What is the Google Plus One

Unless you have all been living offline for the past two weeks, then you would have seen Google’s new product – the +1.

What is Google +1?

It was announced on 30th March, posted on the Google blog by product manager, Rob Spiro. Google basically is jumping on the social media bandwagon and many reference the +1 as similar to the Facebook like button. To recommend something, users will click the +1 on a webpage or ad. The +1s will start appearing in Google’s search results.

Google +1

So I bet you are all asking whether this will affect the natural search listings. The answer is yes. If you have two websites all with the same page rank, optimised pages, lots of link building and one site has more +1s than the other, then that site will rank higher. This means you still have to optimise your pages, this update reinforces how important seo is.


Here is a little bit of blurb for the search engine giants Google:

“So how do we know which +1’s to show you? Like social search, we use many signals to identify the most useful recommendations, including things like the people you are already connected to through Google (your chat buddies and contacts, for example). Soon we may also incorporate other signals, such as your connections on sites like Twitter, to ensure your recommendations are as relevant as possible. If you want to know who you’re connected to, and how, visit the “Social Circle and Content” section of the Google Dashboard.

To get started +1’ing the stuff you like, you’ll need to create a Google profile—or if you already have one, upgrade it. You can use your profile to see all of your +1’s in one place, and delete those you no longer want to recommend. To see +1’s in your Google search results you’ll need to be logged into your Google Account.”

When will it appear?
Google will slowly be rolling out +1’s, starting in English on Google.com. You can also see what it looks like before the launch be going to Google’s experimental search site. Initially, +1’s will appear alongside search results and ads, but in the weeks ahead they’ll appear in many more places (including other Google products and sites across the web). If you’re an advertiser and want to learn more about how the +1 button works on search ads and websites, visit our AdWords blog.

Google did say at the beginning of the year and at Search London – New Year Search Club that 2011 was the year for social, so keep a look out on the updates coming out this year.

How to find a new mobile phone

For those who are looking for a new mobile phone, it can be very overwhelming.

Buying a mobile phone should be easy and simple. With the rise of smart phones, this is no longer the case.

I am looking for a new mobile phone, I have a 2 year old Samsung mobile phone which is unheard of. I do not want to spend more than 25 pounds a month but I would like to have at least 300 minutes and 500GB of data download. I will share with you my quest for the ideal mobile phone:

1) Vodafone
I started my mobile phone journey with Vodafone as I have been with them for over 10 years (although I have never received any loyalty points or benefits from being such a loyal customer)
.
I do not want to be on a 24 or 18 month contract. That is too long. I switched to a SIM only contract with Vodafone in November and my bills have not been more than 25 pounds. So what can I get with my money?

BlackBerry: BlackBerry Curve 8520, Curve 3G 9300,
HTC: the HTC Wildfire only
LG: LG Cookie,
There are a number of Nokia phones on PAYG
Nokia 6700 Slide, 7230, C1-01, C2-01, C3-01, C5-03.
I can get 6 Samsung phones , C330, Ch@t 335 E1150, E2550 and the Galaxy Mini. I can get just 2 Sony Ericsson phones, the Spiro and the X10Mini Pro.

All of the Vodafone phones are available on PAYG.

Mobile phone operators

(source – flickr.com/photos/marksunderland/4543099719/)

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Search London – Boating on the Thames

I will be hosting an event on Monday April 18th. “Search London – Boating on the Thames” will take place on the HMS President, which is by Blackfriars station. At this event, we have Marko Saric, from howtomakemyblog.com. He will be telling us all about how he grew his blog from nothing to being voted one of the top 50 blogs.

Marko Saric, one of the top bloggers

I first met Marko in October 2009 when he was speaking at a London Bloggers event. I was impressed by how dedicated he was to blogging and I even wrote a guest post on his blog. http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/mobile-blogging/how-to-optimize-your-blog-for-mobile-devices/

Marko has been passionate for online media for many years, He created an online site for Metallica, his favourite band and was just sixteen when his site became Denmark’s official Metallica fan club, which led to many musical adventures… and gave him a taste of online possibilities. While at Uni, completing a BA degree in Marketing Management, he had an idea for yet another project, and so he launched HowToMakeMyBlog.com. It has just been voted one of the world’s top 50 blogs!

Opportunities came knocking as Marko’s blog grew in reputation, and he was approached by PartyGaming to be their very own social media head. Marko has earned his stripes in this role, taking PartyPoker’s social media activities from next to nothing to a nomination for Best Social Media at the 2010 eGaming Awards.

I hope you to see you all there at Search London – Boating on the Thames where you will get some tips from Marko of how to combine both seo and social to grow your own blogs.

