at the time how many updates they would carry out (it is up to 500 a year), but surely there has to be a time when Google says stop and appreciates the work the SEO world has been doing.

We seem to be bound by what Google say.  Yes they are the dominating search engine and I do use many Google products myself, but it just seems like they have become too big and we have no choice but to follow their rules. This update will just be one of many to come in the future.  I do not like seeing spam in the search results and am happy a search engine is trying to eradicate it, but as an SEO person, I would like to be certain that if I do work for a client which is white hat. This surely leads onto us having to justify SEO even more.

So what should we do as SEOs?

Well I think first thing is first, do not get your clients to focus on rankings.  Move away from this. Use this update as another opportunity (as I am sure you have tried this before) to show why looking at other SEO factors are important. Get your clients to look at natural search traffic and social signals.  If you have not been using a social media strategy before, this is even more reason to start.

(image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/antarcticabound/5220534077/)

Search Down Under

I went to Australia last December to visit my sister who had recently moved to Aussieland  and I also wanted to check out the search market. I had been working in London for 6 years and therefore wanted to see what search was like on the other side of the globe.

Search Down Under | Perth WA | SEO Jo Blogs

Western Australia

I spent most of my time on the west coast, in Western Australia, the biggest state in Australia.  There were quite a few perth seo  agencies I came across while I was in Perth.  Most are boutique and specialised, there are no multinational agencies yet on the west coast.  However, this can be an advantage to those looking for an agency as you will get more personalised services.  No disrespect to some of the bigger agencies but they have a lot of clients on their books and they might not be able to deal with smaller and more specific client enquiries.  But of course, it really depends on the project.

Growth

Perth has gone through a huge growth recently, partly due to the mining boom and search engine marketing in Perth is no exception. A lot of the agencies work with local businesses and are keen to drive through a clear ROI. This is even more important in an industry that is not well known. I think PPC is easier to understand as people can relate that back to display and also other forms of traditional advertising.  However seo does struggle to show a clear ROI for the work as it is more about having a good partnership with an agency.

Opportunity

I run Search London in the UK and have been to many events such as Brighton SEO, SES and SMX.  In Australia, there are not as many search marketing events as in the UK or US, but that is looking to change.  Until recently there was no SMX in Australia, but now it is in Sydney and Melbourne every May. There is a big opportunity in Australia to host more search marketing events.  It has grown phenomenally in the UK and I am sure Australia will see the same pattern of growth over the next couple of years.

Search is an area that is constantly developing.  I was not in the industry when it first developed in the UK more than 10 years ago, but I can witness and be part of the growth in Australia.

Google Algorithm Update

Google are constantly updating their algorithm, so we have to jump on the Google bandwagon if we want to rank high in the search engine giant.

Two weeks ago I wrote a post about authorship  and the actions we should take from it.  The following day, April 24th, Google updated their blog with a post about rewarding high quality sites. They said that over the next few days that they will be launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam.  It is now the 3rd of May and their blog post has not yet been updated on the change, but I am sure it will soon.

Google Algorithm Update | seojoblogs.com

This is just the latest in a long list of updates they have introduced over the past 12 months.  Sometimes I wonder if there will ever be an end.  It is good they want to get rid of spam sites and I agree with that completely. But Google can sometimes penalise sites as was the case with the Panda update.

Google have said that they can’t give much away what they will introduce over the next few weeks but as always they give out the advice to website owners to create high quality sites which create a good user experience and only use white hat techniques. At Brighton SEO Pierre Far mentioned the same thing which also featured in the “Ask The Engine” debate.

The Panda update affected 12% of queries and this algorithm may affect about 3.1% of queries in English. I am actually quite interested to see how this will affect those in SEO and also the impact it may have on our clients.

 

Link Building – How to Find Good Blogs

Link building has come a long way since link directory submissions. More and more people are engaging in blogger outreach, but how can you be sure you are contacting the good blogs?

Link Building - Paddy MooganI met Paddy Moogan from Distilled at the LinkLove Conference earlier this year where he gave some tips on how to identify the good blogs from the bad ones. Paddy  has a wealth of SEO experience and has worked with a range of different clients across the UK and US. I therefore invited him to talk at the next Search London event.  Link Building Through Blogger Outreach – How To Find Good Blogs

Date: Tuesday, May 29th

Time: From 7:00pm

Location: The Green Man, 383 Euston Road, NW1 3AU

Paddy wil be able to show you how to engage in blogger outreach and ensure your content will be hosted on good quality blog sites not ones which will see your site be penalised.

If you are working in link building are not sure which blogs to approach or how to approach them, RSVP to reserve your place  on www.meetup.com/search-london

 

New Design For SEO Jo Blogs

I wrote a post a few days ago that I was going to redesign my website.  This past week, there have been a few final tweaks and now I am pleased to say it is “officially” live.

Welcome to the new SEO Jo Blogs site.  There are a few areas on the site that have been amended with this redesign:

1) The Name – from seojoblogs to SEO Jo Blogs

It was always SEO Jo Blogs and it will always be, but as people had been reading it as seo job logs, I decided to separate out the SEO from Jo and Blogs more clearly. Now it reads as it should = SEO Jo Blogs.

2) Sharing – Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin

The redesigned site has more sharing plugins.  You can also contact me through the email function.  I have set up a new Facebook page to coincide with the new site.  I am still working on the vanity URL, please click on the Facebook button at the top of the site or click on the SEO Jo Blogs Facebook page link.

3) Logo

You will see there is now a dedicated logo on the SEO JO Blogs website which is very similar to the one on my business card. I just never had a proper logo for the website. Thank you to  Said Bhugeloo from Buttons Aren’t Toys for designing the logo and the website. I really liked the logo from my business card  and therefore based on this, Said created a brand new logo for the website. The new theme for the website which Said worked on ties in with the business cards and the modern look of SEO Jo Blogs I wanted the site to have.

The Old SEO Jo Blogs

 

I hope you like the new website, it would be great to hear your thoughts on the redesign.  Look forward to seeing you all at the next Search London, date to be announced this week.

BrightonSEO – Organised By Kelvin Newman

I went to Brighton SEO on Friday April 13th.  Thank you to Kelvin Newman for organising a fantastic event and thank you to Andy Betts for getting me a ticket.

There were many interesting speakers, I wrote a summary of the “How to launch or re-launch a brand or product online effectively”a few days ago.  However, I think my favourite of the day had to be the opening panel which was “Ask the engines”.  Links have also been a hot topic in seo and even more so since the Panda update.  BrightonSEO is the third event three weeks that I have been to or organised where links and link spamming has been a key feature of the event.

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How To Rebrand Your Company

I went to Brighton SEO last week and Sam from Koozai talked about rebranding your company. They went through the process last year.  Koozai wanted to create a brand that was more recognisable.  They wanted to differentiate themselves.  Sam came up with many steps on how to rebrand a company.  I have picked the most important. One name fits all Do you want to have one name across all products? That is the question you should ask yourself.  For some companies such as Virgin it works well, but for others it does not.  Would you want to associate Coca Cola with Vitamin Water? The latter is a Coca Cola product but it is aimed at a completely different market and therefore it would be detrimental if Coca Cola was on the Vitamin Water bottle. Continue reading