SEO Blog

Posted on: 10/01/2014 - 17:53 | Comments:1

Over the last few days, we have observed some strange behaviour from Google on the logs of approximately 20 - 25 sites. Ok, its a small fraction of the sites we monitor on a regular basis but undeniably there is an increase in activity.

The behaviour consists of many non-existent pages being crawled or pages that have long been removed being re-examined by the Google spiders. These often manifest themselves in strange entries in logs and sometimes they can be seen on Web Master Tools as crawl errors that have no 'Linked From' source.

An increase in "chatter" on the now legendary "Google Updates and SERP Changes" thread over on the Webmaster World Forum is also always a reliable measure of things that may be approaching.

Normally, this type of behaviour pre-empts a sizeable algorithmic update of some kind, and, as the last Penguin update is well over 3 months old now, it could well be the beginning of the next iteration of the black and white aquatic flightless bird. 

Watch this space for further updates...


Posted on: 11/10/2013 - 14:15 | Comments:0

Yay... yet another Penguin update seems to be upon us. Confirmed on the 4th of October, we have now analysed it thoroughly using data from over 30 of our present clients. Nothing new here really. Just a tightening of the rules which we predict will continue to happen with every iteration of this algorithm.

Just to recap - If you have a suspect link profile, you have either already been hit or will be soon enough. If you have not been hit now, we would strongly advise you start the cleanup now before its too late. A blog post with some tips on how to do that will be added very soon. Stay tuned.

Posted on: 23/01/2013 - 16:45 | Comments:0

Very recently, I had a new experience. I lost a potential customer to another online marketing company.

Normally, once I follow an online enquiry, carry out preliminary research, exchange a few emails and finally talk to the customer, I tend to, without blowing my own trumpet too much, get the contract.

I am not a salesman and I have been known to waffle on at times, but, like most SEO guys who are worth their salt, I know my stuff and am able to convey that quite clearly, earning the trust of the person I am dealing with. Obviously, this time, this did not happen. The funny thing is that we actually went the extra mile with this customer. I felt that he was nervous about making a bad decision (and who can blame him?) so I actually offered him something that we have never offered any other client before. We offered him a sample of our service. We actually sourced 3 excellent links for his site, ranking one of his selected key phrases completely for free. At time of writing, this keyword is sitting firmly at number 6 on purely from the work we carried out.

In truth, I don’t actually know why he decided against using our services. Maybe it’s because I was not too happy accepting his request for a document detailing our strategy; after all, surely showing him the results first hand by giving him a sample of our services should speak much louder than a piece of paper full of promises? Besides, we are in a very competitive business and we need to protect ourselves from rival businesses snooping around.

Thing is... it’s annoying. Not annoying because I was desperate for the work (Although we can always do with more work right?). Not annoying because it hurt my ego (yes, it has a little). And no, not annoying because I spent time and effort to really demonstrate our abilities. No; none of those. The genuine, bottom of my heart, pure truth is: I am annoyed because in 2 or 3 months time, when I will undoubtedly check his progress, I know what I am going to find. Yes, that whiter than white, clean link profile will be full of those majestic black dots that anyone who uses Majestic Explorer will recognise as pure spam. So yes, even though a true business man would chalk it down as a lost client and get on with it; I know I won’t. I will check in a few months time this lost client’s site and, I fear, I will grunt and sigh as I go through his newly acquired link profile built by his, in my honest opinion, wrongly chosen SEO company.

Let’s hope I’m wrong and that this SEO Company will deliver on their promises and provide him with good quality links. Then at least, I might just be able to put this to rest. Unfortunately, experience tells me otherwise.

Posted on: 13/12/2012 - 21:41 | Comments:0

Posted on: 18/11/2012 - 14:23 | Comments:0

It’s true to say that Kate gets her fair share of calls from companies needing assistance in getting themselves out of one search engine penalty or another. The one common theme is that they are mostly all small businesses. They mostly carry out search engine optimisation themselves and in some cases subcontract some ‘services’ to offshore SEO companies or anonymous people on various forums. But, there is one more disturbing aspect to these stories. In almost all cases, these are internet based (read reliant) businesses. In simple terms, this translates to this simple formula:

Search Engine Penalty = Bankruptcy Risk

Now, I know we have spoken previously about how, in an ideal world, a business should never be reliant on one stream of customers and how cowboy SEO can get you into trouble but what I want to touch on today is the scary reality of the amazing power that a company like Google holds.

I would love to hear from others if they are aware of any other entity in the UK business eco system which wields such a powerful sword over the small-medium business neck? The ability to hand out such decisive blows, to destroy with complete disregard or consideration to the human cost of such actions is, as far as I’m aware, non-existent without being regulated in some way or another. The Banks have ombudsmen, the police have the IPCC and lawyers have The Law Society while the press answer to OFCOM but who do Google and Bing answer to? (Apart from their shareholders that is)

Yes, I know, they provide a service and it’s their search engine so they can do what they like with it. I have heard that argument countless times, but when a service becomes such an integral part, a crucial cog, in the economy of a whole nation it crosses the line from being just a service owned by a company to an essential service which should be regulated and have some form of checks and balances put in place to protect businesses from the current unpredictable and in some cases unforgiving nature of the World Wide Web.