Spring Search London

Thank you to everyone for coming to Search London last Monday evening. We had a great turn out at the Theodore Bullfrog on John Adam Street. Nichola Stott talked to us about her experience in social and seo.

Nichola has kindly uploaded her presentation to slideshare.

http://www.slideshare.net/NicholaStott/social-media-optimisation

I have uploaded photos to meetup.com/search-london and on seojoblogs as well. Let me know if you would like a copy and I will email the photos to you.

Rachael and Mike - SEO gurus Nichola Stott with a Search London member Luke and Sharon Tatiana London and Jake Langwith Jo Turnbull, Daniel Brandt, Matt Walker-Wilson, Tatiana London Search London members

Xperia Play, the new Android Phone

Today is the day when the Xperia Play, the world’s first Playstation and Android phone launches.

The Sony Ericsson phone is claimed to be the ultimate smartphone. It has the latest version of the Android OS, 5.1 megapixel camera (front and back) incase you want to take lots of pictures of yourself, and of course being Android, you have access to over 150,000 apps from the market place.

Android mobile phones
(source of image http://www.androidguys.com/2010/08/02/android-350-uk/)

What is so special about this phone?
Well it has a dedicated slide out control pad, powerful graphics with an optimised 1GHz Snapdragon processor. Ok enough of the tech bits – well one more – there are more than 50 games to download (but it comes with 6). So apparently this really is a gamers mobile phone. Time will tell if it flies off the shelf

To celebrate the launch of this momentus mobile phone, everyone was invited to go to the Xperia Play rooms on 21 – 31 New Oxford Street from 9am – 5pm. I, like most people have the day job to go to (haven’t quite made enough to retire yet) so I did not go. If you went, please let me know how it was.

Metro were giving away golden tickets which allowed everyone to go to the event. However, when scanned at the door to the Xperia Play rooms, there was a chance to attend the VIP party in the evening with Mr Tinchy Stryder. I know someone who won tickets, so maybe I can get some cool photos to upload.

This is seojoblogs… signing off.

How Twitter became Popular

Last week Twitter celebrated its 5th birthday.

Jack Dorsey created twitter in March 2006 and it launched in July that year. It now has over 190 million users.

Twitter growth - from digitalbuzzblog
Some key figures I picked up from wikipedia:

400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007
100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008
February 2010, Twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day
By March 2010, the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications.[
June 2010, about 65 million tweets were posted each day

Twitter seemed to really take off in 2008 and now everyone seems to be on it, generating 65 million tweets a day and has over 800,000 search queries per day. These guys who set up Twitter were very smart. Apparently, the idea came up from a brainstorming session which was held by board members of Odeo, a podcasting company. Dorsey introduced the idea of a person using an SMS service to communicate with a small group. The name was twttr which was the 5 character length of the US SMS short code. Dorsey posted his first tweet at 9:50am 5 years ago and the rest, they say is history.

His first post was: “just setting up my twttr”.

Twitter keeps setting bigger targets. When Michael Jackson died, they set a record of 456 tweets per second, but this was overtaken on New Years Eve 2010/11 when the record was 6,939 coming just four seconds after midnight. The record number of Tweets in a day sits at 177 million on March 11, 2011 so far with March 12, 2011 the biggest day for new account registrations at over 572,000 in a single day.

I wish I had thought about the Twitter idea – Jack is only a few years older than me.

Search London – SEO and Social integration

I am hosting another networking event, this time it will take place on Monday, March 28th.

It will be held in Theodore Bullfrog, 26 – 28 John Adam Street. I have reserved the top floor for us and there will be a small tab for some drinks.

Search London - Central London Events

At this Spring Meetup, Nichola Stott – Director & Founder theMedia Flow will be talking about her experience in social and seo and how working together has benefited her clients.

theMediaFlow is a UK SEO and social media agency and Nichola is also co-founder and director of SEO PR Training so she has plenty of experience to share with us. You may have read some of her work, she blogs for SearchEngineWatch, State of Search and SEO Chicks.

RSVP to the meetup which will start at 7:00pm tomorrow.

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,…

Check out this Meetup Group →

How to get the ipad 2 – form a queue

So the iPad 2 hit the shores of the UK on Friday and now they already sold out. Why does this happen every time Apple launch a new product and who are the people that spend their time waiting in line?

Queue for the ipad 2 outside Apple Regent Street

Is it worth waiting in line for hours on end?

According to the Evening Standard, there were more than 300 people queuing for the 399 pound iPad 2 so obviously yes, as the shops have now sold out. Friday was also the launch of the Nintendo DS. I wonder if Apple launched the same time as Nintendo on purpose. Friday became one of the most lucrative high street gadget sales.


Who queues?

