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!

New changes to Google Algorithm – Panda update

Last week Google announced an update to its algorithm.

Please do not panic people. This is something that I am sure those in search would have seen coming. Google introduces the update by telling us that they want to give us – the people the most relevant search results and that this algorithm update has done just that. I myself wonder if it is because there was a lot of press that Blekko was delivering more relevant search results than Google which forced them into doing a bit more R&D (research and development) and pushing this update.

Panda Update
(source: http://www.gadgetcage.com/)

This update is pretty major in that Google say it is “a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on.” They say the update will reduce the rankings for low quality sites which are low value for users. What Google didn’t say were the sites that would be affected. Another post I read, showed that the article sites would be the main losers. So for those that just focus on article writing as your link building strategy, it is time to get moving on to other things. Of course if you are a good seo person, you know you cannot focus on just one link building area, but sometimes are left with little choice if the client does not want to sign off alternative link building activities.

Google close off the announcement in the blog, by defending themselves against the amount of complaints they will get from site owners who see their rankings decrease (even if it is a good quality site). They say “we can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites. It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down. Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.”

Of course, as most updates, it is just in the US for now but will be coming across the pond sooner than we know it.

Read from the horses mouth: ie Google here

The Phone to Play with at Mobile World Congress

Which phones will you have?

February 14 – February 18th was Mobile World Congress (MWC) which is the conference to attend for anyone in mobile. Unfortunately I did not have a spare 2k to go and could not get a sponsor so alas I was left to read the daily update emails which were quite informative. Not nearly as exciting as if I had gone to the conference myself.

Anyways, we move on….

What are the main mobile phones to look out for?

Sony Ericsson Play

Sony Ericsson Play – this will come out this month to some of the big network operators….

Instead of containing a keyboard, the play has a slider panel that features a playstation D pad controller and buttons. There are two dual analogue touch pads as well that simulate the sticks on a playstation joy pad.

If you go into any high street network store, they will probably tell you how much it will cost. Of course it will just be on contract to begin with, but those pay as you go customer should not have to wait too long before you can buy it off contract.

So has anyone else got a handset similar? Yes the NGP – which is the PSP2, coming out later n 2011.

LG also launched its own “play phone” the Optimus 3D. It has dual camera on the back which allows you to shoot your won 3D video. Then you can share this with the dedicated 3D channel on YouTube.

The LG also has its iPad rival called the Optimus Pad that has 3D technology. We all know this is not the first company to offer a rival product. HTC has its “Flyer” and Samsung has its “Galaxy Tab”. Motorola launched their version at the Mobile World Congress which is the “Xoom”. As soon as one manufacturer launches such an innovative product, the other companies are hot on their heels. Apple will also face competition from BlackBerry’s PlayBook and HP’s Palm powered webOS device.

Black vs White Hat SEO

What is black hat seo?

They are unethical techniques used to inflate your rankings in the search results. Using these techniques goes against Google, Bing and Yahoo and can also create poor user experiences.

Black Hat vs White Hat
Photo from flickr www.flickr.com/photos/hoyvinmayvin/4170037141/

Some examples of black hat seo techniques so you can spot and avoid them are:

* Keyword stuffing: This was one of the most well known black hat practices. People put long lists of keywords within the “keyword” meta tag of your site as well as cramming more keywords on the page without any relevant content.
* Hidden text: This involves putting lists of keywords in white text on a white background or black text on black background to get more search engine spiders to crawl the site.
*Buying links: This means purchasing links on other websites pointing back to your site in the hope of increasing traffic and rankings.

Why do people use black hat techniques?

They do work – people have seen an increase in the site’s rankings of the back of using the black hat seo.

But it is a short term gain as when the search engines find out, the site will be penalised. It really isn’t worth it.

I am sure you must have seen the case with JC Penney who were caught out buying links. They ended up ranking number one for a lot of terms ranging from “bedding” to “dresses”, a lot of terms they didn’t actually specialise in. Yes they are a department store, but ranking for “furniture” and “table cloths” does not quite fit with their product offering.

So now they have been caught out what next?
Well they now do not rank for these terms and have to deal with a bad lot of PR which means a lot of expensive advertising to recover the damage.

buy links = kicked out of Google = spend more on advertising
Not worth it.

Oh and despite denying they bought links, they fired their search agency SearchDex.

For more information, feel free to browse below:
http://searchengineland.com/the-jcpenney-situation-is-a-symptom-of-a-bigger-disease-65012