Valentine’s Day – Google Doodle

Check out the new Google Doodle, it is a one minute feature animation to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Google Valentine's Doodle

Google Valentine’s Doodle

The animation sees a young boy, smitten with a girl, trying to show the girl how much he likes her.  The schoolgirl is playing with a skipping rope and doesn’t move from the spot despite the boy’s best efforts.  The boy searches on Google for presents to woo her, flowers, chocolates, balloons, rabbit in a top hat.

It is only after he has tried everything Google suggested, that he starts skipping with his own rope, the girl jumps in and hugs him.

The song in the background is the Grammy-winning Tony Bennett – singing the bluesy Hank Williams tune “Cold, Cold Heart.” As there is no dialogue, Michael Lipman, the Doodle’s animator said: “These characters are archetypes, with no dialogue, so it can play around the world.”

When to use a Subdomain and a Subdirectory

A year ago I wrote a post about subdomain vs subdirectory as there was a lot of discussion on which URL format to use.

People are still confused as to which format to use, mainly because Google keeps changing the game plan. Therefore I have written a post about the two different choices explaining both clearly.

Reasons to use subdirectories:

1) The content in the subdirectory benefits from the link authority from your domain.

2) If you have all your content in a subdirectory, the code is in the same file storage space making it easier to edit, find, change and move the code.

3) Simpler

Sometimes it is easier to use a subdirectory – Matt Cutts loves subdirectories – he set up to keep things simple.

Reasons to use subdomains:

1) Different content.

A subdomain works if your site has different content for its products. For example Google has subdomains for its distinct products such as maps, news –,

2) Localised content

Companies that have content for specific langauges or local areas use subdomains. Gumtree has a subdomain for it’s cities in Australia. For example  while in London, the URL would be

3) Restrictions from hosting company

If you already have a site and want to add blogging software to your site but your hosting company will not allow you to do so.  Therefore you will use a third-party blogging platform such as wordpress, blogger or typepad.  Your blog will therefore look like instead of

Matt Cutts recommends using subdirectories if you are a new webmaster until you are confident with the architecture of your site. If you have a small site just stick with subdirectories.  If your site sells different key products and you want your site to be known for those, then set up subdomains.


Search Predictions for 2012

So 2012 is as begun, what does this year have in stall for us? Lets have a quick look at what my predictions were for seo 2011.

1) Integration between ppc, seo and social media
There is definitely and has been more of an integration between seo and social media last year.  From my personal experience with the panda update we did far more blogger outreach as a way of link building.  The social media team in my last agency doubled in size from mid 2010 until the end of 2011. SEO predictions for 2011

2) Local search
With the introduction of Google Places in September 2009 and then the merger of the local business centre in April last year, local search played a very important role in 2011.  A client at my last agency was keen to ensure for every store they had a Google Place.  Therefore we had to get all their stores whitelisted in order to automatically verify all the new shops.

 3) Mobile
Last year I said that people have been jumping on the mobile apps and mobile site bandwagon. I mentioned that mobile would be increasingly important in 2011 and it did.  For our clients, we had to have a mobile ppc strategy as well as a desktop strategy.  We had mobile ppc ads with our own ad groups and campaigns. 

So after reviewing 2011 predictions, we can now move onto 2012

1) Less spam

2011 we saw the Panda updates in an effort to crack down on the content farms on the web.  This will mean there will be less spam out from these content and article syndication sites and therefore they will be less important in terms of link building. Google will  continue to role out alogirthms to make sure users are getting quality search results, making sure that very low quality links to a site have no weight.

 2) SEO and Social will be one package

Link building through social media will be paramount to an seo strategy.  Blogger outreach where clients have content placed on third party authorative sites will have far more weight than using article sites.  An agency that offers seo without a social media strategy incorporated within it will find it harder to compete in the market place. Updates from Google such as Google + means seo needs to use social media if it wants to stay ahead as Google added Google+ brand pages in the search results  in December last year. 

3) Personlised and local seach

This was a prediction for last year and will continue to develop in 2012.  Personalisation of serach results is one of the many reasons us in SEO have difficulty in explaining rankings to clients. Now with the tablet, more users will be searching away from their desktops. Google will give users more relevant results based on the users’ search history and location.

Search London – Last one for 2011

Thank you to all of you for coming to Search London last week – The Value of SEO and Social. Thanks to Searchmetrics who sponsored the event, providing us with drinks and nibbles at the meetup.

The presentations have been uploaded to slideshare:

Steve Overton’s presentation on the value of SEO:

Richard Kirk’s presentation on the value of Social:

I have been running this meetup for more than a year and with your help and support Search London has grown from 200 members last October to now over 520 members. I am really pleased with the expansion of Search London and I hope you will join me for many more events next year.

I will be spending winter Down Under and therefore will arrange the next Search London event in spring 2012.

Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Search London – The Value of SEO and Social

Searchmetrics will be sponsoring our last Search London event for 2011 which will take place on Wednesday, December 7th.

The meetup “The Value of SEO and Social” will have two speakers:

Steve Overton from Searchmetrics and Richard Kirk from Performics. I am sure some of your clients may be asking what the return on investment is from seo and social and sometimes it is a bit hard to quantify. Steve will be talking about the value of SEO and Richard will be speaking about the value of social, he has recently been studying the impactof social inputs on organic search.

searchmetrics logo -

Searchmetrics is the global expert in search analytics software, empowering marketers to increase visibility and market share on the world’s leading search engines.

I would like to thank everyone who has come to Search London during the year. We have had 7 meetups and the group has gone from 200 members to over 460. Please RSVP to the last Search London of 2011

Search London – Search In House or Agency

Thank you all for coming to the last meetup “Search London – SEO & PPC In House or Agency” that took place on Wednesday, October 26th.

Thanks to IG Index who sponsored the event, giving us a few drinks at the bar. Martin MacDonlad’s presentation of search agency side has been uploaded to slideshare.

Check out the photos from the latest event.

Search London

London, GB
2,277 Members

Search London is a meet up group which aims to bring those who work in SEO, Social and PPC together. Events are organized every 8 wks and members are from a mixture of agency,…

Next Meetup

Christmas Drinks

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019, 6:00 PM
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I have also uploaded them to this site.

Happy Halloween from London

The Google Doodle changes everyday and today is no exception.

Click on the video below to see how the Google employees build their Google Doodle out of pumpkins.

Halloween Google Doodle

Google Halloween Doodle

Here is a post a wrote a while ago regarding the history of Halloween.

Where does it come from?
Halloween comes from the pagan festival Samhain, which the Celts celebrated on what was their New Year Eve, October 31st. Samhain marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter which brought the evil spirits. The Celts believed that on this night, the barrier between our world and the spirit world was at its weakest and the spirits would return to the earth. They built bonfires and in England carved out faces in the turnips to warn off the evil spirits. The festival was celebrated by lighting bonfires and sacrificing crops and animals. The bonfire was also believed to protect them during the winter months.

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Search London – SEO & PPC In House Or Agency

Search London – SEO & PPC In House Or Agency – Sharon Harris

Sharon Harris, Head of Search at IG Group will be discussing the benefits of taking SEO & PPC In House. IG Group is a FTSE 250 leader servicing over 130,000 clients across 130 countries. The sheer size and scale of IG Group proved a challenging yet rewarding online platform for search integration.

IG Group encompasses IG Markets, IG Index and Nadex. IG Markets CFDs offer traders the ability to take a directional position on market movement. IG Index acts as a gateway into spread betting across a range of markets including the fast paced world of forex spreads. Nadex is a fully regulated US Exchange.

These markets offer complex derivative products yet understanding remains at the heart of IG Group. Integrating search enabled IG Group to tap into the users desire to learn at the point of inception, targeting both the newbie and professional trader. Increased online exposure across multiple keywords significantly enhanced visibility and conversion rates on a global scale.

Financial markets are fast and dynamic – Sharon Harris has fine tuned global SEO & PPC to react accordingly.

The event “SEO & PPC In House Or Agency” will take place:

When: Wednesday, October 26th, 7:00pm

Where: Theodore Bullfrog, 26 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL

RSVP to Search London to guarantee your place

How to Optimise Facebook Ads

I attended a Facebook session last week which went into the updates of the social networking organisation. Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more connected. It certainly has achieved this since its launch in February 2004. I learnt a lot at the session and wanted to share some of the stats with you.

Facebook cupcake

Key Facebook Facts

  • There are 30 million active users of Facebook in the UK (not including those under 13 years)
  • Each person has an average of 218 friends
  • 20 million people use Facebook daily
  • There is a 50/50 split between male and female users
  • Quickest growing demographic are those over 35 years old
  • 13- 24 year old are the most active
  • There are more than 3 billion stories posted each month.
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  • Google Mobile Workshop

    Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a Google Mobile Workshop and they confirmed what everyone has been saying
    “2011 is the year for mobile”

    Finlay from Google talked at New Year Search Club in January this year where he mentioned mobile would really take off and it definitely has.

    Google Mobile Search -
    (Image from

    Mobile search queries have increased considerably from last year. Here are a few interesting stats:

    Travel queries on mobile have risen from

    4% (2010) to 11% (2011)

    Retail queries
    4% (2010) to 13% (2011)

    Tech queries
    5% (2010) to 10% (2011)

    7% (2010) to 18% (2011)

    Do you use your mobile while out shopping? Apparently 45 % of us do and 15% use it to compare prices.
    The study carried out by Google, also found that with mobile, people always have them with them and are searching while at home and on the go. 74% of people use them at the same time as consuming other media.

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