There was a father of two who was fourth in the queue for the original iPad last year and now he was first in the queue. It did come at a cost as he missed his son’s birthday to wait outside the Apple store. I think attending your son’s birthday is more important. You never know, he may be giving the iPad 2 to his son.

There was a couple who spent the night on the pavement. The boyfriend was after the iPad and the very nice girlfriend didn’t want it, she was just keeping her boyfriend company. Ahh isn’t that nice?

I went into Kingston upon Thames, just outside of London and there was a queue from 3:00am on Friday morning and they sold out within 5 hours. I went to Kingston today (2 days after the launch) and they told me iPad 2 would not be available for another 2 weeks. I also went to Orange and Tmobile who were sold out and they told me the same thing. But I can still get one and I didn’t have to spend 33 hours waiting, I just need to let the hype die down.

If I choose to spend the 399 pounds, I will get a 33% and 15% lighter IPad and so far people have been impressed by the upgrade. Apple will no longer stock the orginal iPad, so if you want a cheaper model, better get down to Apple soon before that sells out as well.

London Blog Club – March 22, 2011

On Tuesday this week I went to London Blog Club – hosted by Marko Saric, Filip Matous and Tamara Walker. The event was held at the Blue Posts pub (one of the regular locations for the London Blog club), just off of Oxford Street, so quite central.

View of London

Sanjay Shelat from Edit Optimisation was the guest speaker. He has worked for companies like Gumtree & Ebay and was very enthusiastic about seo and gave a lot of tips on how to optimise your blog. Here are a few for you to read and take away if you didn’t get to go to this event:

1) Page Title

Sanjay said this was one of the most important elements of seo. I am glad he mentioned this as I have spoken about this before at work and in my blog. You cannot expect to rank for a term if you do not have that term within your page title.

2) H1 tag

This is the main heading for your post. Each subsection should have an H2 tag and its subsection should have an H3 tag and so on.

3) Body copy

Again it is important to have relevant content on the page tied in with the keywords the site wants to rank for. There is no way a page can rank for “cookies” if there is no mention of the word “cookies” within the body copy. It makes sense really, would a user think your site is about cookies if there is no mention on the page?

4) More tag

The more tag features on many blogs and is a hyperlink which links to the rest of the content on the blog. For example it allows just 80 – 100 words (which ever you set) to appear on the home page and then allows the user the click through to see the remainder of the post.

5) How to

When deciding on a title for your post, ones which start with “how to” always seem to attract more visitors than those that do not. This is just logical, people are often looking for quick wins of “how to” make a chocolate cake or “how to” make my blog – as is the URL of Marko Saric’s blog.

6) Links

Links are very important in seo, it is something that should never be underestimated. Of course you having links from a spam site would cause greater damage than actually helping you rank higher in the search engine result pages. You need to have a diversified link building strategy, making sure you get links from a number of different sites and IP addresses that are high authority sites. The “link juice” from these sites will help push up your rankings and generate more traffic to your site.

Those were a few tips from the London Blog Club, if you want to attend any of their events, they are held monthly in central london.

How to make a SEO friendly navigation bar

How do you make sure your navigation bar is optimised as much as possible without making it look it spammy?

The navigation menus are created to allow both the user and search engine spider to go through the different areas of the website. The navigation bar plays a plays crucial role in directing spiders to the site’s most important content and encouraging site visitors to visit the deeper levels of the site.

Here are five ways:

1. Avoid flash and JavaScript

Search engine spiders cannot crawl JavaScript generated menus, nor can they crawl Flash menus or Flash websites. They can crawl anchor text links, image links and image maps. Therefore all navigation should be in plain text or HTML and if any of the non crawl-able methods are used, alternative methods should be provided to allow search engine spiders to crawl and index the site. As there is a drop down menu, these should be built with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

2. Easy to access areas

The navigation bar should be easy to use and help visits find all relevant areas of the site. Do not overcomplicate things with keyword stuffed navigation drop down menus.

The ideal method is to embed the keyword phrases in the site navigation using plain hypertext anchor links. If image links are used, the ALT attribute should contain the keyword phrase. Google advises on using simple text links instead of relying only on complex navigation, drop-down menus or image navigation. Text links are indexed more easily by search engines.

3. Be consistent

Navigational links should be consistent throughout every page on the website. They should be in the same location with the same font, style and title. This helps users to find

4. Breadcrumbs

Use “breadcrumb” navigation. A breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors to navigate back quickly to a previous section or the root page. Many breadcrumbs have the most general page or root page as the first, left-most link and list the more specific sections to the right.

5. Keep it simple

It is important that the navigation is clean and there is no flash. It is not clear if the rotating images in the screen grabs are made out of flash. The number of clicks needed to access the key content pages should be kept to a minimum.

So there you go, a few pointers to get you on your way, so start building that site!